Thank You!

A huge THANK YOU goes out to Carl for giving me a shout out on his blog site!

His writing has provided much encouragement and inspiration in the little time that I have followed it.  Please go over and check him out and let him (and I) know what you think!

Support your fellow bloggers!! ❤

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The Never-Ending Hug.

One of my friends posted this picture yesterday and I couldn’t pass it up.

This picture speaks volumes.  Therefore, this blog is going to be super short.

I am so thrilled that I was able to return to my faith and finally see and feel what God was doing in me and in the lives of people around me.

I am thankful that He overcame death so that he could forgive every wrong that I have ever done and that I will ever do.

He speaks to us through His word and shows us that He is there for us every step of the way.  We just have to trust Him and allow Him to take us into His arms to show us the way.

Hidden Faces.

Betrayal (verb) : to deliver or expose to an enemy by disloyalty; to be unfaithful; to disappoint.
Denial (noun) : an assertion that something that is said or believed is false; refusal to believe doctrine; disbelief of existence of a thing.

At some point in our lives, we have all experienced one of these emotions.  Maybe from family, friends, co-workers, or maybe in some cases, ourselves.  There have been times that we may have denied a friendship or talked about someone behind their back with someone else, there may have been times that we refused to believe someone even though they were telling us the truth, there may have been times where we have disappointed others or ourselves.

But the extent that we have felt these emotions are nothing compared to what Christ felt.  He was betrayed not once but three times by one of His followers, He was mocked, He was tortured; all so that we didn’t have to be.

But His denial didn’t stop with Peter; it continues with us.  I’ll be the first to admit that there have been times where I didn’t admit to being a believer.  The friends I spent most of my time around in High School were not believers and I got tired to fighting the fight of trying to convince them to believe.    Even though I didn’t deny it, the fact that I didn’t defend my faith – defend Him – wasn’t close enough to betrayal – it was betrayal.  My betrayal to Him was worse when I stopped worshiping.  I quit going to church, I stopped praying, I took my issues upon myself and majority of the time, they got worse.

We turn our faces in fear as to what others will think.  We get the frame of mind that no situation is bad enough to where we need His help.  We lose faith because of things we may have been put through in our lives; deaths, abuse, divorce, life-threatening diseases/illnesses, and so on.  We become bitter and closed off because we just don’t understand “why us.”

But since Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we no longer have to live like fearful and faithless cowards.  We can stand proud, confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
He is there to make our crimson stained lives white again.  He is there to cleanse us from all that is unholy.

Since yesterday was Resurrection Sunday, Shane and I braved watching The Passion of the Christ with the kids.  Talk about a tough movie to watch; especially with two kids who are visually sensitive to movies like this.

I first saw in in 2004 while I was in confirmation.  At the time, I was a bit put off by all the blood and gore that was shown but I didn’t fully understand the meaning behind it.

However, watching it 11 years later had a whole new feel to it.  I understood why these things were happening.  I found a greater appreciation for what He endured so that we didn’t have to.  But, the kids covered their eyes and hid their faces as the most pivotal points in the movie were happening. (But I can’t say that I blame them.)

But then I realized our biggest faults here on Earth.

We hide our faces.

We hide in fear that we may not “fit in” or that we will be viewed as “weak.”

We cannot keep living a life of masquerade.  How can He help us if we don’t allow Him to?

Sometimes we just need a pivotal moment in our lives to knock us down and show us that we cannot keep living our lives the way we had been.  My moment?  When I realized I had been brainwashed to become a person I wasn’t.  When I realized I was fighting with my family more than I was talking to them.  When I realized that that ring on my finger felt more like a noose.  That was when I realized that I needed Jesus and that I needed to stop living in denial and misery.

We have two choices; continue on a destructive path harming ourselves and those around us or ask Him to guide us back onto the path that He has laid out for us.

He gave His life for us, the least we could do is give up our lives to Him.

What is your choice?

Are you willing to uncover your face?
Are you willing to uncover your face?

An Inside Look.

People tend to form opinions of people off of first impressions.  Depending on when you came into my life, you may have a different opinion of me than someone else.  I was going to combine a couple different suggestions for my fun post but decided that with it being Good Friday, a more serious post was needed.  So my Saturday post will be 10 things about me that I want to share with you.

1.  I am not dependent on substances.  I can’t stand the “day after” feeling of a night having a few drinks and I have never had the desire to do drugs of any sort.

2.  I have a huge heart. It often times gets in the way and in the end, I find myself getting hurt or run over.  I would much rather please someone else than make myself happy.

3.  I spent majority of my high school career active in OAFC.  (Ongoing Ambassadors of Christ).  Since I was normally shy, this made me break out of my shell.  I was make some friends who have been so supportive from the start.  Even though we’ve all grown and gone our own ways, we can go a while in-between talking and pick up right where we left off years ago.  I was also able to experience how it felt to minister to people who needed to hear the word of God.  It was a nice feeling knowing that I was helping people with their faith and in some cases, getting them back into an active church.  We saw many of the people we would visit come to services and form bonds with the youth as well as other church members.

4.  It took me 6 years of assistant managing gas stations to break out of that line of work and get a “big girl job.”

5.  I am not afraid to fight for what I want or deserve.  This applies in all areas of my life.  I have fought in the workplace when the management was less than what they should have been or when I was being jerked around and lured in with things that I just wanted to hear.  I have fought in my personal life.  To bring in supportive, respectful people and get rid of the disrespectful, manipulative people.

6.  I am a born again Christian.  I was baptized into faith May 1990 but as I got older I strayed from faith. (There are a few different blogs that explain different times)  I turned my life 100% back to the Lord in 2011-2012.  I can’t tell you exactly when but during those years, there were pieces of my life that just weren’t making sense and I needed to let Him guide me.

7.  I graduated college with a degree in business. (and finishing off my bachelors within the next 8 months or so hopefully!) Before I started this blog, I never wrote; never had a desire to write.  I’ve used this as an outlet and as a way to grow in my faith as well as to help others grow.  I’ve now found that I enjoy writing about things I’m passionate about- Faith, my family (both my birth family as well as my married family), and life.

8.  I really enjoy the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie.  The Phantom reminded me so much of someone who I had in my life – controlling, manipulative, and just not a very nice person.  I followed the story line closely as it was just something that drew me in.  I also love the music and actually used one of the songs as one of the songs in our wedding.

9.  I am a survivor.  I have been a victim of mental abuse and sexual assault.  I use my experiences to help others that may be in same situations.  Even though they were less than desirable conditions, I learned a lot through them.  They were situations where I really saw Christ’s love come through and show me His way instead of my way.

10.  I love to travel.  My parents were good about taking us on vacations as we were growing up.  I’ve seen most of the Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Dakotas area.  We loved heading out to Yellowstone and visiting the geysers and mud pots.  I was also able to travel a lot my first couple years of college.  I was the manager of the traveling wheelchair basketball team.  So with them we traveled mainly East and South (PA, TX, WI, IL, AL.)  I would love to go to back to Yellowstone, visit Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Germany.  I’ll put them on my bucket list.

Fun Friday!

Hello Everyone!!!

So, I’m coming off week two of my daily blogging adventure and I must say, I’m so overjoyed about everyone who has called, texted, messaged, or talked to me in person saying that they enjoy reading my blog or that it has helped them in one way or another.  I won’t name names, but to those of you who this applies to, THANK YOU!!

Since my follows and comments on here have been slow, I decided to make this a “fun” post.  I’m doing a question and answer!!

I’m asking anyone that reads this to ask me a question.  I’m an open book.  You can ask me questions about myself, my family, my job, my past blogs, my experiences, my faith, my opinion on anything; pretty much ANYTHING that you want to know or that you can think of, just ask!  Either comment on here or follow the link over to the right to my Facebook and message me!  All names will be withheld on here and I will not judge on any questions asked!

I want to have about…15-20 questions by next Friday.

Ask away!!

question

It All Has A Purpose.

When I first chose the daily themes for my blog, I figured that finding one thing a week to be thankful for would be a breeze.  HA!

I have been struggling since 6:00 AM to find a single thing that I am thankful for.  Of course things like my husband, my health, my job, my family, my faith; the list is virtually endless.  But it seems that these types of things almost anyone can relate to.  My goal of this blog site is for me to open eyes of those around me to see a different side of things; to see what is there but no one acknowledges.

So this is where I want to take some time to give thanks to those people who bullied me, who doubted me and who didn’t give me a fair chance to succeed.

To those who bullied me in high school:  I want to thank you for helping build by thick skin and my broad shoulders.  Because of you, I am able to walk up to a bullied child or an out-cast adult and offer a supportive hand.  The experience you gave me taught me how to recognize the faces that show sadness, hurt, and frustration as well as body language that mirrors low-self esteem and shattered dreams.  It took years for me to not allow your words to hurt, but it has helped prepare me for supporting my children and the people around me.  It was OK that you poked fun at how “disgustingly chubby” I was leaving 10th grade.  It’s OK because you noticed that I entered 11th grade thinner; followed by rumors of how it happened.  No one would know the truth because no one cared to ask.  If you would have, you would have known that I got sick with GERD and couldn’t eat much most of the summer.  It’s OK that you picked on me for the clothes that I wore, or didn’t wear.  Because by not buying Hollister/Silver/American Eagle/etc. brands of clothing.  By having my parents be price conscience, I was able to be thankful for the things I had.  It was OK that I wasn’t one of the “popular kids” who partied every weekend.  I would have much rather been working or finding my own fun on the farm that I was raised or the farms of my friends.  In the end, it taught me responsibility and work ethic and saved me quite a bit of money on fines and court dates.  But because of you, I was able to experience this, I am now able to help those who are going through it themselves; some of those people even being you who inflicted some of this chaos 8 years ago.
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbors as yourself; I am the Lord.” ~Leviticus 19:18

To those who doubted me:  It is because of you that I am able to set my goals high and strive to succeed.  I love nothing more than to stand on top of the mountain and look down upon the negativity and feed it positiveness.  It has taught me to be encouraging to anyone who voices a goal, to assist them when they need help, and to build up their self-esteem so they know they are worth something to someone.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”  ~James 1:6

To those who never gave me a fair chance:  I want to thank you for not allowing me to use my skills to their full potential.  I went through 4 years of schooling and 4 years of management experience to be able to use them in a job that I am passionate about.  Because of the lack of ability I had to use them, I was able to find a job that offered me a position where I can not only utilize my skills, but I can strengthen them, I can expand them and I can develop new ones.
“Whatever you do, work heartily…” ~Colossians 3:23

It is OK that each of these situations happened.  It molded me into who I am today and for that I am grateful. It took me up until recently to reach the point of forgiveness for the things that were said or the actions that were taken; from both ends.  Even though I was on the receiving end of the bullying, the doubt and the suffocation, I was also the one always searching for ways of “revenge.”

It wasn’t until I began my journey back into my faith that I found a verse that I rely heavily on, and use when I try to help someone else, that helped me rise above the petty things.
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord.”  ~Romans 12:19
That’s when I realized that no ones fate is up to me.  My life (and your life) is way too short to be worrying about getting even.  Offer up your struggles in prayers, He will answer them.  He will take care of it.  He will lead you to where you need to be.

Instead, give thanks for the experience that you have been put through, are currently experiencing, or will experience.  It all has a purpose; even if you can’t see it now.

thanks

Wherever The Path May Lead.

I have finally decided on a direction – or directions – that I want this blog to move.  I am going to make it a DAILY goal to be on here and posting something.

I have gone as far as putting a category for each day: (yes I am using hashtags so that if you share it, you can tag it and share with your friends, families, followers.)

Monday:
#MotivationMonday
This will be my first post of the week.  I will be going through what verses, stories, experience, or prayers have gotten me through the previous week or which ones will get me through the upcoming week.

Tuesday:
#ThankfulTuesday
This will be the day where I will pick one (or two or three…) blessings that went on during the past week.  While each day is a day to be thankful, I will be picking the ones that mean the most to me and going through WHY they mean so much to be.

Wednesday:
#WhisperingWednesday
When you think of a prayer, you think a silent conversation with God, right?  Well, this is going to be a day where I will type out a prayer.  Whether it be for my personal life, someone I know that is struggling, or just a generic prayer.  If you know of someone who could use some prayers, feel free to message me on Facebook.  If you want it to be confidential, I will not post a prayer publically but I will keep them in my daily prayers.  I am investing in a journal where I can write down prayer requests and lift individual’s up throughout the weeks.

Thursday:
#TheatricThursday
I was really reaching for another T word to put with Thursday (so if you have any suggestions, feel free!) I will be posting song lyrics, music videos, pictures, or even a story that I find speaking to me throughout the week.

Friday:
#FanOrFollowFriday
This is the day where I will go through and see how many reblogs, likes, or new fans that I have from the week.  Whoever has the most likes, reblogs, or refered followers will have one of their posts featured on my blog.  That’s right!  I will reblog one of your posts.  If there is one in general you would like shared, let me know!  Otherwise, I will pick one that I enjoyed reading.  This includes those of you visiting from Facebook.

Saturday:
#SharingSaturday
During this day, I will be sharing a verse that I find/found very inspiring.  This may be a verse that helps you in the current moment or maybe will help someone you know.

Sunday:
#SONdaySunday
You may notice the word Son.  You can about guess what this means.  If not, I’m going to tell you!  “By the seventh day, God had completed His work which He had done.  Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” ~ Genesis 2: 2-3
That’s right!  Sunday is my day of rest!  Now, this just means that there will not be a posting.  I will still respond to comments and I still will be reading other blogs on here.  I just won’t be spending hours creating my own post. (Yes, I said hours.  I can easily kill two hours creating a blog post to entertain you guys; but I wouldn’t want it any other way.)

Sidenote:  I LOVE feedback!  I am making it my personal goal to respond to EVERY comment made on my posts; on WordPress, on Facebook, etc.  Please give me a few hours to respond as I do still attend school (online but I still put in quite a few hours with research and writing papers), I work at a car dealership where I interact with customers, I also am a ma to two beautiful, active children.  If I’m not busy with one of those things (or sleeping!) I PROMISE to at least acknowledge that I have seen your post by “liking” it.

I will begin this journey on Monday and I cannot wait to see what these changes do for me and those around me!

faith

One Big Beautifully Tangled Mess.

Have you ever sat and just thought about what the purpose of some things are?  It’s been one of those days where my mind has done nothing but race.  What is the purpose of all of this snow?!  Or better yet, a single snowflake. 

Growing up, we are taught that each snowflake has its own design, its own look; there are no two snowflakes that look-alike.  Well, let’s just say, when you start to throw tons and tons of them in one area, they ALL look the same.
snow 

While I was shoveling massive amounts of snow off my driveway this morning, I got to thinking “What lesson does God have for me in all of this?  He wouldn’t drop all of this snow without trying to show some sort of lesson through it.”  

Now, some of you may be thinking that  He probably views us exactly like we view this snow pile – one giant pile of tangled, disorganized, purposeless things.   WRONG!  It states in 1 Corinthians 7:7 “..each of you has your own gift from God; one his this gift, another has that.” 

There are no two people who possess the same exact skill, the same exact trait, or the same exact look.  There will always be something unique about you

As I’m continuing to shovel, I then realize that in God’s eyes, even though all of us are piled up like the snow pile, he can distinctly see all of our different designs; he knows every one of our designs.  If I had to guess, I’m the oblong flake with some swirly type of designs coming off of it.  Each swirly ‘stem’ coming off of it represents something unique about me that no one else will have.  Some of the things I thought of were how I constantly strive to learn new things (music, recipes, life hacks, academics, etc.), I hold myself to high standards, I have strict morals, how I can have manners that are close to that of a high society member or as non-existent as an over worked, burned out factory worker, I set goals and strive for them, I tend to give people second chances – even when they don’t deserve it, the different ways Shane and I communicate (body language, actual conversation, little notes, acts of service), I have past experiences that haven’t been so great but that have taught me lessons that I can pass onto Miah, so on and so forth. 

All of a sudden, this cute-little-awkward-looking snowflake that I viewed myself as turned into this HUGE web of curly spindles that were intertwined and looked like a knotted mess.  I’ll be the first to admit that I am perfectly imperfect; and that’s ok with me. 

Now, I’m not entirely sure what my purpose here on Earth is.  To be a mom?  To be a wife?  To open a bakery?  To minister to people through my blogs?  But just like one of those teeny-tiny singular snowflakes, I hold a small purpose and combined with other teeny-tiny singular snowflakes, I can have a huge effect on those around me. 

But my purpose in life is not for me to know.
“‘For I know the plans that I have in store for you’ declares the Lord. ” ~Jeremiah 29:11

Will You Accept This Rose?

I will admit that I am a sucker for shows like The Bachelor.  Something about viewing someone else’s life makes me feel a little better about everything that has gone on in my life.  I’m a plain jane country girl who does not need expensive material items or 10 pounds of make up and hair product to make me happy.

But one thought that kept crossing my mind while watching last night was “My God, I hope Miah does not grow up to be like this.”  At first, I thought it was just a generalization; I do not want her feeling like she has to go on a reality show to find her “true love”, buy expensive dresses, be tore apart by the media, and suffer public humiliation because of events that may or may not have happened in her life.  However, as the show went on, I realized that my thoughts were revolving around Kelsey and her words/actions.

A little back story on this Kelsey just in case you don’t watch the show.  She claims to have come on the show after the loss of her husband.  At first, she seemed to be one of the few level-headed people there but as time went on and more girls went home, her true colors started to show.  She started making rude comments towards or about the other girls, started using her late husbands death story as a weapon and wore it as a badge of honor.  It seems as whatever had started falling out of her mouth has either been insulting, belittling, insecure or fabricated.  She put on shows for Chris (the panic attack) and would turn around and laugh about it with the other girls.  Not giving the best impression to us viewers; which is the point of reality TV but there is a point to this.

I was sitting on the couch with my 12-year-old step-daughter.  Our Monday night routine is to eat supper with the boys, get dishes done, laundry caught up if needed, curl up under blankets and watch The Bachelor.  However, last night seemed to be a little more than either one of us could handle.

Miah is at an age where what she sees in the media is how she depicts how she SHOULD act.  In some cases, it’s not so bad.  However, I could see the wheels starting to turn last night as she watched Kelsey lay on the floor in the middle of a “panic attack.”  See, whenever Miah feels deprived of attention, she turns on tears, causes a little trouble, or tries to find a way to become center of attention.  Given that the kids’ mom doesn’t pay them much attention, the first couple of days that they are back proves to be a struggle.

As I was watching this public meltdown, I kept thinking “I sure hope Miah realizes how dumb this looks and refuses to let her frustration episodes get that far.”  I would make comments like “This is just embarrassing for her” or “I wish someone would call her bluff” to show Miah that this show is not 100% real – which she should have known from the get go.

About 30 minutes pass and Miah has not uttered 4 words.  She’s totally engaged in the show and has seen snide comments fall out of Kelsey’s mouth as well as how she was two-faced and did not deserve to be on the show.  I shook my head and decided that this was the best time as any to address the issues of selfishness.

As we talked, I used examples that showed for every action has a reaction.  We ended up discussing how it is ok to feel like you need attention but to do so in a mature manner.  I mean I still get that way with Shane when we go a while without talking or a weekly date night; that is all just part of loving someone.  However; it is not ok to use it to your advantage, use it to manipulate people, and it is not ok to abuse it.  As I was explaining this, I started to see things clicking into place for her.  I knew the two on one date was coming up so I told her to watch what possible selfish actions could do to her in the long run.

We sat back and just laughed at the way Ashley and Kelsey were acting but deep down, I wanted her to really take a lesson from it.  She got to see both sides of Kelsey in that scene and all of a sudden it was like a light bulb (or in this case, a much bigger and brighter bulb) turned on.  She watched as Chris sent BOTH girls home because he did not appreciate how either one of them were acting and felt that he deserved better than them.

Shane and I have used that as an example for her.  If she were to keep manipulating situations to get what she wants or if she kept demanding attention, she was going to end up like Kelsey – self-centered, insecure, and manipulative.  She’s nodded but won’t fully understand until she’s a little bit older.

She deserves so much more than to be looked down upon for her actions, but it starts with her home habits.  Shane and I give those kids all the love and attention we can, but when they go back to their mom’s busy house and miss attention, it is natural for them to yearn for something more.  That’s when Shane and I have to figure out a system that works where they feel the love and the attention but don’t go to drastic measures to try to acquire it.

I’m glad reality TV is what it is.  It allows awesome teaching moments like this where I can really connect to her and give her examples where she can see others reactions and realize that she doesn’t want to feel that way.  I just hope that what we do is enough to keep her head held up high…. especially when it comes time for her to date… (*shudder*)

November Blog Challenge – Completed!

Yes! You read that right. I am working ahead tonight and completing the challenge since this weekend we will be traveling hundreds of miles between a couple of days visiting my family as well as Shane’s family.  So, here is my wrap up for the month!

Day 24 – What Attracts You (In Love)
Well, what really drew me to Shane was his sense of sincerity.  Then when we got to talking, I noticed: respect, honesty, integrity.  He was also fun-loving, adventurous (we went hiking on our first date), well-mannered, had a sense of faith/religion, and was happy-go-lucky kind of guy.  All these things combined really drew me to him and I haven’t looked back since.

009 (3)

Day 25 – Your Biggest Regret
Simple.  Moving to South Dakota.  &#@% that place and most of the people (or for sure one person) in it.  Biggest mistake of my life. (Refer to “Some Friend You Were” for explanation)

Day 26 – Your Hidden Talent
It’s kind of a hidden talent, but kind of not.  I LOVE baking.  So, I decided for Miccah’s 13th birthday, I was making him Minecraft cakepops.  So, turning food into art?

Day 27 – What’s In Your Closet?
A bunch of clothes and shoes.   But recently I added: A military ball dress and I’m SUPER excited for it!

Day 28 – Most Embarrassing Moment
When I was 16 and dumb, I drove to someone’s house without direct permission from my parents and when we got back from a movie, my car was gone.  I had to get a ride home from said person… it was awful!  But! I learned my lesson!

Day 29 – A Confession
This really isn’t a confession but it’s the best I could do right now.  Shane has asked my dad for my hand in marriage! (YAY!!)  We have already started the planning process (oops!) and I’m anxiously awaiting to see him on bended knee asking to keep me for the rest of his life.

Day 30 – Your Hopes For Your Blog
Really, my hopes have already been fulfilled.  All I wanted was a few followers, and I’ve seen so many followers come in the last couple of days.  All I wanted to use this for was to heal.  To heal from my past, gush about my present, rant about the crap not going right in my life and plan for my future.  If someone wants to follow me because of that: AWESOME!  I do follow everyone who follows me and I take time to go through and read most (if not all in some cases) of your posts to make myself familiar with your background.  So.  My hopes are fulfilled!