On the Mend

I felt sad when I looked at how long it’s been since I posted anything.  Not only have I missed it (and you), but it reminds me of how challenging the interim has been.

I’ve been sick.  About 3 years ago, I started getting ill without an understandable reason.  After many months and tests, the problem was linked to my thyroid malfunctioning.

After getting increasingly more tired and weaker, my thyroid increased in size so much that it started to impede swallowing and breathing.  I had surgery and had it removed last spring.

Since then, I’ve been poked like a pin cushion in an effort to regulate my body sans thyroid.  This has been very difficult as I’ve had trouble sleeping and been exhausted more often than not.

I am very thankful that it seems we’re finally in the ballpark of having it in the range of normal.  God is faithful!

I am slowly starting to feel more energized, and I hope to start writing more regularly again.

So what have I missed?  What challenges have you been facing recently, and how has God shown His faithfulness to you?

No Eggs

This morning I am stuck at home carless with the kids.  Of course I was totally unprepared for this, and I need to go grocery shopping.  What does that mean?  You guessed it, we are out of almost everything. What to do for meals…

Ahh, they want pancakes, but I have no eggs.  So, I headed to Google to search for eggless recipes.  They actually have such a thing, and I was pleasantly surprised.  I even made my own syrup to go with them!  Go me!  They both tasted great!

I was initially quite annoyed because I was on my way to the store when my plans got changed unexpectedly.  I behaved badly, and I know it, but everything worked out when I stepped back and got creative.  I’ve already had a rough week, so this took me to the end of myself.

So what is the point of this?

Sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to.  Sometimes you have to make lemonade from life’s lemons.  Sometimes you have to step outside of your box and be creative.  And sometimes you’ll discover a talent you never knew you had.  Sometimes the Creator allows stuff to happen so we can discover or learn something new and better.

Release the Tears

I just wanted to write a brief note of encouragement.  If you are feeling down, it’s okay to cry.  Allow your heart the release that tears provide.  Know your limitations and don’t be afraid to admit when you’re at the end of yourself and have endured too much.

Do not push away help or shy away from sound advice.  God allows things to happen to strengthen our faith and keep us focused on Him.  We do not always understand His ways, but they are always right.  Faith requires us to give of ourselves in an unnatural way.  We cannot believe alone.  That’s what His Spirit is for.

Trials come to make us stronger.  They build endurance as weightlifting builds muscles.  Trials are not enjoyable, but we are supposed to view them as joyful.  This requires determination and supernatural power that God provides if we call on Him.

Do not rely on your own strength when feeling low.  Do not retreat into yourself and away from others who TRULY love you.  Allow God to speak to you and heal your hurts.

  • It’s okay to cry.
  • Trials build endurance.
  • God will give you what you need to rise above the hurt.
How has God proven His faithfulness to you in times of trouble?

Loving the Unlovable

So lately I’ve been struggling with loving my coworkers.  If you work in a female dominated environment, you understand the effects of estrogen overload as well as I do.

Between backstabbing and mood swings, I am up to my ears with these chicks!

I told myself that I could just keep it professional.  There is no need for miscellaneous conversations that have nothing to do with the job.  I do not have to smile at pictures of your children or listen to stories about your weekend.  All I have to do is do my job and go home.  Right?

Maybe not.

Is that love?  Probably not.  I don’t generally hate to be around those that I love.  I don’t generally expect sabotage from those I love.   I am not generally intolerant or dismissive to those I love.  Soooooo, this is is probably not love.

So how do you balance loving your coworkers while protecting yourself at the same time.  Let’s face it, work relationships can be dog-eat-dog, so it is necessary to use wisdom.

Step 1.  Grace.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  Don’t be paranoid.
Step 2.  Be kind.  Don’t allow others to change you.
Step 3.  Pray.  A lot.
Step 4.  Love.  God told us to, and it’s required of us.  We don’t deserve it, but He gives it anyway.

When I feel annoyed, I look in the mirror.  I realize that I’m unlovable sometimes, but I still need love.

Love in a Bottle

This morning I woke up to the sad news that another young Hollywood star was found dead in his hotel room after an apparent overdose.  My first thought was, “Another one?”  Then I remembered seeing his smiling, vibrant face on the screen.  I did not see the pain underneath, and it breaks my heart.  I shook my head and sighed as I read the news reports detailing a troubled star with stints in rehab.

Then I thought of those of us who long to emulate any and everything we see in Hollywood.  Celebrities are our role models.   We strive to be “real” housewives and keep up with the Kardashians.

There is little to no focus on the character of the individuals we admire.  We see only their beautiful cars and airbrushed faces and bodies.  We lust after their mega mansions and flashy jewels.  They have it all, so they’re happy.  Right?

We seem to miss the EMPTINESS that abounds inside of so many celebrities.

All of us know what it feels like to struggle with emptiness.  It creates an ache inside, a pain so deep that we long for anything to help escape.  That longing compels us to seek solace in any and every form.  Sometimes that place is in a stranger’s bed.  At times we look in the bottom of a bottle or in a container of pills.  Yet, peace is not found in those places for more than a few minutes.

True peace begins on the inside.  It is nurtured by the Holy Spirit and rooted in Jesus Christ.

As long as we are in denial of that fact, we will continue to search for elusive peace.  We won’t find contentment at the end of a “cause”.  We won’t find it once we get the ring.  A baby won’t do it.   Neither will a bigger house and a shiny car soothe our broken hearts.

Only the Man who loves our souls can heal our hidden places and bring joy.

Joy is better than happiness.
Peace is better than turmoil.
God’s love is better than the rest.

Together is Better than Separate

How do we impact a world filled with women who chase after things that only destroy them?  How do we influence a generation of women who love celebrities more than self-esteem?  How do we impact a population of women who use sex as currency and live with permanent scars because of it?  How do we divert a train wreck already in progress?

This is where my heart is this morning and always.  Why?  Because I have 2 daughters and 1 son who are growing up in this world filled with darkness and so little light.  Why?  Because I care, not only about my babies, but about yours too.

I can’t just sit back and watch as their minds and hearts are destroyed by fabrications and misguided notions.

While searching for news this morning, I saw image after image of half-naked young women posed in provocative positions.  I found celebrity “marriages” and babies born outside of marriage.  I saw divorces and myriad other things to mourn.  These are the images that meet us when we turn on our televisions or log on to our computers.  They meet our daughters and sons as well.  And what do they say?
The images say, “This is what love looks like.”

But this isn’t true love.  It is impossible to positively influence our children if we don’t FIRST address the holes in ourselves.  We have a responsibility to them and to ourselves and each other.  
If you are tired of having your daughters longing to emulate half-naked tweens, join me.  If you’re tired of your friends using “real” housewives as role models, join me.  If you believe there is more to life than fame and fashion, join me.  If you want true love and peace in your life, join me.  

I believe in 2 or 3 (Matt. 18:20).

Together we can change the world:  Broken Rubies united for one cause.  Women with broken hearts and broken lives, joined together to embrace the priceless rubies within.  We are flawed women,  beautiful gems (TM). 

Please join me:

Temptations

I was reading this morning in Matthew 4.  I honed in on the temptation of Jesus.  Satan had enough gall to tempt the Savior of the world!  The One who created the Cosmos!  The One with the power of life and death in His hands.

So why am I shocked when that same devil tempts me?  A born sinner.  Am imperfect woman who is nothing without her Savior.

Satan tempted Him with food after He’d been fasting for more than a month.

Satan tempted Jesus with food when He was very hungry, just as he tempts us with the things that are most likely to work.  He doesn’t typically dangle booze in the face of someone who doesn’t drink.   If porn is our thing, expect explicit images to pop up everywhere.  If we struggle with loneliness and a need for love, we can expect unsavory characters to appear from nowhere.


He hits below the belt.  He goes for the jugular.  He wants total annihilation. 
So how do we avoid temptation?

  • AVOID.  When possible, avoid situations that have the potential to be tempting.  
  • PLAN AHEAD.  Decide before how we will conduct ourselves in situations.
  • BE PREPARED.  Don’t go ALONE.  Invite Jesus with us.  Pray for His strength.
  • RESIST.  Don’t be a slave to our feelings.  If necessary, RUN.
Assume that you will be tempted.  None of us is exempt.  We should be wise in our choices and avoid making temporary decisions today that will permanently affect our tomorrows.

Always look for a way out.  God is faithful to provide one.  http://bible.us/116/1co.10.13.nlt

If you want to know the God I’m referring to, please contact me directly.

A Marriage Nightmare

I intend to update you on my last post as soon as I wrap my head around everything that entails.

In the meantime, I wanted to share an article with you about choosing a spouse.  A couple of my small group friends shared this article, so I decided to check it out.

I’ll warn you that you will need more than a few minutes to check it out, however, I think it’s well worth it if you are in a relationship or longing for a spouse…

I’ve been married for almost 13 years, and I can’t stress the importance of being wise when marrying enough.  Marriage is a very serious thing.

Here’s the link… http://thechristianpundit.org/2012/08/15/it/

Please come back and share your thoughts on it with me.

Here is my disclaimer:  I am new to the site and source of this article, so I am only suggesting this article because I read it myself.  I may not condone every single point, but I do support the sentiment.

That Tuesday

Early Tuesday, I got a phone call that completely rocked my world.  It caused everything I’ve ever known about my life to be questioned, and my sense of security to tilt on its axis.  Truly.  I experienced myriad emotions from shock to disbelief to devastation.  One minute I was laughing, and the next I was crying.

It’s possible that I will look back on this one day and chuckle at my own response, for certainly there are much more severe circumstances in this life, but I’m being transparent.

I’m unable to share more about what caused these strange and unexpected emotions, because there are others who would be hurt or angry if I did.  Out of love and respect, the details will remain private for now.

Throughout the week, my husband has been a constant source of strength and encouragement.  His protective instincts have been overwhelming, but much appreciated.  I have prayed and cried and thought all week long.

Now, I am sitting and waiting.  I am wondering what is next and how this will all work out for my good.  What I need from you is your prayers.  It is often hard to trust God is times of uncertainty, but I know He’s there.  He’s proven Himself to me so many times before, and I know He won’t fail me now.

If you’ve been shaken before, how did you respond?  What helped you the most?

Sincerest Apologies

I really just wanted to say “Hi!” to those of you who drop by.  I want to apologize for being too self-absorbed to be a diligent blogger over the past year.  Please know that it doesn’t mean that I don’t love and appreciate you.  It means that I temporarily lost sight of my priorities and allowed life to derail my process for a bit.

I plan to improve.  I am working on a schedule and some new facets.  The last two years have been filled with trials and lessons and opportunities to improve my faith.  I’ve had successes and probably a bit more failures.  I’ve had ups and a bit more downs.  But, I realize that God has a plan.  Even when I don’t like what He’s doing, I realize it’s not random.

I am learning His purpose for me and realizing that I have no room to make excuses anymore.  If you believe in prayer, please pray for me.  If you don’t, I believe you will someday very soon.

So, here is where you get to help me.  What is near and dear to your heart as a woman?  What bothers you?  What makes you cry?  What are your deepest fears or biggest regrets?  Who do you want to be, and what stands in the way?

Please answer as many as you like…

I pray for many blessings for you today and everyday.