Saturday, December 31, 2011

I LOVE New Years!!!!!

A fresh start...
A clean slate....
A new chapter.....

However you see the new year, one thing is for sure, it does us good to pause and reflect over the past. Not to dwell on and fret over the bad parts, our mistakes and blunders....but to learn and grow from them. To use them as stepping stones into the future. No lessons are wasted if we learn from them.

As we enter into the new year with an empty calendar waiting to be filled up, take time to think about what filled up the calendar last year. How much of that did you WANT? How much of it was just getting by and muddling through? How much of it was focused and deliberate?

If we don't plan and set goals we will just flounder and find ourselves at yet another threshold of a new year wondering what happened to the time! Why didn't I get anything done? Why have I not seen change and progress in my life?

I make it a practice every year to sit down with my calendar (I jot down what happens on a daily basis, just a few sentences as a synopsis) and recall all that filled my days, where I went, what I did, who I was with, that which made me happy and that which I sure would like to do without next year.
Of course much is out of our control. I sure cannot tell the US Marine Corp to quit sending my son to war! However there us much that is in our control if we really think about it. A lot depends on the choices we make.
When I am looking over my calendar I like to take stock of what took up my time and evaluate if that lines up with how I WANT my life to be filled, how I feel God has meant me to live this life.

Once again there are certain things we MUST do. Most of us have to work, and that will undoubtedly take up a large portion of your time. How you fill the rest up, is up to you.

In my case I function on limited amount of energy due to my chronic health issues. I try to carry on and act like that is not a part of my life. Yet in reality it determines a great deal. If I have used up my energies doing things that really do not matter to me then I have nothing left to give to those things that DO matter.
It is a terrible thing to find yourself void of stamina and energy when you want to spend time with your grandchildren! So, I am learning....ever so slowly....that I am not superwoman and no longer the energizer bunny my husband once dubbed me. Unfortunately try as I might I have limitations.....
I ONLY tell you this to open your eyes to YOUR OWN limitations. We ALL have them.

What are yours? Identify them. Know what they are so you know what it WILL take to be able to fulfill your desires. What saps you? What drains your energy levels?

There is an old exercise that is fun to do....Create a list of DRAINS and FILLS.
Drains being those things that sap you of energy, happiness, peace, etc. FILLS being those things that make you feel good and happy and peaceful.
That might be a good place to begin as you ponder the new year and how you WANT to spend your time and energies. Keeping a list like that handy to refer to now and then will surely help you remember what really matters and what does not. What you forgot to remember...and what you should be forgetting about....

There is definitely no better time to start than NOW....the new year, the fresh slate, the clean page......

Okay, I need to get back to my lists and those calendars that are begging to be written in! I think I will schedule in some time for pursuing some of my goals for the new year. How about you!?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life!!
XO
Sherry

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SURRENDER

Ahhhhh..... such is the way of God that when you hear His Word and let it seep deep down into your soul, it will begin to feed you like nutrition. That is why I often refer to it as "manna to my soul". He gives us just what we need every day, no more, no less. Only what can be digested and make sense to our earthly minds.

Often times I experience, what I am sure many of you do to, when I hear a message, read a story or devotion, hear a song, and it all seems to be saying the same thing to my heart. Such great confirmation. I love when this happens because I KNOW I am receiving a personal message from God. You know what it is like when someone tells you something and you feel like YES!! You get it! You understand. Well, I guess that is what this feels like to me. It is like YES GOD! That is EXACTLY what I needed to hear! (Duh! Like He didn't know! ha!!)

I had this experience over the weekend. It seemed like every message I listened to on TV (love me some church on TV when I am home on the weekends) while puttering around the house, the songs that I had playing while I was in my studio, the devotion I read in my awesome new devotional ("Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young)...were ALL speaking to me. Funny thing is, it was not so much to ME as it was to my heart about OTHERS I know who are going through some pretty tough times right now. OH, believe me I know it is still for me...because His Word is ALWAYS relevant in my heart and life. But these messages are meant to be shared, which is exactly why I am bringing all this up............

I want to share it all with you today!!!!!

SURRENDER TO GOD'S STRENGTH!!!
You have been hurting so deeply. Your heart is aching so terribly that it hurts, it really HURTS. Sometimes the simple act of breathing is painful, it cuts deep.
You must remember that when you are the weakest HE is the strongest! The battle is NOT yours, it is HIS. He wants to fight for you. He wants to protect you from all the pain you are feeling. He wants you to find PEACE in HIM.

YES, the pain you feel is REAL. VERY VERY VERY real!!!! Nothing minimizes how awful it is for you right now. But He wants you to move from that painful place to a place of TRUST, TRUST in HIM! Because when we are fearing, when we are anxious....we are NOT trusting Him!!!!

I am one to speak. I have worry stamped in a huge crease on my forehead. But then again, that may very well be why I know so much about how I am SUPPOSED to behave!  ;)

I often meditate on Philippians 4:6-8.......

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. "

Seriously, these words are imprinted upon my heart because I have had to refer to them so many times.
I encourage you to write them upon your heart. (which means memorize them so they are there to stay).

When you find yourself ready to go crazy with fear or worry...begin to recite these words, out loud, or silently in your mind. It doesn't matter, just SPEAK THEM!

It is a daily walk. Day by day, sometimes moment by moment. Get through this moment, this day and THEN move on to the next. Just like manna for the soul, you have the energy and strength you need RIGHT NOW, He has equipped you with just what you need.

He has not left you, He never will leave you nor forsake you!!!!
He loves you.

PRAISE HIM.
Oh I know.....it feels a little weird to praise Him when you are feeling like you can barely think a positive thought right now. That's okay, He understands! Begin to offer the "sacrifice" of Praise. Sacrifice means that it cost you something. So when you reach deep into yourself right now and make the effort to sacrifice that praise that does not come easy, you are doing just what you should be doing.

PRAISE is FAITH at work!

You never know when your victory is coming, so do not give up!!!!! Never EVER give up!!!!
God has not nor will He ever give up on you!
Dig deeper. Dig your heels in. HOLD ON.
Shake off the negative.
 Stay in a constant attitude of praise and thanksgiving.
(what a perfect season to be practicing this!!)
One of the best ways to practice this is by coming up with at least one thing every day that you have to be thankful for.

You may be on the brink of your miracle. The change you are looking for may happen TODAY. The revelation you need to hear from God may come TODAY! That pain inside you may begin to ease TODAY! So....hang in there! Never, ever let go of HOPE!

Surrender to HIM! Give it ALL to Him. He is waiting..................

XO

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Power Of One.....

Today is 11-11-11...the most ones you can possibly have in a date. I do not know the statistics but I am pretty sure this will not happen again in our lifetimes!
Seems like all year long I have found myself noticing the clock every time it was 1:11 or 11:11. It has been a bit odd to me. I have often wondered what the significance is. Still do.
What I do know is what God impressed upon my heart this very morning as I was on my dark and early morning walk.
He was reminding me something He had shown me YEARS ago. In a dark and difficult time I happened to be at a women's retreat in the mountains. We were sitting in this incredible A-frame chapel that had windows up at the very top. I was transfixed with the view out those windows, seeing the tops of the gorgeous tall trees reaching the sky. I felt alone. Small. Insignificant. Useless. Meaningless. I was lost.
He, ever so gently brought to me the scripture about leaving the ninety and nine to find the ONE.
I could literally SEE it as I was staring out those windows.
Have you ever read that scripture???.....the shepherd is out with the flock in the field and ONE little lamb comes up missing. That shepherd leaves the 99 sheep that are there and accounted for to find the ONE that is missing.
(Matthew 18:11-14)

 That ONE was ME!!!
God was reassuring me that He wanted ME to be found and accounted for.

WOW!!!!

I will never forget that!

Today I want to send that message to YOU!
You may be just one, but YOU ARE ONE!!!!!
One is significant.
One is powerful.
One is enough.
YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!!!!

Back to today, on my walk, God was reassuring me that if I were the ONLY ONE on this earth He would have STILL sent His ONE and ONLY son to this earth to die....for ME!!!!
Okay, if you are anything like me this is soooooooooooo hard to comprehend!!!
 Really?!?! ME!??!?!?

JUST ME!?!?!?!?!?!?

He says YES!!!!!!

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God loves you and YOU are ONE and you are ENOUGH!!!!!!

Try to remember that.........try to write that upon your heart and forever keep the image that you are that ONE sheep that He left the fold to find. It was YOU and He found you!!!!

And forever He shall keep you!!!!!!

Let ONE be a significant number to you today as it represents YOU!!
For you are ONE...ONE very important one!!!!!


XO
Love & Blessings to you!
Yup .......
YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Encouragement

We all need it.
It comes in many forms.

Some days it is the very thing that gets us from the couch to upright again.

Some days we feel as if everyone has nothing but negative to say,
then we hear that positive voice
and we begin to see the first glimpse of light
shining into the darkness of our soul.

Without encouragement we feel dead, dry, lifeless.
Like a plant that has been ignored, un-watered, without sunshine,
without loving care.

Then we begin to receive a little love,
some light from those people who allow their lights to shine.
A smile from a stranger.
A hug from a friend.
A note of encouragement.
A text message from someone who just wanted to tell you they love you.

I wonder.........what are YOU doing today to be that ray of sunshine?
What are you doing to bring some other soul a glimpse of hope?

Today may be your day of giving
for one day you will certainly need to be receiving.
Such is the cycle of life.

Go today
Smile
Laugh
Love
ENCOURAGE!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

God is ALWAYS on Time!!!!

I had the most awesome experience of God's PERFECT timing this morning.

It brings MANY different situations all into play to create the perfect timings.


You see in a land far away it was actually ALMOST November 3rd as I sat down at my computer. November 3rd is my sons birthday. Since I wanted to wish him a happy birthday as soon as I could, and since he is on the "night shift" in Afghanistan I thought I better get on here and send him a message before I left for work this morning.

SO I did.......... a sweet little birthday email to my amazing son!

Then I proceeded to get ready for my day.

I was about to leave for work when I decided to check my email one more time (just in case I heard back from him).
Lo and behold there was a message from him, a very sweet message that made this momma cry (dang now I have to go fix my make up!!!).

He said that as he was reading the message I sent this morning a Marine walked in with the two packages I had sent him for his birthday. How do you like that for timing!!!!

Now I have to interject the story of those packages.

I was trying my darnedest to get those packages out last week on Monday I think it was.......I hit several obstacles ending with it being 4:50 pm, Post Office is about to close and I just CANNOT make it work! SO I had to wait til the next day. ugh!!!! I was sooo frustrated! I came home and my sweet husband helped me get the packages to work (I was having trouble getting my little birthday balloon to fit and the sign to fly out with it (cos it was attached) and the funfetti cookies were not fitting and ...well you get the idea..........

Apparently the timing was not right.......and needed that extra day!
Go figure!
Because in the end the packages got there at the PERFECT time!!!!!

I tell this story for a couple of reasons. First because I wanted to show the power of God to touch hearts so many miles apart through this fabulous world of technology we have today.
I am so grateful!!
AND because I know so many lovely people out there right now who are struggling to understand Gods timing, His divine wisdom and power to make it all work out for their good. Oh they know it and they are trying to believe it with their whole hearts BUT when life continues to seemingly go awry and all that they want and hope for and dream of is so illusive it becomes quite hard to hold on.

My getting frustrated and dealing with the issues of getting those packages off in the mail is far less than the issues they are facing.
I know that.
BUT I believe in the picture stories we are given in life to help us SEE. God used these parables all the time cos he knew that is how we would grasp and comprehend the lessons we must learn and the promises that they hold.

I want to encourage you to hold on!!
To TRUST and BELIEVE!!!
God DOES have a perfect timing!
Underneath the surface is a perfect plan working it's way out.

Have you ever heard the illustration that Corrie ten Boom used? She said life is like a tapestry. The side that you are seeing as you are stitching along is the underneath, it is tangled with threads going this way and that. It doesn't look like it makes any sense at all. In fact it looks quite jumbled up and messy. BUT, turn it over and take a look at the finished product. Those colorful pieces have been used to create the different parts of the picture to create the beautiful masterpiece.
Such is out lives. Some times they seem to be so messy and jumbled up. Sure doesn't seem to make a lick of sense or look pretty at all. BUT just you wait, one day the finished product shall be revealed to us and we will then behold the beauty behind every single difficulty. We may not see it all on this side of heaven.
This is where the TRUST and BELIEF comes in. Trust that He loves you and is there for you, He will NOT leave you nor forsake you. BELIEVE that He is sovereign and IS working ALL things together for the good to those who love Him!!!!

I pray that today you will see the beauty in God's perfect timing and you will remember that even those annoying frustrations in life can be a part of a better timing, a part of the bigger picture!

Hold on dear one.............HOLD ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
XO

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh soooo long!!!!

I sure did not mean for so much time to pass before posting!!! I always think of plenty to write about but struggle to find the time to actually DO it!

I am toying with the idea of a website (actually a dear friend is thinking of putting one together for me!). I certainly must get better at keeping up if I plan on doing that!

It is my desire to write posts on a regular basis that might be of an encouragement to those who happen to read my blog. I long to encourage others...YOU...on this journey of life. Part of my personal "mission statement" says that "I want to share that which I know to help others and encourage them" I only "know" what I know because I have traveled this path long enough to have learned many a lesson and I have gone through my own troubles and trials just like you. In each of these I grew a little bit and though I have far from "arrived" at a place of full growth and wisdom (I am not sure I will ever fully "arrive" until I arrive in heaven!) I use those lessons to GrOw from. (that is my fancy way of combining GO and GROW....which I feel is exactly what life is about...going and growing forward.

I love to share. I bet if my parents were alive they would say that I shared well when I was little. It seems like every time I know something I want desperately to share it with any and everyone who might be able to benefit from the same knowledge. I want to do what I can to spare others from having to learn "it" the hard way.
"IT" being anything from hard learned lessons in life about self-esteem, overcoming issues from childhood all the way to the much simpler things like recipes.....
All of it mixed with the Word of God, the measuring device for all things good in life.

So....in my desire to be an encouragement I shall try to be better at posting more often.

Let me leave you with a little encouragement right now..........

So many I know are going through a difficult time, a trying time. It is not easy to keep the faith let alone be strong in that faith. I want you to know and to remember that you are NOT ALONE! You are NEVER alone! God has not and never will leave you nor forsake you. He loves you more than you might ever comprehend. It is a love that is hard to comprehend in this world because it has no strings attached, no conditions, no judgements...it is PURE LOVE!
You deserve every ounce of that pure love!!
KNOW that you are deserving of every good gift and that He will give you just what you need when you need it. Life is certainly not without troubles and trials, you know that very well. BUT, do not lose hope...do not grow weary. He is with you and He cares!!!!! He really, really does.

So do I so if I can pray for you or encourage you in any way, let me know!

Love & Blessings!
XO Sherry







Friday, August 26, 2011

Our Natural Resources

Time-Energy-Money
Our natural resources in life.

These are the things that we are constantly seeking.
There never seems to be enough of any of them.

If you are like me when you were younger you never thought that ENERGY would be one of them.
I mean, I would wake up with plenty of energy and I could go and do all day long...no problem. Get a good nites sleep (and that was not always a "long" nites sleep since I am a night owl) and wake up feeling ready to face the new day.

As for TIME well, there was plenty of that too, or so it seemed for the most part.
It seemed as if we had all of life to do the things we wanted to do. But as we all know, those days draw in closer and closer the older we get.

Then there is MONEY. Although I have never been in a place where I did not have to be careful, watch my money, budget, etc. I am thankful we have always had what we needed. There were tough times, but God always provided.

Here's the thing.....

With money you work hard and at the end of the pay period you get paid and you are "replenished".

With energy you get a good nites sleep and you are restored....ready to begin again.

With time you get a new 24 hours each and every day...no one has more than another, this is one place we are all equal.

Once I found myself living with a chronic condition that depleted my energy I began to see that , unfortunately, the resource of ENERGY does not necessarily replenish itself with those good nites sleep.
Also as life goes on we find that pay day does not always do the trick in replenishing our money because we have debt. When those pay days come along we do not get 100% of it to "replenish" our pocket books any longer.
As for time.......well, no matter that technology is super duper fabulous we are still finding ourselves with less and less time. In fact it may be BECAUSE we have such super duper technology that we ARE so busy and our time seems to disappear at a rapid rate.

Why am I bringing this subject up???
Because I have come to the conclusion that the time has come that we CHOOSE how to spend OUR time, money, energy....all our resources. Which also includes our God given talents and abilities....for the very things GOD put us on this earth to do.

He did not make us all the same, we are all needed for different reasons/purposes.


What happens to most of us is we spend our lives doing what we are asked to do, what is demanded of us and never get to the things we want/need/desire. It is a huge waste of God's resources! He put those abilities and talents in us when He created us...they are there for good reason.

I recently read a quote that says it well..........


"Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else's projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce the lifestyle."


This is not to be mistaken for responsiblity! If you have a family to tend to, that is what you have already CHOSEN. Your responsibilities shall always come FIRST!

It's time to BE who GOD created YOU to BE and DO what HE has created YOU to DO!!!!!
SO....let me challenge you to go out and use your resources wisely. We all know you only have so much of each to go around......spend them well! Make HIM proud!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You've Had It In You All Along......

It has always been in me.

This morning on my walk, which is the time when I really get to clear my head and pray....
I was thinking about my new job and how far I have come in the mere 2 weeks I have been there.
To be perfectly honest I have been EXTREMELY overwhelmed!!!!
I have not worked in the "clerical" field in MANY years! We have had a couple of businesses and I was the church secretary for 5 years. You have to understand though, this was back in 1988-1993. We were still doing the ole "copy and paste" in the physical way...you know, print it off, tape it on....try to make sure your tape lines do not show up on the copy! We had an apple computer, that is without internet or anything more than the bookkeeping program and the word program. The rate of techno progress is astonishing and I was definitely feeling like I was lagging behind in the learning process.
So as I began this new pursuit I felt like I might never catch on, I might fail miserably!!!
It was a very sad & scary feeling!

BUT...........I am doing it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM!!!!

Just like the message in the great movie "Wizard of Oz....."It's always been in me!"

I can learn anything, if I just TRY. I can become whatever I want to, if I just tap into what is IN me! What God has given me.

I am pretty sure YOU can too!!
Whatever it is you are facing, whatever you think you cannot do, I bet you CAN!!!!!!
I want you to look deep inside yourself and find that passion, that strength, that gumption to do whatever it is you want to do!!!!!

I am not saying I know it all now, or that I can do it ALL.
(Lord knows I still have a LOT to learn!!!!).....
BUT, just like you, I now know I can find my way!


It has been there all along.




Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Maybe it is his Marine training, or just being a man, I am not sure....but my son has reminded me a time or two to.....BE AWARE OF MY SURROUNDINGS!

I have taken his advice to heart and I do my best to take good care to stay safe and be alert as I go about my day, in public places, and even when I am home. I understand the need to watch what is happening around me, to be on watchful alert at all times.

These days it is esp important to be reminded of this because we have our high tech phones that we can easily get our noses stuck in even as we are walking to our cars in parking lots, etc.
There are so many safety rules/lessons, that we need to be sure we are applying on a daily minute by minute basis.

This is also true in the spiritual realm.

There is an invisible yet VERY destructive enemy on the prowl every minute of every day following you around doing his best to knock you down and wipe you out completely.

This enemy is as sly as a slithering snake. He is waiting for you to have your guard down and he is ready to pounce on you. He does not do this in obvious ways like a home invasion.....although it will certainly feel like one once he has had his way with you.
No, he usually works on the sly and begins chipping away at your confidence, your peace, your very sanity.
He knows where you are vulnerable, he knows where to hit you.
Your family, your marriage, your kids, your job, your home, you name it...that thing that matters to you, he will be after it!!!

We are warned about this enemy in John 10:10
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."

God knew we would need to be on alert. That we would need to keep our guard up.

If we keep on reading we will find the happy ending....
"I have come that they have life and that they may have it abundantly."

HE is our savior! Our hero! Our knight in shining armor!!!
He is here to save us from the attacks of the enemy!!

It is up to us to be aware, to constantly think about what we are thinking about. Check ourselves as to how we are reacting and responding to the stresses in life, or even how we are just plain ole reacting to the people in our lives. Watch where we are going, what we are seeing and listening to.

If we can remember that the enemy does not want us to be happy and peaceful and to have all that GOD has for us.....and remain watchful at all times, we can keep the devil out.
Put our armor on every day to be prepared in battle, because whether we want to accept it or not, this IS a battle!

Let me echo my sons warning to YOU dear ones....
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS!!!!!
XO

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Missing My Dad......

Ever miss someone so bad it hurts?
Oh, I am sure you have, most of us have.
Well, today is one of those days for me.

Today would have been my Dads 73rd birthday....he died when he was only 49 years old, I was only 29! Oh how I miss him today and have throughout the years!

I often think how awesome it would be to have him here to share life with.
He loved life & He loved his family!!!!
He would have loved the people in my life today. My children, of course, and now my grand-angels!! My kids remember him as a wonderful Papa and now he would be the greatest GREAT Papa!!!

Oh I know he is safe and happy in heaven, and I am thankful for that. BUT, I can't help but miss him like crazy on days like this!!!!

I often find myself telling some random, usually silly story and then proclaiming that my dad told me that!
I am carrying on his legacy.

Of course this all makes me wonder and ponder the legacy I AM LEAVING!!!

It is my hope and prayer that I leave a legacy of love and that my loved ones remember me as fondly as I remember my Dad!!!!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Next Page Please....

Life is ever changing.

Some things seem to always be the same and NEED changing and other things change so fast it makes our heads spin.

Many of us are afraid of change and fight it tooth and nail. I venture to say that I am one of those comfort creatures that likes things to be similar and run smoothly. Actually I am all about things running smoothly. I am a planner and like things to be planned out.

I have had that challenged a great deal in the past few years. I did not like it most of the time and I have had to learn a great deal about flexibility. Uhmmm....I don't bend real easily, BUT on the other hand. I am one who MORE THAN ANYTHING is interested in being faithful to God and HIS plan for my life.

SO I bend and I move and I ditch my own plans in the trash while going for HIS plan!

The way I see it, it is ALL a learning and growing experience. It's what we need to be closer to HIM, our source of strength and passion and love and ..............
well EVERYTHING!!!

After a few years of these flexibility lessons, it seems as if He is about to mix things up and after one HUGE change I will be living a much more "planned" out daily routine. I kinda like that idea!!! I think it will be so good for me.

After 13 years of working as an Assistant to an Interior Designer; making plants & topiarys, decorating, assisting, choosing tile and paint colors, hanging window treatments, and pictures, etc. etc. etc.
I have a NEW job!!!

I am leaving the decorating field and entering a new job as a front desk receptionist for a welding company.

At this new job I will have more routine. Things will be far less physically demanding (my body NEEDS this!!!). I will be able to use some of my other talents and abilities.

I am excited!!!!!

This chapter is complete (or it will be after this work week).
Now it is time to see what else God has in store for me, what great things have yet to come.

I am looking forward to it with great anticipation and excitement,
and saying.....


NEXT PAGE PLEASE.......................

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Pig-Pen Mentality.....



Do you remember the Charley Brown character, Pig-Pen???



He's this little guy who brought with him a cloud of dirt and dust everywhere he went.


Back in the day when I worked in the forest service was when I was first referred to as "Pig-Pen". Rightfully so, because I was the one at the end of the day with the dirt swipes across my face (you know when you are hot and sweaty and you wipe your forehead).

Jeez I get dirty doing ANYTHING! I don't mean to, but I tend to be so messy!


Recently I have had this image in my mind again. Only this time I am seeing the swirl of dirt following him along life as more like our persona....our attitude, our cloud, our atmosphere.


We all bring a sense of yourself everywhere we go, whomever we meet along the way is touched (whether it be positively or negatively) with this puff of personality we permeate. It is our very BEING, our CHARACTER, our attitude, atmosphere, disposition, ESSENCE, heart, identity, individuality, influence......


Think about it. Are you exposed to someone who brings a specific PUFF of personality everywhere they go? It can either draw you in or repel you. It can either make you feel good or make you want to cower in the corner. You either see this person coming and feel wonderful or you want to turn the other direction.

Oh, sometimes our "persona" is not THAT extreme. But either way, you are bringing it along with you everywhere you go. You are creating your own atmosphere.


Hmmmmmmmmmm................


Think about that!


Have you ever heard the phrase, "everywhere I go, there I am"?

Yea, that is what I am talking about.

You cannot escape your own cloud.


So what IS YOUR influence, your atmosphere??

How are you making others feel?

How do you leave people feeling when you have spent time with them?

Are you even aware of how you are behaving?


Lord knows we ALL need help in this department. We all need to be aware of the atmosphere we are creating around us.


We have a short time with each person we encounter (for the most part) so we need to be a positive, happy, joyful, encouraging personality that draws them to the love of Christ.


My prayer today is that I can remember my own little cloud of "dust" as I go about my day that I might bring smiles and encouragement every step of the way!!!


Tell me YOUR thoughts about this little theory of mine.........I would love to hear them!


Have a blessed and beautiful day!!

XO

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hurting Hearts and the Love of our Faithful Father.....

Good Evening all of you lovelies......

My heart is heavy thinking of so many precious people who are struggling deeply. There are so many aches and pains in living this life on earth. We are going to feel these effects of an imperfect world more and more every single day until the day we get to heaven.
It is inevitable. Our reward is coming.
YET, the pain that you are feeling RIGHT NOW is real and it hurts deeply.
I know.

No matter how desperate you feel,
how deep your heart has been cut,
how depressed you have been,
no matter how grim the future looks,
how scared you feel right now,
how impossible the situation feels at this moment,
how confused you are, how lonely you have been feeling,
no matter how crazed you are feeling......
ALL of those things are oh so real...........
But I want you to remember that SO IS OUR GOD!!!!!

He has your back!
He is bending over to pick you up.
He is wiping the tears from your eyes.
He is smoothing out the way before you.
He is opening doors where others have slammed in your face.
He is clearing a path where the one you are on has become over grown with weeds.
He is the sunshine that will brighten your days.
He is the peace that will surround you,
the smile that is in your heart.
He is the author of all good things, and He is writing your story.

He created you perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully, with a plan and a purpose. (Psalm 139)
He has not forgotten.
Check YOUR OWN decisions and choices to see if YOU are the one in the way of the blessings.
If not, then it is just not time YET!
They shall come.
He ALWAYS provides.
Granted, it is not always in the way we had hoped or asked for.
Believe it or not, to get everything the way we want it is not always the best for us.
Just think of how parents are with their kiddos. Children are always asking for something....and parents don't always say yes, because they know what is best for them. Maybe they want more sugar and the parent knows how destructive it can be. Or maybe they want to do something dangerous, the parent is only looking out for their safety.
Sometimes there is no apparent reason when God tells us no, but just as our children trust us, we must trust GOD with the answer He is giving us.
Trust and Obey.


One of the first scriptures I memorized when I was saved at the age of 24 was Proverbs 3:5-7
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge HIM in ALL your ways and He will direct your paths."
Not many days go by that I do not think of this scripture and KNOW that it is my favorite, my "life verse" for a reason...because GOD knows where I am weak (trusting HIM/letting go of control and trying to figure things out.

God knows your weaknesses too.
He knows what you need and when you need it.
He knows your hearts desire, because HE PUT IT THERE!!!!

I want to encourage you...whatever you are facing, I can list the NUMEROUS things I know of at this moment:
loss of job
no home of your own
desperate to become a mommy
starting a new life
confused about love
severe health issues that are looming over you
a medical scare
financial struggles
marital trouble
starting over
raising children and all the struggles that comes with that
exhausted and overwhelmed
someone you love is incarcerated
someone you love is distant and leaving you out
depression threatens to takes hold/or it has taken hold
you are in pain all day, every day
your work situation is miserable
your car is broken down, again!
you are grieving
you are scared
you are desperate
you are struggling with addiction
you cannot seem to keep up
you are overwhelmed
you feel isolated and alone
you feel like you do not have a purpose

I kid you not, I had someone particular in mind with each one of those issues I wrote!!! Some people I realized fell into more than one category even.

These are desperate times.

Once again, I have the answer for you.........the only answer there is.

The answer is GOD!!!!
Allow HIM to permeate your very being and to be your all in all. Once you begin lining your life up with HIM and HIS WORD, you will begin to feel a peace that passes all understanding. Knowing it is NOT up to you, but up to Him, should allow you to relax!

Something I say to myself often is: LET GO AND LET GOD!!!!!!
Whatever it is you are going through....I pray you will find the strength to give it to the omnipotent God and leave it with HIM!

If you would like me to pray for you, I would be honored.
Know that as I wrote this I was doing that very thing, praying for all these needs and knowing full well that there are so many more that I have not touched on. GOD KNOWS! When I pray, He fills in the gap.

May you feel that love and peace today.
God Bless You!!!
XO

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summertime & Standing Strong!

Last week was one of the best weeks everrrrr!!!

My little family all came home to the "nest" for a little Family Staycation.

We swam, & played & laughed & snuggled & read books & watched old movies & went to the park & colored & danced & played games & took naps (the kids - not the adults so much, that's when we had a chance to visit!)
What fun it was to fill our hearts and our home with so much love, laughter and memories that shall last us forever.
I love how my grandchildren have the sweetest cousin bonds, and how much fun they have and how much they enjoy being at Mimi & Papas!!!
I LOVE BEING MIMI!!!

I also love how much I enjoy being around my adult kiddos! They are so amazing!!!

As a family we have been through plenty of ups and downs in life and this past year and a half has been one of those times that we were tried and stretched and I am so thankful that we have held on to one another with a fierce grip!

The enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy! He is on the prowl at all times. To think you are immune to such attacks is only fooling yourself and leaving yourself vulnerable. Each and every day we must put on our armor and be prepared for the war that wages for our very souls and for our marriages and families.

"The thief does not come except to steal and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
John 10:10

I am so thankful that I have the promise of LIFE and LIFE ABUNDANTLY!!!!!!
God is so good!!!!

My hope for you is that you are enjoying the life that God has intended for you and that you stay ever alert to the tricks of the enemy.

XO

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fibromyalgia...What Do You Know About It??

It is in honor of National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day that I am writing this post.

I was diagnosed with this chronic condition eight years ago. It was not an easy diagnosis, fibromyalgia symptoms resemble many other conditions, including some that are fatal. I did not know whether to be relieved when I got my diagnosis, first because I still felt so miserable and there was no true remedy and secondly because I had NO idea what fibromyalgia was.

Initially I was prescribed seven different medications. It did not take long for me to find that route only a miserable path of possibly covering some symptoms yet causing others. It was bewildering to say the least.

My personal symptoms have varied through the years from vertigo, extreme muscle fatigue, aches and pains that are widespread and could be in any place in my body at any point in time from the tips of my toes, the bottom of my feet, to the aching of my hands to the consistent headaches that become quite debilitating at times. I struggle with much of what you are about to read about in the excerpts I am going to include from an article I read just today.

I have taken many routes on this journey. Some days are much easier than others but there is not one single day that is not fogged over by the awful symptoms to some degree.

Many of you have no idea what I am even talking about...

what is this fibromyalgia you might be asking.

First of all, I am by far no medical expert, I can only speak from my own experience and share that which I know....which is all I ever try to do.

I came across an article here....http://www.faithfamilyfibro.com/


I want to share it here with you because it is the best I have ever read. I love the way these writers have explained it. (I only hope I am not crossing any lines using someone elses writing). That being said....here we go....

"Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that's difficult to understand, especially if you don't have a medical degree. Because it involves the brain and nervous system, fibromyalgia can have an impact on virtually every part of the body. If you're trying to understand this condition in someone you know, it can be incredibly confusing. When a lot of people see a bizarre collection of fluctuating symptoms that don't show up in medical tests, they decide fibromyalgia must be a psychological problem. A host of scientific evidence, however, proves that it's a very real physical condition."
Following is the greatest analogy to help you understand more....(from the same article)

"Imagine you are planning a party and expecting about 20 guests. Three or four friends told you they'd come early to help you out. But they don't show, and instead of 20 guests, you get 100. You re overwhelmed. That's whats happening with pain signals in someone who has fibromyalgia. the cells send too many pain messages (party guests), up to five times as many as in a healthy person. That can turn mild pressure or even an itch into pain. When those pain signals reach the brain, they're processed by something called serotonin. People with fibromyalgia, however, don't have enough serotonin (the friends who didn't show up to help), leaving the brain overwhelmed. This is why people with fibro have pain in tissues that show no sign of damage. Its not imagined pain; it's misinterpreted sensation that the brain turns into actual pain. Other substances in the patients brain amplify a host of other signals - essentially, "turning up the volume" of everything. That can include light, noise, and odor on top of pain. and it can further over load the brain. This can lead to confusion, fear, anxiety and panic attacks. Most people with a chronic illness are always sick. The effects on the body of cancer, a virus, or a degenerative disease are fairly constant. It's understandably confusing to see someone with fibro be unable to do something on Monday, yet perfectly capable of it on Wednesday. Look at it this way: Every ones hormones fluctuate, and even things like weight and blood pressure can rise and fall during the course of a day, week or month. All of the systems and substances in the body work that way, rising and falling in response to different situations. Research shows conclusively that fibro involves abnormal levels of multiple hormones and other substances. Because those things all go up and down, sometimes one or more are in the normal zone and other times they are not. The more things that are out of the zone, the worse they feel."


Understanding Stress & Fibromyalgia
"Some people think fibromyalgia patient are incapable of dealing with stress, because a stressful situation will generally make symptoms worse. The important thing to understand is that we respond to stress both emotionally and physically. A physical response, in everyone, includes a rush of adrenaline and other hormones that help kick your body into overdrive so you can deal with what's happening. People with fibro don't have enough of those hormones, which makes stress very heard on their bodies and can trigger symptoms. Also, when we talk about "stress" we usually mean the emotional kind, which can come from your job, a busy schedule, or personal conflict. A lot of things actually cause physical stress, such as illness, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies and injuries. Physical stress can have the same effect as emotional stress.


Understanding the Fatigue of Fibro
Think of a time when you were not just tired, but really exhausted. Maybe you were up all night studying for a test. Maybe you were up multiple times to feed a baby or take care of a sick child. Maybe it was the flu or strep throat. Imagine being exhausted like that all day while you are trying to work, take care of kids, clean the house, cook dinner, etc. For most people, one or two good night's sleep would take that feeling away. With fibro, though, comes sleep disorders that make a good nights sleep a rarity. A person with fibro can have anywhere from one to all the following sleep disorders: Insomnia, Inability to reach or stay in a deep sleep, Sleep apnea, Restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements.


Fibro in a nutshell.....


A lot of illnesses involve one part of the body, or one system.


Fibromyalgia, however, involves the entire body and throws all kinds of things out of whack.


As bizarre and confusing as the varied symptoms may be, they're tied to very real physical causes. Fibro can take someone who is educated, ambitious, hardworking and tireless, and rob them of their ability to work, clean house, exercise, think clearly and even feel awake or healthy. It's NOT psychological "burn out" or depression. It is NOT laziness. It is NOT whining or malingering. It IS the result of widespread dysfunction in the body and the brain that's hard to understand, difficult to treat ,and, so far, impossible to cure. The hardest thing for patients, however, is having to live with it.


Having the support and understanding of people in their lives can make it a lot easier."


This article helped me understand so much better and I have this condition!! It helps me to realize that a lot of what I feel is "typical and normal" if there is such a thing in this fibro world. This chronic condition has rocked my world and caused me to grieve over the way things once were. The energy, stamina, and ambition that used to be a big part of my life.


I share this with you so you will understand better, not only me, but anyone you know who has this crazy thing called Fibromyalgia.

XO Love and Blessings to you!

Will You Pray For My Boy??

He will be leaving in a few short days back to Afghanistan to serve our country.
This is not his first deployment, but they sure do not get any easier.

This is him in the photo, holding his littlest daughter, one of the lights of his life. He has another precious angel and a wife that he adores as well. This is very tough on a little family!!!
(I might add it is pretty tough on the ole mom & dad too!)

BUT.....most importantly I am certain it is VERY hard for him to be away from everyone who loves and adores him. To be so far from the hugs and smiles that brighten his life.
To be away from every comfort of home and thrust into a foreign country where life is not only not comfortable but the eminent danger weighs heavily on a regular basis.

He knows his family who thinks the world of him will be praying faithfully, but there is a power in prayer and I would love for him to be covered in a blanket of prayer.

I appreciate your faithfulness and I hope that when you think of the war that still wages on in the middle East, you will remember ALL of the families that are so deeply affected on a daily basis. To fully grasp the sacrifices they make is impossible. The least we can do is hold them up in prayer.

Thank you!
Lots of love and blessings to you!
XO

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's & UN-Mother's Day

To all of you moms out there who lovingly devote your lives to your children I pray you had a very blessed day designated to

YOU!!!!




Motherhood is a group I have been a proud member of for 32 years now.

It is the role of a lifetime for me.

I do not remember ever wanting to be anything else besides a mom when I was growing up.



While I thank God for the three precious blessings that God entrusted me with here on this earth, I know they are not mine, but they are His.

(I need reminded of this from time to time though, I will admit).


Each one of them are unique and incredible in their own right.

Each one was created wonderfully and beautifully by our awesome God.

Psalm 139 speaks of how God has created us just as He wants us to be,

He has given us specific talents and abilities that are there for His reasons.


I would love to introduce you to each one of my pride and joys and tell you all about Shelly, Sara and James and the fabulous qualities and traits they each possess.


HOWEVER....


I am feeling something else on my heart at the moment
(and............. I did not get permission to exploit them here! LOL!!!)






While I am thankful and feel beyond blessed to be a mom.

I am mindful of so many women who long to be able to be a part of that group

called "Motherhood".


It breaks my heart to see the pain of these barren women.


I KNOW that God has a plan for their lives, I also know that at times that seems so distant and elusive compared to the longing deep within their precious, loving hearts.




I do not know God's ways, nor can I understand why sometimes we cannot have every desire of our heart, especially when it is something we feel so led to.


I can only say that GOD LOVES YOU and

HE SEES EVERY PAIN YOU FEEL.


He knows your heart, because HE created it!!

He DOES have a plan for you!!!




Please be encouraged by God Himself on this day that your heart feels heavier than usual for the longing within you heart.




As I have been writing I have been thinking of the many other types of moms that are struggling with this day.


There are the grieving moms who have lost a child.

The moms who have children but cannot be with them,

for one reason or another.

The mothers whose children have grown up and moved on

leaving them feeling lonely and without a purpose.

There are also those of you whose moms have passed away

and you are missing them desperately today.

There are some of you who feel an emptiness on this day because you have never felt the love of a mother and you long to have that in your life and in your heart.




For all of you I pray healing and wholeness within you, within your heart.

I pray that you know this is but one day in your life,

it is no more valuable than any other day in God's eyes.


He wants you to know and feel His love and JOY,

He wants you to feel His PEACE!!!


Remember...He knows your heart, He created it

and He does have a plan and purpose for your life!




I am praying for ALL of you moms right now......

in the mighty name of Jesus!!!


XO


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back to the grind....Spring Cleaning Part 8

"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit."

~Aristotle


Now that we have done the heavy duty work of spring cleaning we MUST come up with some good habits and routines to KEEP our hearts clean and fresh.


ENFORCE

Just like with our houses, things will begin cluttering up again if we let it go.

We need to create practices that will keep us free of the clutter in our hearts.

Just like you notice your house is getting dirty when you see the fingerprints on the walls, or dust on the shelves or cobwebs forming in the corners....


There are warning signs for our soul house as well.

We need to recognize the "warning signs" that our soul houses

are getting messy.


Warnings like:

Negativity, anxiety, worry, depression, irritability, bad attitude, frustration, bitterness, envy, jealousy....


You need to take time on a daily basis to maintain all the work you have achieved.


DAILY QUIET TIME

is one of the very best ways to accomplish this.

Schedule it in like you do other important things in your life.

What works is different for everyone, so you will need to find what works for you.

Also, what has worked for years may not be working anymore if you are finding yourself failing at finding the time, so re-evaluate to see what you can do differently.

When I was raising my children I had a practice of getting up early each morning to go for a quiet walk for a time of prayer and getting myself armed for the day.

Now I don't necessarily have to get up extra early because I no longer have kiddos that are distracting my days, but I have to be sure I do it first thing or I tend to let it slip.


While you are taking the quiet time...commit yourself to the day

and to the works God has for you.

Put on your armor....


Ephesians 6:11- 13

"Finally, my bretheren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Put on the whole armor of God,

that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,

but against principalities,

against powers,

against the rulers of the darkness of this age,

against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God,

that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,

and having done all, to stand."


The word goes on to tell us to "gird our waist with truth

put on the breastplace of righteousness

shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

above all taking the shield of faith with which you are able to

quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one

take the helmet of salvation

and the sword of the Spirit

praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,

being watchful to this end with all perseverence and supplication for all the saints.



You are fresh and clean now that you have taken the time and made the effort

to do a little spring cleaning.

You are sure to have a spring in your step and a smile on your face!

It feels good!


"Therefore if anyone is in Christ Jesus, He is a new creation; old things have passed away behold, all things have become new."

2Cor. 5:17


Thanks for going on this Spring Cleaning journey with me.

XO

Love & Blessings!

Sherry


Friday, April 29, 2011

An Amazing Confirmation...

When you believe in God you don't really believe in 'coincidences' because we know that nothing is out of the control of our great and sovereign God!

Nothing surprises Him!!!

So I prefer to call this a "confirmation".

I have mentioned on here before that I follow a wonderful group called BRAVE GIRLS CLUB. In fact I am an official "Brave Girl" since I have completed their online Soul Restoration course. I would HIGHLY recommend their site/classes/daily emails/art....everything!!!

Check them out at: Bravegirlsclub.com

So what is this confirmation you may be wondering?

Well this morning my daily Brave Girl email popped up and as I read itI sat up straighter thinking, seriously!?!?

THIS is EXACTLY what I have been talking about.

It is what I have been referring to for all these years since I took that lovely walk on my 39th birthday (did I tell you I am now 52!! eek!!)

So here it is for all of YOU to read.......I LOVE their messages and all the affirmations it brings to the hearts of all who read them. I KNOW you will be encouraged today as you read this.

Hmmm...maybe I shall begin the practice of bringing a "daily message."

Let me know what you think!!!

XO



Dear Perfectly Wonderful Girl,

Are you carrying an old or new burden around like a heavy bag of rocks, letting it drag you down and hold you back? Is it a belief about yourself or someone else? Is it a mistake you made? Is it something that someone else did to you than you cannot overcome?

It is time to stop shaming yourself. It is time to start treating yourself with the kind of love that you treat others with. It is time to overcome it.

You are not your past, and you are not your mistakes. You are not what others say you are and you are not your limitations, your weaknesses, or your frailties. You are not the horrible things that others have done to you. You are not you addictions or your family or your dress size or your tax return.

You are a priceless, authentic, light-filled soul. No one has ever been created just like you and no one ever will be. You are worth more than you will ever know.

It is time to see yourself this way, with unconditional love, kindness, and forgiveness. Today, let go of the shame. Let go of it. It is time.

xoxo

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Cleaning Part 7...The HARD Work....

Well, how are you doing with YOUR Spring Cleaning so far???

I hope you are enjoying this journey as much as I am.

Did I tell you I followed my own advice and cleaned up my Master closet over the weekend? Well, I took the SEVEN bags of clothes, shoes & purses I purged to a dear friend and her daughter. They were soooo thrilled! What a blessing to brighten someone else's life in this small way that was so big to them!

The part we are at in our Spiritual Spring Cleaning is getting a bit tough.

It gets pretty messy and difficult. Remember when you were knee deep in the piles of your physical closet and you felt so overwhelmed??
I can tell you that you will feel much the same as you are in the throes of digging out the issues that have been plaguing you for longer than you can remember.

SO, be easy with yourself and take the time you need. This is deep, HARD work. It is necessary and vital to your Spiritual and emotional health so it might take some elbow grease and TIME.
Take a break from it when you need to, just like you did when you were working on your closet. BUT, make sure you come back!!
You must ENDURE!!!!


"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him."
Psalm 28:7




EMPLOY...
Just as using the proper organization tools is necessary for our cupboards and closets, it is vitally necessary that we employ the proper tools and help we need as we clean out our hearts.

If you come to a place where you need HELP, like I did when I was cleaning out my closet. Someone who can be objective, someone who can help you see things in another light, who can help guide you and lead you......Find that kind of help for your spiritual needs.
If you need to visit your Pastor, do so!
If you feel the need for a counselor....seek one out!
If you simply need the shoulder of a friend, call them up and make a plan with them right now!
If you just want someone to share your story with....write me here!!!

Throwing these rocks out of our back packs without doing the work of it will do us NO good! If that is what you do, then it is simply a physical act.
That is not the point!
The point is to rid yourself of the issues that have been buried deep within you.
Those things that need to be healed and recovered from. That is why you need to pull away and spend some quality time with the Lord. You can only do this kind of work with the help of our Lord and Savior.

ENDURE... No matter how bad the condition of your life, your heart, your mind...don't EVER give up!!!

Suffering precedes liberation

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

Have you ever heard the analogy about the butterfly emerging from the cocoon?
I do not know all the scientific details but the gist of it is this;

The lowly caterpillar spins a cocoon where it stays awhile and begins a process called metamorphosis. Apparently there is a great struggle that must occur in order for the butterfly to emerge from the cocoon whole, healthy and beautiful.

I read a story once about a little boy who had been watching a cocoon, knowing that it housed a potential butterfly. He could not wait for the butterfly to emerge. One day he noticed a small hole in the cocoon. Excited that it was time, he ran to get some scissors and proceeded to "help" this poor little butterfly out of his prison.

What happened befuddled this little guy. Instead of a big, beautiful, colorful butterfly flying out, out staggered an unrecognizable creature. Instead of wings outstretched and beautiful, there were shrunken little flappers attached to a swollen belly.

Since the process was halted the butterfly failed to fully mature.

How many times have you wanted to be rescued from the pain? Oh I know I sure have!!!
It is difficult to think that pain is good, but it is in our suffering that we are made strong THROUGH GOD!!!!

"After you have suffered for a little while the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you".
1 Peter 5:10 NASB

One of my daughters has a life "motto"; "That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger." That is pretty much what this verse is telling us.


Mull all of this over and pray about those things that cause you pain and suffering and what you need to do with them. How do you need to handle these issues?What will it take to rid them of their hold on you? How can you let it go? Let God lead you and direct you through the process.

I will be back soon for more...........
I still have lots of good stuff to share before we wrap this up.

Love & Blessings!
XO

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning....Part Six

Today I want to share my story of the physical/Spiritual journey I took.....

The day I unloaded the rocks from my own back pack, the rocks I had carried for years.

The year was 1997.
In January my mom had passed away, leaving me parentless (my dad died in 1988). I went through a time of deep depression following her death. There were several factors involved and much of it was a deep, deep hurt that happened the very day after she passed away. It was the kind of injury that cut deep and I was struggling to rebound that AND the death of my mother.

During this time I began taking nice LONG walks! It was my way of coping. I would pray and pray and pray. We lived in the mountains so there was nothing but nature to distract me, and that is not a bad thing.

As the year progressed I began pondering my upcoming 39th birthday and that I wanted to do something to celebrate and even challenge myself both physically and spiritually. I have always used the time around my birthday to reflect and ponder my life (just like I do each New Year).

I thought I would LOVE to reach the very top of the mountain I had been walking these past months. So, I came up with the idea to walk to the top of Mt Pinos.

My birthday arrived....I was sooo ready and excited about this journey I had been preparing for.

My plan was to take an 18 mile trek, that would be 9 miles up to the top of the mountain and 9 miles back home. I put on my walking shoes and stepped out my front door for this fabulous celebration of my birthday!

I had only taken about 20 glorious steps when the excitement gave way to the... WHAT?????

I had been so excited about this, and I had prepared and trained for the walking part, but....I never did figure out what the Spiritual part was going to be.

During all the walks I took in those days I had a practice of beginning them with a time (a mile) of praise and worship. It was how I began each walk. So, I just began doing what I always did...praising Him and thanking Him for this beautiful fall day.

As I walked along, lost in praising God I spied a white rock on the ground. Instinctively I reached down and picked it up. I noticed immediately that it was in the perfect shape of a heart.
A white heart shaped rock.


Now let me tell you, I was walking on a dirt road!
There were rocks everywhere of course...sooo, the fact that this ONE rock caught my attention was only God.

It took no time at all for me to comprehend that God was telling me that this little heart shaped white rock represented MY INNOCENCE! My heart dropped. I knew where this was going and I did NOT want to go there! I began pleading to God, NO not this issue God, I have dealt with this, it is not a place I want to go.

He did not have the same plan.
Apparently I had not dealt with this issue for the last time.

You see, I, like many of you was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
This small (=childhood) white (=innocence) heart shaped (=my heart) rock represented that very issue.

The tears began to flow and my heart ached for that little girl who felt so scared and scarred. I held that rock and prayed to God that I would once and for all feel a release of this issue, that it would no longer weigh me down, plague me or define me in any way.
I had no sooner prayed that prayer when I had the urge to toss this rock over the cliff, and I did, into the sea of forgetfulness. Finally to be rid of.


Obviously I carry the scars and subsequent lessons from that time of my life, some are further residuals and some are wisdom that came from enduring a difficult season of life.


I will not share the entire journey of "rocks" that I tossed out of my back pack that day. This is actually the very foundation of the book I am writing.
It is my desire to help other women by encouraging and sharing that which I have gone through that they too become stronger in their walk with the Lord and become WHOLE and effective as Christian women.


The rocks that were making my back pack so heavy were tossed out one by one, each one with it's own reflection and prayer. I did not know what the pattern was going to be in the beginning, but by the time I reached the top of the mountain that day I had dealt with 18 significant issues and it occurred to me that 18 is the age of becoming an adult.

Why was this significant you might wonder.

WELL............I have a theme in my life.
It comes from something God spoke directly to my heart many years ago when I was going through a very rough time and was crying out to Him.

I was dealing with people and issues I had carried from my childhood, the foundation of my insecurities and self issues.


God said to me...... 'YOU WILL NEVER BE AN EFFECTIVE ADULT UNTIL YOU QUIT BEING A DEFECTIVE CHILD'
So, you see, I had reached 18, the age of becoming an adult and this was very significant to me.



EMBRACE.........We all have a story.


We all have carried around these heavy loads for years. Some of us have already begun the process of unearthing them, and some of us have things buried so deep it will take a huge effort to dig them out and then deal with them and come to the place of tossing them over into the sea of forgetfulness.

Getting these things out, dealing with them and then putting them where they belong will open up your heart in ways it has not been in a mighty long time. You will no longer be tripping over things that have been blocking your flow. Your heart will be open to flow freely, to hold the things that are important and healthy. All this time they have been getting choked out by the ugly stuff inside of us.


"You cannot move on and be happy in the present or future until you can find strength to let go of the past."

"Until you heal your past you are going to bleed and bleed and bleed" ~ Oprah


Take a close look at the photo of the rocks I tossed from my back pack. Do you notice something? There, hidden amongst the ugly stuff, those ragged and dirty rocks, you will find some sparkly, shiny GOLD rocks!!


Those represent the things that have been hidden inside of you, that have been being choked out. It is time to reclaim those things like: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, HAPPINESS, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, SELF-CONTROL, GENTLENESS, FAITH.....


I would love to hear from you, about the "rocks" you need to rid of, or the stories of how you did rid of them. Like I said before; We ALL have a story...EMBRACE yours.



~We are not done Spring Cleaning yet....more to come!


XO

Monday, April 25, 2011

Part 5 of Spring Cleaning Your Heart and Home....

When we left off in Part Four we had begun discussing those things that you have kept tucked away in the nooks and crannies of your heart...Your Soul House.

Those things that have accumulated and built up creating emotional and spiritual clutter.


"For He is not a God of confusion and disorder, but of peace and order."

1 Cor. 14:33


I gave you a little list of "issues" to spur you on in your personal search for that which has been left un-attended to in your own heart.

I hope you found time (errr...TOOK time) to pull away with the Lord,

time to seek Him and what it is He is telling you

that YOU personally need to deal with once and for all.


Once we IDENTIFY those things/issues, it is time to evaluate them.

Just like we did in our closets we have to decide which category each item needs to fall into.

GIVE AWAY

PUT AWAY

THROW AWAY


If this "issue" is something that no longer serves you well,

that you simply need to LET GO OF

then toss it into the sea of forgetfulness!!!

Things like pain, fear, anger....

THROW IT AWAY


You are going to find some things that need to be GIVEN AWAY.

Forgiveness is one of the biggest things you will find you need to GIVE.

You have hung on to that issue for way too long, it is time to deal with it

sufficiently and offer forgiveness.

It is far more freeing than you will ever know.

In forgiving you are not saying it was okay what they did to you,

it is saying that you know the love of the Lord and His forgiveness

and you can and will offer it to those who have injured your heart.

GRACE is another thing you can offer.

How many times are we quick to be upset with someone,

be graceful, be kind and loving.

GIVE THOSE THINGS AWAY!


PUT AWAY refers to those things that you have put in the wrong place.

Like letting things become so much bigger than they really are,

blowing things out of proportion.

Bad habits can be misplaced.

BLAME is usually misplaced!


Always remember this...

THERE IS NO BLAME

AND NO SHAME


"There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,

who do not walk according to the flesh but to the Spirit."

Romans 8:1


"You can't keep the birds from flying around your head

but you can keep them from building a nest."

~Martin Luther


All of these "issues" you are carrying around are making your life miserable.

It is like you carrying around a back-pack of heavy rocks.

Each issue is one of the "rocks" in that pack.

The load is weighing you down and slowing you up,

not allowing you to be as strong and productive as you are meant to be.

As you begin to unload them you will feel your load lighten

and you will feel stronger and more confident than ever!


I carried around a pretty heavy load of rocks for years.

My shoulders were slumped from the sheer weight of it all.

I will share the story of my personal process of letting it all go,

cleaning out my heart...my Soul House.


NEXT TIME!!!!!


XO

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finally..........Part THREE of Spring Cleaning Your Heart and Your Home....

Goodness, I am so sorry I have taken so long to get back on here to get to the good part of this message!!!




I took a fall and the effects of such a blunt force to my body with this fibromyalgia has taken a toll. My husband reminds me that maybe I should stop and let my body heal instead of continuing on as if nothing ever happened.

Hmmmm, what a thought! hA!!! ;)




Soooo.....onward to the message of Spring Cleaning!!!




You have gotten your household Spring Cleaning done, right!?




I decided to follow my own advice and finally dug in and got my own Master Closet done tonight! I have someone I want to give my goodies to and that pushed me to get it done.

I am contemplating taking a photo of the heaping pile I still have to deal with. ;)




Our HEARTS......


The process is much the same to Spring Clean our hearts.


We must first set aside the time.

EMBARK




Ah, but this time it is even more important that we have some time all to ourselves.

A little seclusion and quiet time is best.


Do what works for you.


For me, I LOVE to get away, somewhere in nature is my personal ideal.
However my favorite chair in the living room works fine too.


The whole point is to set aside the time and get still before the Lord.





EQUIP


We need to GATHER OUR TOOLS.....


For cleansing our heart the most important tool of all is the WORD of God!!

The Word of God is the thing we need to use to weigh everything up against.





"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."


Luke 6:45 NIV



The other tool I like to have is my journal.

That way I can jot down the thoughts that I have,
those things I feel like God is speaking to my heart as I seek Him.




Now it is time to EMPOWER.....to PRAY.



Just like I stood at the door to my closet and prayed for God to lead me and direct me,

I will do the very same thing before I begin the process of digging deep into my heart.


I will pray for God to shine His light onto the dark places,

the nooks and crannies, the hidden, dark places where some things have been hiding.


Some things have been in there a very long time,

I have grown accustomed to them being there,

so much so that I do not even notice that I am tripping over them again and again.

There are things that are "cluttering" up my life, my heart,

keeping me bogged down and heavy laden.




EXPOSE

I need to un-earth these things,

revealing what it is that is cluttering up my heart.

My soul house.

"Eliminate physical clutter.More importantly, eliminate Spiritual clutter."


~D.H. Mondfleur




What are these things for you?????



What are those things that are hiding in your heart?

Those things that have been buried deep and not dealt with for a very long time?


These are the things that you have decided are not worth dealing with,

or it was simply too hard to do,

or you just keep pushing it back in hopes that they would just go away!




Let me help you identify them.....


I have created a little list,

as you read it be thinking about your own "clutter"

and which of these things might also be yours.


Be open to God's still small voice and what He is speaking to YOUR heart to deal with.




Shame Bitterness Anger Resentment Pain Rejection


Fear Regret Condemnation Insecurities

Lack of Self-Esteem Grief Anxiety Worry


The feeling of not being good enough, never enough..........




Mull this over.......

Pray about this.


Seek God in your quiet place and I will be back to share more.


Hopefully tomorrow!!!!




Love & Blessings!!!


XO