I have just finished reading “A Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. I had no idea that being thankful for my everyday life could be the key to the joy that I’m missing. Ann’s writing is poetic in a wait I need to read that again kind of a way. She makes you see the beauty in the everyday while still managing to show you the struggles that she too faces.
It amazes me how God can put the words that you need to hear through someone else. Late last year I came across her newer book “The Broken Way”. So, I read it first. I read it slow. It means so much to me. I love the way it connects our brokenness to God. By focusing on God we can find the healing we crave. In the meantime He has plans for us. Plans to help others which leads to us ultimately serving Him. I could just cry even talking about this book. I know I’m not giving it justice.
I gave “The Broken Way” to a good Christian friend of mine. It looks like it will make the rounds before it makes it back to me. If it even makes it back to me. Which wouldn’t even bother me that much. I’ll just buy five more copies, one to keep, the rest to give away. I would say that both of Ann Voskamp’s books should be on your must read list. Ann after reading so many of your personal thoughts and struggles all I really want to say to you is thank you.
I found out that my uncle passed away yesterday, after a long battle with cancer in a way it’s a blessing. The sad part is that I hardly knew him. I feel guilty, depressed, and frankly I’m not looking forward to having to take a walk down memory lane. My childhood still remains a rough spot for me.
My close friends know not to ask about my biological Dad. I don’t know if he’s dead or alive most days. It took me a long time to accept the fact that he is a gown man and that I can’t control him. If he doesn’t want to do something that would improve his situation that is his choice. Just like I have a right to do what I feel is best so does he. Yes, I tell him what I think about what he’s doing and I give advice. Whether he takes it or not is another story.
I feel obligated to take care of my Dad. I feel like dirt because he lives in conditions that aren’t suitable for an animal. This is the side of mental illness that I don’t hear enough about. What do you do? What is the Christian thing to do?
I hate that my extended family thinks that I am somehow responsible for him. Cause he is ultimately responsible for his own actions. I am not guilty for my father’s sins. I have enough of my own; thank you very much!
I can feel God trying to work through these issues with me. He is preparing me for a breakthrough but somethings it feels more comfortable to be in the chains we make for ourselves.
Elven days later….
I’m trying to help my Dad move into someplace decent. Where he can be around people more. It’s not easy but it feels like the right thing to do. When I saw him before the funeral it was bad. He’s doing things that I never thought he would do, sinking to new lows. Sinking, sinking, but never rising out of the mess that is mostly his own fault.
Forgivness is what I am trying to walk in. Letting go of the past to deal with the now of his situation. All the while I feel God right here with me, saying to follow Him one step at a time. Telling me that He will take care of Dad. Wheather things work out the way I want them to or not.
I feel like I should at least try to help him. After much prayer I have a path to follow in this matter. I just have to do my best to follow it. I just hope that I’m not too late.
Life is rarely what we think it will be. Having the knowledge that God is simply here with me in this time has proved to be enough for me. It is wondefull to have a Heavenly Father that loves me in a way my earthy father never will, that no eathly father could ever love a child.
To be honest it’s 12:54 am but I thought 1 am sounded more dramatic. I don’t know why I’m still awake. I’m so tired that looking at the light from my laptop screen makes my eyes water. I just watched Megan Leavey on Netflix. It’s a great movie that made me want to cry but I haven’t broken down…yet I feel it coming on.
For those who don’t know Megan Leavey is a about a Marine and her bond with her bomb sniffing dog Rex. It was about love and honor and duty. Watching the movie made me feel totally inferior. It made me question whether I had made the right decisions in my life. If I was actually making a difference in this world.
I’m not as stable as I want to be. I lash out more than I like and I hurt those around me in the process. Some days I feel like I’m drowning and I don’t know why. The life the Lord gave me is pretty great. I have two Christian parents who love me. I don’t have many friends but those that know me care. I have a full time job with great benefits. My bills are normally fairly low. Yes, I have health problems but nothing that’s going to cripple me.
I wish that I could be more. Yup, my screen is getting blurry, I’m going to start crying. I never feel like I am enough. I never feel like I deserve this life, not one part of it. This is normally about the time I shut down. I have a tender heart and I pray that God can help me refocus on what matters most.
The only perfect person on earth was Jesus Christ and He is God in the flesh. I can let go of my need to be perfect. I can simply focus on His love. I can let the Holy Spirit guide me. I can never earn this life. I can only enjoy it and try to live for Him.
Alright I think I’ve found my mind. I’m going to try and get some sleep now. Good morning, good evening, and good night everyone.
For me home doesn’t mean where I physically am, it means Heaven. Jesus said that the Son of Man would not have a home here on earth. As His follower that means that I too do not have a home here on earth. I have a place that I am supposed to be but that doesn’t mean that it’s a place where I feel comfortable.
When I was younger I was able to go on some trips to the southwestern U.S.A. To be honest with you, that is the closest that I have felt to being home. I love the desert. That part of this world will always have a special place in my heart. I thought at this point in my life that I would be living there. God had other plans for me. Plans to give me a much better life than I could ever imagine.
Some days it doesn’t feel that way.
But then I pray and I feel the Holy Spirit wrap Himself around me. I ask for strength to make it through today. I refocus on God and breath. I take another step forward, towards what I feel is right.
My Dad had a sign with a picture of Jesus and the saying, It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it. Being a true disciple of Jesus means that you make sacrifices. That you get hurt trying to help others. That you stand out, which we all know is a good thing in the end but it’s painful when you are going through it.
Whatever it is that you are dealing with, maybe missing home like me, if you are where you feel like God wants you to be then let me encourage you. I don’t know what you’re struggling with but it’s worth it. You may not be able to see it now but it is worth it.
Frankly, with the way things are going the Lord is going to come back sooner than later. I think about the fact that I only have so much time on this earth more than I should. I do believe that we should live everyday like we are dying.
I didn’t expect to feel like I’m dying in my twenties. My current diagnosis is fibromyalgia. Yes, that is the same condition that Lady Gaga has; Never thought I would compare myself to Lady Gaga[author shakes head, debates taking line out]. For those that don’t know it essential means that I am in a lot of pain for no apparent reason. Fibro, doesn’t show up on any lab test and it’s symptoms are similar to several conditions including lupus. Doctors think that my brain perceives pain differently than the average person.
For about six months I couldn’t sleep properly. I would run on four or five hours of decent sleep. Then I would crash and sleep for thirteen hours. Not to mention the pain and stiffness in my muscles and joints. Yeah, I also had a constant migraine. Despite this I kept up with what I was doing before. I wanted so desperately to make myself proud that I half killed myself. I think God wanted to work with me but I wanted to prove how awesome I was to myself. It took me almost fainting at work to get help
I was crying out to God the night before my fainting incident. I had been debating getting on pills to help for months but I was afraid of the side affects.
I will take care of the side affects.
You know when you clearly heard from the Lord and everything stops. Yeah, that happened.
I was amazed within a couple weeks of taking the pills I felt like myself again. I had learned so much from my time being sick, I may never be healthy again but I was alright with that. I could manage the pain. Happily ever after.
Until last week, when our weather shifted and I can tell you I now have an understanding of what it’s like to have arthritis. When I had started taking my pills our weather had been steady. I noticed that on days when it rained I was more achy but I could handle it.
But with winter coming…
Thankfully I don’t have the same problem with migraines that I had before. At least the pills help with that. I know now why the Lord has been working on me about fear. I have lots of fear now. I don’t know if I can work the job I currently have. If I will be able to help out at home. If I will ever feel better.
I will choose to trust God because I believe in Him. He’s my reason for getting out of bed in the morning. He may come back before I get my answers. I will focus on doing my best with Him every day because that’s all that matters.
I think that there is a right and wrong way to deal with conflicts. Whatever the issue we need to treat the other person with respect and love. Showing someone Christ-like love can be like a balm on a touché subject. Often times we are so concerned with being right that we lose focus on what actually matters. We try to prove our point, even if we hurt the other person in the process.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”-1 CORNTHIANS 13:1-3 (NIV)
Within the Christian church this should be the standard not the exception. All Christians should ultimately be on the same team. Now that being said we are all growing in Christ. This means that we all have a little different understanding of God. I think we all have to be more open to what others are saying. That way we can learn from one another.
We also have to be willing to accept correction. No one likes to be wrong especially about our beliefs in God. In order to learn you have to acknowledge that you can be wrong. Things can change for the better once you know that there is a problem.
And if your asking God for help don’t be surprised if He asks you to change. He is your Heavenly Father and like a good earthly father He will discipline His children. He does all things for our ultimate benefit because He loves us. The situations in our lives do not go poof. God will use what is going on around us to teach us.
It’s fall and normally I enjoy the season. This week I keep thinking about how everything is dying. How once again winter is coming. My flowers are all dead or dying. Sigh. I’m going to try and think postively in this post. There is a hopeful side to fall. Once winter is done I’ll get to replant.
And yes I did this myself to prove my point.
Can’t wait for spring!
Picking out all the flowers at the greenhouse. Designing my planters, picking a theme for the year, and choosing where to place them in the yard. It’s one of my favorite parts of spring. It makes me think about God’s creativity. God is endlessly creative. Where He sees open windows we tend to see the paint job of a closed door.
Like those dead flowers that I used to make a picture God can use us in ways we would have never thought possible before. He uses those that the world thinks of as weak to prove His power. Since it’s Him in us that makes Christians powerful.
I have a story from my own life to prove my point. Growing up I had a hard time learning to read. Until I was twelve years old I was about two grade levels behind in my reading. My school tried multiple programs to get my skills up. They spent extra time with me in class, making sure a teacher’s aid was available. Nothing worked until they found out that it was my eyes that were the real problem. My eye muscles were underdeveloped. It took a specialist, many nights of doing exercises with Mom, and hours of reading to be able to read at my grade level. Then I fell in love with books.
God works in mysterious ways. I’m one of the few people I know that have been called both stupid and smart. I see this as a gift. I empathize with people because I have experienced both extremes. For anyone that complains about being called a ‘nerd’, trust me it’s better than being called a ‘retard’. At least they think that you are going to amount to something someday.
Speaking of being something. I feel like God called me to write. Me, the retard in fourth grade. The woman with a learning disability. The one who needs a calculator to get the right answer.
And if you allow God in, He can work his magic on you too.
When I was about eighteen or seventeen I had a vison of myself standing in a desert. My hair was extremely short, and brown. I’m wearing a sundress. And I’m all alone.
At the time I thought it meant that one day I would one day return to my favorite place, the American southwest. I took the vision at face value. It gave me hope. Sometimes God has given me glimpses of the future. Sometimes it’s just a moment, a sentence, a beautiful flower, a person, or a future version of myself.
This week I cut most of my hair off. When I was at work the Lord brought this vison back to me. To be honest it had been a long time since I had even thought about it. I realized that I had that haircut, glasses, and that sundress that I’m wearing in the vision is hanging in my closet. It took my breath away. I had been in seriously prayer about where the Lord wanted me to be. I immediately thought that I should book a plane ticket. Now, it was time to go on a mission trip. I knew where I should go or did I?
It didn’t feel right. I didn’t have a God feeling about it. I began to seek what God meant. How could I get to this desert? Because I wanted to be there more than anything? And do you know what He said to me?
Write yourself there.
What? What does that mean? How on earth do I write myself there? Is this an idea for a fiction novel? Will my writing lead me to the desert?
Then I saw this blog.
This is where I will start this journey. Maybe I will physically end up in the desert. Maybe I’m in a spiritual desert because I haven’t been walking as close to God as I should. Maybe I’m in a desert and God’s saying it’s time to come out. Maybe I will be starting a whole new section of my life. The truth is I don’t have a clear-cut idea what this vision means now.
Rarely do I hear from God so clearly. But He has spoken to me and I will obey. Come along with me on this journey.