Monday, November 14, 2011

Hope has a heartbeat

I love seeing God at work. I know He works in our lives every minute of every day, but its in those moments when you can SEE it that just blows me away.

This past weekend was the Sista Herd retreat. Sadly, I missed the one this past spring and I was missing the fall one too. I was scheduled to work. Last minute, God arranged it so that I was off from work. Finances fell into place and I was on my way.

For those of you who know me, I do not do 'solo' very well. I am not one to relish in the joy that is eating in a restaurant alone. HATE IT!!! Yet, I was making this trip through Chattahoochee National Forest on my own. I needed that down time. It was an opportunity to talk w/ God as I enjoyed the nature around me.

Only a handful of people knew that I was showing up. At one point, a dear friend even 'threatened' to kidnap me so I could go. Before I got to the retreat, I stopped for directions. There the enemy was.... talking so softly 'You're here alone. It's not like you have your friends here. You're just going to be the odd man out all weekend.' At that point, I wanted to turn around. What the heck was a I doing? Seriously - why would I do something like this without the security blanket of at least 1 friend from home. I was setting myself up for failure.

When I parked, instead of going right inside to say HI, I took out a book and started to read. Not sure why. It was my way of avoiding the inevitable. Just then, I saw Shellie. I decided to get out of the van & say hi. It was more than a HELLO!!! It was a giant hug of sunshine from a dear person. Shellie was HONESTLY happy to see me. I needed that hug... I needed that moment of want.

Jennie...... I've met Jennie once over a year and a half ago at my first retreat in Kure Beach, NC. We haven't seen each other since. When Jennie arrived on Friday, the 1st thing she did was stop what she was going, come over to me, give me a big hug and tell me how great it was to see me. This spoke to my broken in heart in such a way. I often wonder if people remember me. If they think about me the way I think about them. That moment in time confirmed it... I DO MATTER!!!

The weekend was about HOPE HAS A HEARTBEAT. It sure does. I went in to this weekend feeling hopeless about situations at home. God spoke to my heart, told me what I needed to hear and moved on. There was MORE I needed to hear. More that I wasn't planning on hearing. More that I didn't think I needed to hear.

I've always struggled with belonging. Having a place in this world. Having friends. That loss has been tremendous lately. Especially with life happening.

God used this weekend to show me that I do have friends. I do belong. I belong to a King... I am His princess. I am surrounded by other princesses who truly LOVE me.

This weekend, I went in thinking I was going to hear a message that would give me hope about my family. Instead, I got a message of love, friendship & hope. I am loved by an amazing group of SISTERS.... while time & miles may separate us, we pray for one another. Our lives are intertwined and God is using each of us.

Thank you my SISTAS!!! You touched my heart in ways that you will never know. Thank you God for arranging this weekend. For only YOU could have arranged it as perfectly as you did.

Many blessings,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One thing remains.....

I survived last night's pity party. I'm still feeling a little 'down', but I had one of those CLARITY moments today.

Woke up with a GERD attack AND a migraine, so I wasn't able to go to work. I did manage to get out of bed for a few this morning... just enough to tune in to church. Yes, you read that right - I was able to TUNE into church.

They were in the middle of worshiping - my FAVORITE part of service. It's one way I feel totally connected to my Heavenly Father. Standing in the middle of a room, eyes closed tight, face up to heaven, arms stretched out.... I can 'feel' God hugging me.

I SO needed to hear this song. It was as if God selected it just for ME! It spoke straight to my heart.

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

It's SO true... when I feel as though everyone else in my life has walked out - Jesus is still there IN the middle of everything. Loving on me.. embracing me. Comforting me. I just need to be willing to be still and accept it.


Many blessings,

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Before you continue reading, please know that I am fully aware of the PC things I'm supposed to 'feel'. I get it. I just need to rant/vent.

Throughout life, I have always felt like a wall flower. You know, the girl who's there but not really there. Blending into the woodwork. When you meet me, I'm either SUPER quiet or SUPER loud. Most people would describe me as an extrovert. However - I AM NOT! I am an introvert.

I can be in a crowded room and feel totally alone. Like I'm on the outside, looking in. A misfit. Don't really belong anywhere... just 'floating'.

I feel like this at work. I feel like this at work. I feel like this in my own family sometimes.

Am I that different? Awkward?

Today I am hurting. Tired of feeling alone. Tired of looking from the outside. Tired of feeling as though I just don't belong. I am tired of hurting!

I will say that I wanted to binge - BIG TIME!! Oh, I was planning ways to run and get binge food while at work. Heck, I was tempted to stop on the way home and binge. But I fought the urge. I know that it would only make me feel worse.

Instead, I came home and had a good cry.

Tonight, I'll curl up on the couch, pretend I'm watching college football w/ The Mayor and then head to bed. Not an exciting night - but I'm not feeling very exciting right now.

Don't pity me. Don't feel sorry for me.. I simply ask that when you think of it - lift me up in prayer.

Many blessings,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yet another life lesson....

This summer we went through a pretty rough time - health wise.

The mayor was scheduled to go on a missions trip to the Philippines with the high schoolers at our church. He had been planning this for about a year. Raised the necessary money, got his passport in order. Plane ticket was ordered. It was a done deal.

About 2 weeks before the scheduled trip, the Mayor started complaining of some burning feeling in his stomach. Eventually, this resulted in an unscheduled trip to the ER on a Sunday morning (aren't all ER visits unscheduled?).

While our children were in Transit, the Mayor and I 'snuck' off to the ER. Before you freak out about what a terrible parent I am, know that we made sure people were aware of what was going on. My plan was to get the Mayor checked in to the ER and then head back to church to pick up Songbird and Slugger. From there, I needed to find someone to take care of them so I could go back to the ER.

As I sat in that ER waiting room, I remember thinking 'Man, I am SO mad at the Professor for moving'. The Professor is BFF's husband and you'll remember that they moved to Iowa last year.

Why was I angry with the Professor? You see, my friendship with BFF was so secure that should this type of thing had happened while they were here, BFF and Professor would have just taken over, I would have remained at the ER and the kids would have been taken care of.

What that move did was totally push me out of my comfort zone. I knew that I could lean on BFF and the Professor, no questions asked. However, I hadn't established any other relationships remotely similar in trust.

The Mayor's health crisis forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I needed to learn that there are other people that God has placed in my life that I can trust. That are willing to step in during a time of need.

Man, what a humbling yet necessary lesson. Phone calls were made. The kids were taken care of that day and I was able to go back to the ER and hang with the Mayor until he was released.

Sadly, the Mayor still didn't make the trip. That's a WHOLE nother story!! He didn't make the trip, but we managed to utilize that time to strengthen our relationship.

I still miss BFF and the Professor. I probably will for a long time. There's a hole in our lives. We won't be able to fill that hole, but we will be able to lessen it by continuing to trust in God and the friends He has blessed us with.

So, to our friends - THANK YOU!!!!
To BFF and the Professor - WE MISS YOU!!
To the Mayor - I LOVE YOU BELOVED!!

Many blessings,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No regrets...

When I would talk to people, I would often say that I had no regrets. That the troubles I've been through throughout my life were merely lessons that I've learned from. Part of that statement is true.

It wasn't until a friend spoke at church one Sunday talking about regrets that I had a change in mindset. You see, the troubles I've been through were mistakes. Mistakes that either I made or someone else made. God doesn't want to see us hurt or suffer. However, its through those mistakes that we can take away lessons.

I do have regrets. More than I'd like to share in a public blog at this point in time. It's how I respond to those regrets that matters.

I can choose to wallow in my regret, never moving forward in life. Always looking back saying 'I wish I didn't do that'.


I can say 'Man, what a stupid mistake' and share that story in hopes that someone else doesn't make that same mistake.

Do I have regrets in life? You bet.... but I'm going to take those regrets and turn them into something great.

What will you do with YOUR regrets?

Many blessings,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ho hum...

We're back into the swing of things.... The Mayor is back to work. Songbird & Slugger are back to school.

Songbird has begun her final year of middle school. 8th grade. I just can't believe it. She's really turning into a beautiful young woman. I see so much in store for her this year. I believe that this is when she'll find herself... her niche in this world

As for Slugger, he's started his FIRST year of middle school. 6th grade.. My baby is no longer a baby. He's become a young man. He's opted to join band this year. Not sure what instrument just yet, but his goal is to be a part of the Jazz Ensemble in 7th and 8th grade. I'll let you know how that goes.

For me, work is going great. Still have a lot to learn. Training is going slower than I want, but I am blessed beyond belief to have this job. I feel like I have a purpose in life. That my job is no longer just a JOB, but something I enjoy doing. Granted, I work 12 hour days - I actually look forward to going to work.

How are things on the home front?

In the words of Tony the Tiger - THEY'RE GREAT!

The Mayor and I are really committed to make this marriage work. And that means BOTH of us need to work at it. Communication is key. While we're probably not communicating as much as we SHOULD be, we certainly are communicating more than we had been.

Well, Pablo the beast just started barking which means the house is about to be invaded!

Many blessings,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A good place to be...

So, I had a realization today.

Just because a person may have been important to me, doesn't mean I was important to them.

A year ago, this thought would have devastated me. So much of who I was a year ago was based mainly on my relationships. I defined myself by the friends I had.

Today, I fully acknowledge that I am more than that. There is more to me that just the relationshps that I have. The relationships I have are because of who I am, not the other way around.

I truly believe that God brings people into our lives for seasons. Some seasons last longer than others. I'm ok with that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for those whom God have brought into my life. I have learned lessons from everyone - some have been good lessons, some have been harsh lessons. Either way, those lessons have made me who I am.

Who am I?

It's your job to find out!

Many blessings,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I am a Christian.....

.....but that does not mean that I am perfect.

Far from perfection.

It does mean that I am saved by grace. No matter how many good works I do, that's not what will get me to heaven.

It isn't about an organized religion.
It's about a personal relationship with the one true God.

It's about knowing that when everyone else walks out of your life, Christ is always IN your life; by your side.

It doesn't mean my life will be with out trials.
It means that God will see me through those trials.

All too often we place people on pedestals, so high that when they fall, the fall is SO devastating. We forget that they are HUMAN... they will make mistakes.

We live in a broken world.. We are a broken people.

Many blessings,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Life Lessons: Part Deux

As many of you know, I've been struggling with an eating disorder for quite some time. I was doing really well in 'The Program', however I've slipped off the wagon.

Ever since working at Wal-Mart in the bakery, it's been a downhill slide.

Yesterday, I can honestly say that I broke abstinence. If you don't remember, abstinence is the equivalent of sobriety in alcoholism. I did not eat a single meal until dinner time. By the time dinner rolled around, I was SO out of it. I felt weak, shaky, light headed.

Sadly, I went out in public this way.

Justin's baseball team had their 1st tournament game last night. There are blocks of time, just a few minutes, that I blacked out. I have no memory. Then there was my attitude. Oh heavens! I became my worst nightmare - I became annoying baseball mom!

I was loud, obnoxious, rude, crass. Horrific to be quite honest. Looking back, I cannot believe it was me. I mean, I was threatened to be thrown out of the game by one of the umps!! So out of character for me.

Today, I am committing to eating my 3 meals a day - no matter what! Even if its just a quick piece of toast for breakfast. I cannot allow my body to get to the point that it was yesterday. Never again.

It was a humbling experience, I will say that. As soon as we got home from the game, I automatically went to the team's webpage and apologized to the parents for my behavior.

Today is a new day. Yesterday didn't happen. Only today is what matters.

We have another game today... I've already eaten breakfast. Darn these life lessons.

Many blessings,

Life Lessons: Part 1

Earlier this year, a friend at church blessed us with a wonderful gift. They signed me & Craig up for Intimate Encounters. Intimate Encounters is an 11-week marriage study designed to strengthen your marriage by putting God in the middle of it.

Craig & I have been wanting to do this for quite some time now, but always found excuses. Once we had someone sign us up for it, we no longer had valid excuses.

I'll be honest (as I try to always be here), I wasn't a fan at first. Not that I wasn't enjoying the study, but I felt as though we weren't really 'connecting' with the others in our group. They weren't our 'people'. I pressed on because there was some GOOD stuff.

The major lesson that I learned was where my irrational fear of Craig leaving was coming from. I have had this overwhelming fear that one day Craig will wake up and realize he's made a mistake by marrying me and just leave. It's not that we don't have a good marriage - we do. It's just this fear. Because of this fear, I've really held back with opening up to him. Allowing him to truly be my best friend.

So, what did I learn, you ask?

Before I write my lesson, please understand that I, in no way, am placing blame on anyone. This isn't going to be a bashing of how I was raised or anything like that. It is simply what God has revealed to me.

As I've said before, growing up was pretty rocky. My parents didn't have the best marriage. I can remember several times when I was younger, that Dad moved out a time or two. I can't remember why or the length of time that he was out of the home. I just know that there were several times he was gone. Over time, my relationship with him became one of just tolerance. I tolerated his presence when he was at the house. Eventually, even though he lived at home, I viewed my family as myself, my mother and my 2 younger sisters. I just never knew when/if Dad was going to be home. I didn't really care.

Eventually, my parents did separate permanently. Mom met someone else and decided to leave Dad. While I wasn't necessarily thrilled at the situation, I thought for sure that Dad would move out and that would be that. We would all get on with our lives. That did NOT happen! Dad dug in his heels and refused to move out of the house. Therefore, Mom moved out. Even though I was 21 years old at the time, I saw this as my Mom abandoning me. You have to know, up until this point, she was my BEST FRIEND. She moved out, didn't take us with her, and left us with this man who was a stranger. I was SO angry!!! Not only did she abandon me... she replaced me. You see, the person she met reminded her SO much of me. Being young in my maturity, I saw it as though she replaced me.

The 2 people that I loved most in the world.... Dad was in and out of the house all the time and Mom eventually left and replaced me. I had a fear of abandonment.

I write all of this to say, that while I may have felt alone in my earthly family, my Heavenly Father never left me. He never abandoned me. He will never abandon me. He blessed me with an amazing man who loves me so very much. One that promises that he loves me, 'til death do us part.

It's been a slow process. 39-years of holding things back is a hard habit to break. But with what I've learned in Intimate Encounters, growing closer to God and growing closer to Craig is that some things are worth taking risks for. My marriage is certainly one of those things.

I love my parents and am so grateful at the life they gave me. The foundation that they laid for my walk with Christ.

I am working on myself... I am working on trust. I am a work in progress. Ever changing.

Many blessings,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where have I been?

I just realized that I haven't blogged since December 2010. I am SO sorry!!!

Life has been crazy for me... Crazy but good.

I started a new job in early February. I am now a 9-1-1 dispatcher for a surrounding county. It's been a LOT to learn & memorize but I've been loving every minute of it. Definitely stretching me beyond my comfort zone. It feels SO good to be using my brain for the 1st time in a LONG time.

Baseball season has begun for Slugger. Due to slacking on our part, he's not on the team we were hoping for, but he's still having a great time.

Songbird has also been stretching her wings. Just this week she has tried out for her middle school football cheer squad AND for the school talent show. Haven't heard the results yet... but proud of her nonetheless.

The Mayor is counting down the days until summer vacation. Don't get me wrong, he loves teaching, but he's ready for his vacation; especially since they missed the multiple days off in February due to snow.

Anyway, I'm in middle Georgia for training (GPSTC) and have 2 exams tomorrow... time to study.

Many blessings,