Friday, September 23, 2011

The Counterfeit…

So I took my son to college…and now I’m in the process of moving out of my apartment and figuring out life with him gone.  Some days are harder than others but I am doing ok.  I’m actually doing better than ok…I’m doing great.  It’s not that I don’t miss Chance I do…with all my heart, but I also feel so blessed.  My friends and family have been so good to me.  Like take for instance, I am moving this weekend.  I have been SO worried about how I was going to move my big stuff out of my apartment.  This is something my son and his friends have helped with in the past.  This morning I had to give it to God because it seemed to me as though no one was willing to help….then WHAM, all of a sudden I have 5 guys coming after church to help.  One of the guys I don’t even know!  How amazing is that.  Give your cares and worries to God, I promise He will see them through!  

So….this past July my Aunt gave me a book to read called Knight in Shining Armor by P.B. Wilson.  I started reading it on July 4th.  It was a glorious day, the sun was out and I parked it on my back porch for most of the day.  Now you would think by the title it is all about finding that Prince…which it is…but even more than that is about how to be ready for your prince when he shows up.  There are so many things that stood out to me in this book.  One is she asks for you to take a six month vow not to date.  Take six months to work on yourself, grow closer to God, and let Him change you from the inside out.  I decided to do this.  I know I need to work on myself.  PB says…If you allow God, He will make the changes in you that will allow you to be attracted to the kind of person God
has in mind for you.  I don’t know about you but I have no desire to be attracted to the “Bad Boy” type or for guys maybe you are only attracted to certain looks….or you always want to rescue the damsel in distress.   That is probably not God’s best for you. 

In 1 Samuel 16:7 it says….Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  He Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. 

Friends….It’s time to break that cycle!  It’s time to start looking at the heart! 

In taking this 6 month vow I realized it would be from July 4th to Jan. 4th.  Jan. 4th is a VERY significant day in my life.  It is a day I lost a dear friend to tragic circumstances.  It will be exactly one year to the day.  I KNOW that means something.  I don’t know what exactly, but I know I have given myself to God since that day and I can’t help but think God is telling me, He has heard my prayers.  (I don’t believe in coincidences anymore…only God-incidences.)

There is so many things I could share with you from this book(and I may in the future) but the thing that has captured my attention the most is when PB says…..Be careful, Satan will often send a counterfeit before the original arrives.  Hmmmm…a counterfeit.  Have you ever fallen for a counterfeit?  I know I have… I feel like a few have even come around recently, but I am standing firm waiting and working to be ready for when the real deal shows up.  Until then….I am loving my life.  I am serving God.  And I am confident God has me right where He wants me.  I hope you feel the same.  J  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to take your son to college…

So it happened.  I took my son, Chance to WSU.  I have to say so far I’ve done pretty well. I’m not sure why…don’t know if it just hasn’t fully hit me yet.  I can’t say I’ve been very faithful about it lately or really trying to give it to God because I just haven’t really been able to pray.  I don’t know if that has ever happened to you.  Sometimes I am like a prayer warrior, praying all the time for anything and everyone that God puts in my mind.  And other times I can barely utter a sentence to God.  This is one of those times.  But I know I have lots of friends and family members praying for me and I have to believe their prayers are carrying me as I go through the motions, feeling kind of numb to it all.  So here are my thoughts of all that has transpired the last couple of days.  (The good and the bad…keeping it real here!)  J

1st off I have to say taking your son to college seems utterly ridiculous.  It feels like you’re being punked.  I’m thinking to myself…. I’m really supposed to leave you here…just like that?  Like seriously?!?   If I can say anything to parents who are going to be in my shoes in the next couple of years….don’t coddle or do everything for your kids.  Start giving them some freedom with boundaries.  Send them away to camps.  Give them some sort of independence of you because once they go off to college, it’s pretty much over.  You drop them off outside of a wheat field and they are on their own. 

The 2nd thing that I did not realize until we got to college was how cool my son is.  I mean he is REALLY cool.  I mean like totally, really, super cool.    And I am in fact the opposite of that.  I am so not cool.  Like totally, really, super un-cool. And just really embarrassing to be around.   I know this is all normal for them to portray (I’m so cool and chill and yeah my Mom is not) But it was a bit much to swallow at times.  And it wasn’t just my son…I
noticed it with just about all parents and their kids.  You’d make eye contact with a fellow parent and it was like…yep I’m walking 5 steps behind my kid because they don’t want anyone to know I’m with them.  And we’d just nod at each other.  I think this happens for 2 reasons.  1. They want their independence so bad and they think they are ready to take on the world and as a parent we represent the opposite to them.  And 2.  If Chance was super clingy or seemed sad at me leaving him it would have been 10X’s harder to say goodbye. God knows what we need to get it done, and believe it or not the least painful way was for him to be a little stinker.  It was so much easier for me to say goodbye this way. 

The 3rd thing I noticed was the girls.  Lots and lots of really cute girls.  And I’m not sure cute really is the word I should use to portray these girls.  Even Chance couldn’t help himself.  He’d say to me (the super un-cool Mom) Wow…did you see that/those girls?   It’s hot in Eastern WA and so lots of girls in shorts and tank tops.  Hard to miss.  So of course I had to give my son the lecture….Chance don’t you dare go for a girl just on looks.  Make sure she has a good heart.  Make sure she loves God.  (I could give this lecture to a few men I know too!)  I’m sure you know how that went over, but a Mom’s gotta say what a Mom’s gotta say.  And I really didn’t mind being deemed un-cool for that one. 

So having said that all, I really am excited for Chance.  I know he is exactly where God wants him for now.  It is hard to let go.  But as I was driving home today 3 different times on the radio and on different stations I heard Matthew West’s song…More.  And I knew when I heard it….It was about Chance.  And as much as a Mother loves her one and only child (or any of her children)….God loves them more.  More than you can imagine….more than you can fathom.  And yes I did cry a bit on the way home, and even though I had no prayers in my head to pray, God knew my heart and He answered my un-said prayers through that song.  He’s that Good!  J  

So when you take your son to college just be ready to leave them there.  (Yes, I’m serious!)  Be ready to be un-cool.  Be ready to give them grace when they act like they don’t want to be around you.  Be excited for the adventure they have begun, and mostly remember God is in control of their lives.   

Thank you to all my friends and family for praying for me.  I felt your prayers and God’s peace throughout the last couple of days. 

And one final thing…When you take your son to college be sure to give him a GIANT hug and kiss goodbye and tell him how much you love him and how proud you are of him.  And that is how you take your son to college.    

Take a listen... Matthew West....More

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The American Idol....

So when my son was a freshman in High School our church had a class for parents on teenagers and how hard it is to be a teen in this day of age.  I was really struck by something one of our Pastors said.  He said the biggest growth impact he had in his Christian teenage life was when he was a freshman and his Mother started to get up early and read her Bible down stairs.  He would get up and see his Mother every morning reading her Bible and this by far had the biggest impact his Christian teenage walk.  He encouraged us not to go to our rooms and have our “private time” with God but to live it out loud in front of our children.  That our example will impact our children greatly. 

Now, you think I would of taken this advice but I did not.  I thought about it a lot…but I was not living my own life according to what God wanted for me, and really avoided alone time with God.  (He might tell me something I didn’t want to hear.)  SO I did my own thing…..and we all know my story by now.  I had to be broken, and submit my life to Christ in order to be restored.  A process I am still in as we speak.  But for almost a year now I have been reading my Bible, and studying his word, and praying most mornings on my couch 1st thing in the morning.  My son has walked out of his room more than once and has “caught me”  in the act.  I heard him mumble under his breath once…Who are you? And what have you done with my Mother?  Ha!  You see I am not a morning person…or I wasn’t but God is changing me from the inside out and I find my behavior is changing right along with it.  I also leave my Bible open to the passage I am reading, my journal, and my assortment of books laying out on the couch when I am done.  I’m not sure why I started doing that…but anyhow the other day I looked at them sitting on the couch as I was walking by and I saw a book my son was reading sitting along side my pile of books.  It is a book he is reading with his young life group and my heart skipped a beat as I realized, He is being impacted by my example.  Praise God!  Do I wish I had started doing this when he was a freshman?  Yes, of course but I can’t go back…. only forward and I am so thankful God is a God of 2nd chances.  (or 3 or 4!)  J
So I am thankful for Pastor Jeremy sharing his story and that God uses us, when we chose to obey.  (even if it is a little late!)

This morning I was reading in Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word, Breaking free from God’s strongholds.  It is a book I just happened to stumble upon at our Goodwill store.  I was there for a totally different reason and decided to give a quick look at the book section.  It is the 1st book I looked at.  And I decided to buy it.  Already I know God put this book in my path for a reason.  This morning I read something that I could totally relate to.  Beth says in Chapter 2, page 34 in the 1st paragraph……God seems to work in themes in my life.   You know what I mean.  Every sermon, morning devotional, and Christian radio program “coincidentally” speak to me about the same subject for an uncomfortable length of time.  I’ll even get a card in the mail from a Christian friend I haven’t seen or heard from in ten years-and you guessed it-she’ll share on the same exact “theme”. 

I don’t know about you but I can totally relate.  I have had two big themes in my life this year.  Every where I go, look, or see there it is.  The 1st one I have talked a lot about and that is waiting on the Lord.  Not taking things into my own hands.  I need to wait on God’s timing and leading in my life. 

The 2nd theme that keeps coming up in my life is idols.  We have had several sermons on this at church(today even!) and in my Bible studies(today even in Beth’s Book!) and conversations, the theme of idols keeps coming up. 

You may wonder what I mean when I say the word “idol”.  An idol is something in our life that we make more important than God. It will control our thoughts and attitudes, and even our lives.  When our thoughts and minds are controlled by something other than God it is in fact, a form of worship.  There are a lot of different idols out there.  Our jobs, our families, our finances, our status, etc.  

So…I am a thinker.  I think…. and think…. and think…and then I analyze…. and analyze….. and analyze…and then I think some more until I have worked myself into quite a frenzy.  I wake up in the morning thinking…and unfortunately they are usually not good thoughts.  I wake up most mornings overwhelmed and I am not even out of bed yet.  The enemy attacks me before my feet have even hit the ground! That is why my morning prayer and Bible reading have become so vital for me.  I don’t want to start my day defeated. 

And a big part of that has been my singleness.  I have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about being single.  It has consumed my thoughts.  Even now I can get drawn into certain aspects of it and it is all I think about.  I call up my girlfriends…I’ve got to talk to you…and blah, blah, blah,…..I’ve spent an hour venting about something that I should be giving to God.  The war really is in our mind.  Satan loves to plant a seed in our insecurities and watch it grow.  It becomes bigger than God himself and sets us on a path of worshiping the problem instead of trusting God. 

It says in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to diminish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

When I first read this verse I felt like I had hit the jackpot…and I still do!  We don’t fight with weapons of this world….we have DIVINE power…We take captive EVERY thought and make it obedient to Christ.  Wow!  This verse has become my prayer and my one, two punch against Satan.  He has no victory in our lives unless we let him control our thoughts and mind.  I’m not sure what your idol is in your life.  Maybe it is your singleness, or your children that go…go…go.. or your bank account that never has enough money, or the circumstances in your life that seem oh, so grim.  I don’t know what rules you and your thoughts but I do know it’s not too big for our heavenly father to overcome.  Why do we let our thoughts think differently?

Beth Moore said it perfectly in Praying God’s Word, page 21.….I think that sometimes God must listen to our pitifully small acclamations, expectations, and petitions in prayer, and want to say, “Are you talking to me?  I’m not recognizing myself in this conversation.  Are you sure you have the right God?” 
It says in Isaiah 44:6&8  My Father, I acknowledge that you are the Lord almighty.  You are the first and You are the last.  And apart from You there is no other God.  Make me witness to the fact that there is no other rock but you.  Enable me to say with full assurance, “I know not one.”

Let’s remember God is the All Mighty, Prince of Peace, and Everlasting Father.  There is nothing He can’t do.  He is the one true God.  Worship Him with our mind, body, and soul.  I hope you can recognize the idols in your life and let God be the Lord and ruler of your life and thoughts.  This is not an easy task to do but I know when we earnestly seek God, He will make a way.  Once again it may not be easy, but we are all in this together.  J

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life or Something like it….

My son has officially graduated from High School and we have been on a graduation party blitz for sure.  I’ve run into so many people that I don’t normally see and it has been nice to catch up with them. They ask me what my sons’ plans are for the future.  I proudly tell them he is going to WSU (Washington State University) in the fall.  They then say…Wow that is wonderful good for him, etc….and then the next question out of their mouths always is…..What are you going to do with yourself when he is gone?  I kinda stumble on that one.  And then I say the truth….Ummm, I don’t know.   It’s funny to see their reactions…some look at me sadly, some laugh at my frankness, and some look at me confidently like….I know you will be Ok.  And that is how I truly feel.  I will be Ok.  But life will definitely be different.  Time will tell and I have no choice but to trust God and see where He leads me in my life. 

The last few days I have been asked two very hard questions by two dear friends.  One asked me…Why do bad things happen to good people?  And the other friend asked….Why does life have to be so hard?  Those are two doosies of a question aren’t they?   Life….it is hard.  Life… is so not perfect.  Life……it can bring you to your knees at times.  But I’ve learned that is not such a bad place to be.

Tonight at a graduation party I went to, I talked to a dear friend I haven’t seen in awhile.  She is amazing and it was so nice catching up with her.  She has a son with a severe form of Muscular Dystrophy.  She was telling me how it is getting harder and harder for him to walk and they had to put ramps at their home because he will probably need a wheelchair soon.  With tears in her eyes she told me she KNOWS God will use everything her son is going through for good somehow and God has given her peace even though his condition is deteriorating.  All I could do is hug her through my teary eyes and agree.

I have another friend who’s college aged son has turned away from God.  He has decided he is an atheist.  This fact torments my friend.  Her worst fear is that he will die not knowing Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  I have another friend who’s husband has decided he’s not in love with her anymore after 20 some years of marriage.   She doesn’t know what to do.   Life is SO hard!  I could go on and on with more stories about dear friends truly hurting.  

And then you ask…. Why?  What’s the point of all this hurt and heartache?  And truly the only thing that popped up in my head when asked these two very hard questions is…. Everything that happens in our lives good and bad is to make us more like Christ.  He wants us to seek out His help in our lives.   
Unfortunately, if life was perfect and easy all the time we probably would have no need to go to God. (Although I wouldn’t mind testing this theory out for awhile. ha!) 

It says in 1 Peter 1:7  These trials come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proven genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  In the New Century Version it says in verse 7... These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure.  God wants us to cling to him in hard times.  God is refining us.  God wants our faith to be pure. 

I know personally my relationship with God has always strengthened and grown through my hardships.  Those are the times I have clung to my Bible and prayed the most diligently.  I have learned God’s promises are true. 

Through the years I have known some really bad things happen to really great people and at the time it has made no sense.  But as time has gone by I have been able to see how God has used it for good in them.  My prayer is that God is doing that in me and in you too. 

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I don’t know that anyone can entirely answer those two questions.  Like I said, They are doosies but I know when Bad things happen and life get’s REALLY hard, God will always be there for you.  God says…. He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Seek him.  Be real with your friends and family and let them pray  and bare the burden with you.  We all are in this together friends. 

Hebrews 10:23-25
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching. 

So I know I did not really answer those tough questions but I am so thankful to know that God is in control of my life and no matter the hardship I face He will always be by my side.  Which is a great comfort to me….because life IS hard!  And in the end I want to be proven faithful…and my faith made pure.  He is by your side too.  Don’t be afraid of Life…God never promised us it would be easy.  He only promises we won’t go it alone. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Epiphany

So as you know my son is getting ready to graduate from High school.  We have one week to go and I have to say I am keeping it together pretty good so far!  Last night was Prom and in true Gig harbor style(the town I live in)  He took a yacht from our little town of Gig Harbor to the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle.  And when I say Yacht I am not kidding.  This boat is WAY nicer than the apartment we live in.

In the beginning prom started as quite a fiasco for my son.  He was going ask a really good girl friend to prom…and the day he was going to ask her someone else asked her 1st.  He was going to try again with another good friend and it happened again!  I was praying…Lord please send him the perfect person and the perfect situation for Prom and of course the Lord answered in a big way.  Not only did he get to go with an amazing girl and group of friends but he got to ride on a yacht called “The Epiphany” to the Prom.  Not a bad way to go as you can see!  Yes we all are officially jealous!  Oh and I forgot to mention it was the most beautiful day of the year so far.  God is so good! 

As I drove home tonight from my son’s youth group that was honoring all the seniors I was just thinking and reminiscing about all that God has done in our lives.  It has NOT been easy but I have to say it has been so worth the journey.  God has taken us and restored us in so many ways.  I am SO proud of the young man my son has become(having said that, at times I am not happy with  every decision he makes)  but I see how God has used the hardships in his life for good.  I see God’s blessings in our lives.  And for the most part I am so proud of him and the young man he has become.  And then I had my own Epiphany.

I know I have stated before that this has been such a hard year for me. (probably going on a year and a half now)  I’ll give you the time line.  So in March of 2010(I think, it’s kind of a blur)  I ended my engagement.  I know it was not meant to be and I know God was telling me not to marry this person but I have to say…even with all that it was a really hard decision.  I loved this person and his children very much!  They were in my life for over 5 years and even though I knew with everything in me it was not right…it was hard to let them all go.  Like I said…I loved them very much.  Not an easy thing to do.  Then in April my beloved Grandmother died suddenly.  She had a very full and great life but I have never had anyone close to me die and it was very hard to say goodbye.  That summer was really hard.  I was battling depression and the devil was working over time to make me feel worthless and unlovable.  In Oct. my Grandpa died…  I was always Grandpa’s girl and once again so hard to say goodbye.  Then in January someone I loved dearly and was housemates with for 31/2 years ended his life.   My son and I were both devastated.  We still are having a hard time with it. My sister lives in Christchurch New Zealand and they have had unbelievable amounts of eathquakes where they live.  They truly have been tramatized and it has been very upsetting for my whole family to have her and her husband and son go through all they have gone through.  Their house at times has been unlivable.  It is hard to see your family members so upset and hurting.  And then..just a couple of months ago one of my sons friends killed himself.  My son, Chance was quite close to this young man and it was extra tragic as he had two older brothers who did the same thing.  They killed themselves their senior year of high school.  Hard to even fathom isn’t it???  So you see it has been an unbelievably hard year.  So much loss, so much hardship, so much pain. 

Last night my friend messages me and she wanted to fix me up with someone.  He sounded really good on paper.  Christian, nice, goes to church, handsome, a certain age, etc.  And at first I was tempted to say…Absolutely!  Sounds great..set me up.  But I KNOW…God has told me to wait.  I truly feel as though God has asked me to wait on His timing and purpose….that there is someone I am supposed to be with but it is not the right time yet.  I have asked God to release me from this(because it makes me feel insecure and crazy at times.)  But God has made it clear to me I need to wait, that He has the ultimate plan and purpose and it is in His timing. 

And then tonight my Epiphany hit…through all the hardships…through my son graduating…..through everything the past year has  brought me I have had only one person to lean on….and that is God.  I’ve had no shoulder to cry on.  I’ve had no one to make it better for me.  I took no pills or had anyone that I would depend upon except the Lord himself.  I have looked to His word and to Him only.  I have grown like I never have before.  In the past I would look to whom ever I was in a relationship in to make it all better.  The only relationship I am in right now is with the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is my salvation, He is my rock, He is my anchor, He is who I trust in.   What a blessing!  To know I can have the hardest year of my life hands down and God will see me through.  I have leaned on God’s word.  I have spent countless hours with him.  I have a life group from my church that I learn and grow with through God’s word.   So I have learned no matter what, even if I wait a lifetime for the person God has for me, I know God will always be there for me.  He will see me through. 

If you are going through a hard time or hardship I want you to know God is here for you.  Your spouse or friend or family member or boy friend can’t make it right.  But our heavenly Father can.  He loves you.  He want to be your everything.  People let us down…but God he is always faithful.  He is always there.  He will never let go.  Learn to depend on Him.  GO TO HIS WORD!  Just start reading.  God will bring you to where you need to be.  Keep the faith.

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 

Sometimes it is REALLY hard to see.  But faith and hope are what God asks of us…and what He gives to us when we come to him.  Give your concerns to God.  Let Him guide your life.  You won’t be sorry I promise.  Keep the faith!  Lean on God!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let it go…

So as you know I have an 18 year old son who is about to graduate from High school.  I’m going to be honest with you.  This is going to be an emotional month for me.  I really can’t talk about it with out tearing up.  He is my only child and I literally can not believe how fast the time has gone.  If I could, I would reverse the hands of time and make him little again. I know that is not going to happen so I must accept that he is growing up and soon will be on his way to college. 

As a single mom it is so easy to make your child your world. I have said more than once…He is my EVERYTHING…He is all I have….If anything ever happened to him….  It is a lot for one kid to live up to or have put on him.  I’m sure at times to him it seemed as though all my happiness rested on him.  To me in fact he is my best friend.  (although I’m not so sure he would say the same about me!)

Last post I wrote about my mission trip with him to Mexico and how I had to lose myself for God.  What I failed to mention was part of my problem on that trip was my motive to be there. I wanted to serve God, and I wanted to help out these families, and I wanted to make a difference but what I mostly wanted to do was keep an eye on my son and make sure nothing happened to him.  You see I am(or I am a recovering) helicopter mom.  I can hover like a Duey.  (and if you didn’t know that is one BIG helicopter!)

I have always been a very protective mom(ok maybe over protective Mom might be the word or AKA…control freak!)   I definitely did not see it that way until two years ago when God started whispering in my ear…Let him go.   But Lord, he needs me!  Let him go….but he might get hurt….Let him go….but it’s my job to protect him….and God responded once again…..Let him go and give him to me.  He is MY child….Let him go!

God actually had been telling me this for awhile and I did let certain things go.  I let him go to youth group with out me. (Ha…I know that sounds pathetic…but before I went as a leader….that was my disguise to hover over him.)  And I let him go to friends homes silly things like that…but then the BIG test came.  The following years Mexico mission trip.  God told me to let him go with out me.  My reply was….Huhhhh….NO WAY!

Our church takes great care of our kids and takes every precaution going down to Mexico but it by no means is safe.  You have probably heard of the drug wars going on and there is always some risk involved when you cross the border.  But God made it so clear to me.  Let him go….I will take care of him.  So I let him go with out me and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done as a parent.  I pretty much prayed and cried the whole week.  And God did take care of him.  And once again he went this year with out me. It still was hard but I also had a lot of peace knowing God was in control. 

I now know God has been preparing me to let my son go off to college.  If I hadn’t started letting him go the last 2 years how in the world would I be able to let him go now?  I’m not going to lie it still is going to be so hard but I trust God.  I know he has my son in His mighty hand.  I know it’s time to let go and trust Him with the plan and purpose for my sons life. 

My question to you is….What are you holding onto?  Are you holding onto your kids like I was?  Are you holding onto a relationship that isn’t in God’s plan for you?  Are you holding on to bitterness for your ex or someone else who has wronged you?  God says over and over in the Bible…Trust me!

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. 

Colossians 2:6-7  As you have put your trust in Christ Jesus the Lord to save you from the punishment of sin, now let Him lead you in every step.  Have your roots planted deep in Christ.  Grow in Him.  Get your strength from Him.  Let Him make you strong in the faith as you have been taught.  Your life should be full of thanks for Him. 

It really does boil down to faith.  Are you letting go and trusting God…letting him lead you in every step?  Or are you holding on to something that is Gods.  Our children are Gods.  Our lives are Gods.  Our plan and purpose are Gods.  Our relationships with others are Gods.     

I’d like to share something I wrote in my journal a couple of weeks ago.

The Sounds of my Son
When you have a teenager you may not see a whole lot of them.  But when I hear the door open at night I know he is home safe.  When I hear the shower in the morning, I know he is up and getting ready for a new day.  I hear him in his room laughing with his friends.  Right now I hear him playing his guitar and I know all is well in the world.  I am not sure what I am going to hear when he goes away to college but I know God will give me the strength I need when that day arrives.  I am trusting God to see me through. 

My hope is you are trusting God too!   Now Let it go…..


Thursday, April 28, 2011

It’s NOT all about me....

I really try to live by those words.  Easier said than done!  When I read The Purpose Driven Life  I was drawn in right away at the 1stsentence….It’s not about you.  I want it not to be about me and yet there I am always in the way.  Being single I pretty much can do whatever I want whenever I want.  I can cook whatever I want, spend my time and money however I please, and basically I don’t have to check in with anyone.  It’s all about me! 
Of course if you have children they come 1st but even as a single parent with a split custody situation I’ve always had quite a bit of time away from my son. Every other weekend, split Christmas Break, Spring Break, etc….and when that happens, it’s all about me baby.  Time for mama to shop, go tanning or do whatever I want…because I can! 

One of the traps of singleness is selfishness.  It’s all about me…good or bad.  We can get stuck in the “Whoa is me” syndrome.  We feel like…no one really knows what being single is like….My life is hard if you only knew what I have to go through…..You have a partner, I’m all alone…..I have to raise my children by myself….I have the financial burden of my household on me.  The I’s just keep coming.    But God tells us in the Bible
in Luke 9:23 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.    

God says we need to lose the I.  And that my friends is not an easy thing to do.  A couple of years back I had the privilege of going on a mission trip with my son to build houses in Mexico.  It sounds like a selfless act doesn't it?  But I ended up learning a lot about myself on that trip and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  I came into it saying…It’s not about me!  But as soon as I came across some hardships on the trip, it became all about me fast! Let me explain;  So 1st off I had heard the stories of this trip from previous years.  The weather could make you or break you.  You are camping for 4 days in a big dirt pit.  And for the record, I don’t camp.  (That is a whole other topic that I won’t get into.  Let’s just say in my mind camping is the opposite of fun.  But hey, this isn’t about me…right?  No problem.  I got this camping thing. )

I had three big fears going into this trip.  A.  I would get or be sick.  B. That we would have horrible weather and   C.  That something would happen to my tent and the things in my tent.  Not likely these things would happen….right??? 

The day before we were to go I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. (And yes I got my stinkin flu shot!)  I was miserable!  Once we got to Mexico it started to rain....hard.  You literally dig trenches around your tent for the water to go into in hopes it won’t go into your tent.  Our vans got stuck in the mud, we couldn’t even do a full day’s work the 1st day there because it was raining so hard.  So there I am sick, cold, and in the pouring down rain.  Not happy but trying to tell myself……It’s not about me. Then we go back to our campsites and that is when I get the news….There was a big wind gust while we were gone.  Not only did our tent blow down but our tent pole gouged it and there was a hole in the top of our tent roof. (Still raining mind you!)  Our stuff and sleeping bags were wet.   Thankfully before we left for our sites I had put black garbage sacks around our sleeping bags so it could have been a lot worse.  But still, we had to duct tape our tent back together, try to dry it out and I felt like my head weighed 100 pounds.  It was not going well.  The next day the weather was better but still a mess outside from the rain.  I still felt horrible, and the work was HARD Labor.  It involved a very rickety staircase (if you could call it that), heavy buckets of dirt mixed with concrete and poured out to make a slab.  I’m not gonna lie I was not used to that kind of work and by the end of the day I was worn out and done.  Done with everything and everybody.   I was having the BIGGEST gripe session ever in my head.  I was thinking…I hate this…this is not fun…I don’t want to be here…why did I think I would be able to do this.  I’m never coming back again…ever!  I don’t want to be here for two more days, I’d give anything to get out of here.  This is so NOT worth it! 

You get the ugly picture.  It was about me and I had enough.  I went into the gathering tent for dinner quite grumpy and put out when God exposed my selfish heart for what it was. 

There was a local pastor who had come to visit us.  He spoke only in Spanish and had to be interpreted.  He started out by saying how thankful they were that we were there.  That his church had been praying for us.  To them we were like angles.  That these 4 days we gave to them building houses will change their families’ lives forever.  I began to cry tears of shame.  I couldn’t believe how fast I went from it’s not about me…to It’s all about me.  I prayed right there for God to forgive me and to change my heart.  It was a very humbling experience for me.  The rest of the week did not go perfectly or smoothly but it did not matter.  I had decided to lose myself.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I got to serve the Lord side by side with my son and grow in God’s grace.  It is a memory I cherish with all my heart.  I would not change one rotten circumstance for anything on that trip. 

I am still learning to lose myself.  It is not an easy act to do.  How about you?  Is your life all about you?  Are you constantly comparing your life to others and griping about it?  Or are you serving, growing, and giving to others?  It is what God has called us to do single or not.  Put yourself in situations where you have the opportunity to lose yourself for God.  Start serving others in your community, church, go on mission trips, or where ever God leads you.  And trust me if you ask Him…he will lead you to serve him.  Don’t be afraid!  It really is time to say and show….It’s not about me. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let’s Get Intimate…

SO…  The main reason I am doing this blog is to reach out to other singles and let them know they are not alone.  I love that God is speaking to others besides singles through this blog.  You never know what God will do with something when he calls you to it.  But I have to say….it is hard for me to spill my guts.  I have spent a lot of time and years doing the opposite.  I have put up a wall and acted like everything was fine and I wasn’t struggling at
all and life is peachy keen, don’t you know!  But that was not the case.  And God has REALLY laid it on my heart that I need to be real and authentic and spill the dirt on myself.  I was in a bad marriage for years but pretended everything was fine to my friends and family.  At times I have felt alone, rejected, and so incredibly insecure being single.  I’ve only let a few of my true inner circle friends know the “real” me. 

I once read a definition of intimacy as into-me-see.  When you are truly intimate with someone you let them see the real you.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  And I think that is
how we grow.  We let our guard down and
let God in.  And a big part of that is fellowship with other like minded Christians.  God has REALLY been working on me in this area and I’d like to share how, but some of these details seem a bit intimate to me (and seriously embarrassing) but I have a feeling I am not alone in some of these areas. 

I think in every singles walk there comes a time when you start to do the ring check.  You know what I mean….you see or meet someone randomly, maybe at the local coffee shop, grocery store, church, where ever and you think Hmmmmm…I wonder and then you look.    You know…. for the ring….the ring that is on the left hand….the hand that will state…… taken or available.  The ring check can become sort of an obsession.  Always looking. Always
wondering.  Always on the prowl.  Your day can rise and set with a ring check.(Ooohhh he’s single!  Dang…He’s married!) 

But the thing I have been most guilty of is freaking out or being a complete weirdo when I meet someone who is single.  All of a sudden I make it really complicated and my wall comes up.  (And let me tell you the Great Wall of China has nothing on the wall I can put up!)  Let me explain.  I meet someone through a friend or at church or whatever….these are the thoughts that would run through my head.  Oh my gosh…What if he thinks I like him?  What is he likes me?  What if people start talking?  What if he likes me and I don’t like him?  What if I like him and he doesn’t like me?  What if, What if, What if….WHOOOOP….wall of China in place.  I would probably avoid them at all costs and I would not talk to them, definitely never get to know them, and probably act quite rude around them by giving them the cold shoulder. (Defense mechanism)  I would never see them as a person to get to know and be friends with; I’d only see them as possible mate material.  That is the only way I could relate to them because they were single and so was I.  It wasn’t until I read Michael Cavanaugh’s book The Power and purpose of Singleness that my heart was stirred to change.  He talked about God convicting his heart that he needed to see single women as his Sisters in Christ first.  This REALLY spoke to my heart.  I rated every single guy I ever met as marriage material not as a brother in Christ. 


In my Life Group right now we are reading 1&2 Peter.  I came across a verse that really spoke to me.  In 1 Peter 1:22 it says….Now that you have made your souls pure by obeying the truth, you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters.  So love each other deeply with all your heart. 


This is what I have decided to do.  Obey God’s truth and love on my Christian Brothers and Sisters with all my heart.  I am seeing them through God’s eyes, not sizing them up.  I can’t tell you how this has freed me!  I am waiting on the Lord for his plan and purpose and loving everyone God puts in my path.  I’m not looking for that ring anymore.  I’m just looking at the person and letting God dictate how they fit into my life.  And in the mean time I am getting to know some amazing people and growing in fellowship and God’s grace with them.  I have so much more joy and peace in my life because of it. 

Ask yourself:  Are you obeying God’s truth?  Are you sizing up people or getting to know them as brothers and sisters in Christ?  Are you being real and authentic with others?  Are you plugged into other like minded singles?  If not we’ve got to talk! Pronto! J  Ask God for help in this area.  Ask Him to show you the way.    

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Panic Button.....

When I was 1st divorced I did not date much and I never did anything away from my son if it was his weekend home with me.  I hated being a part time Mom and I was very protective of my time with him.  That is a decision I will never regret as he is 18 now ready to graduate from high school and getting ready to go to college.  The time has gone so fast and I am so thankful that my time with him was my top priority.

 When he was older and more social and did not need me home as much I  started to date.  I was married young, divorced young and was in no real hurry to get married again…..until I turned 35.  I don’t know what happened to me but all of a sudden I hit the panic button…hard.  It was like an old war movie….Aaaaoooogah, Aaaaaoooogha, All hands on deck, All hands on deck!  This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill.  I literally went on a dating frenzy and it was for one mission and one mission only.  To find a guy and get married A.S.A.P.   (Now I should state that I was dating someone and in a relationship with him for 3 years prior to that summer.  I truly thought I would marry that person and when it all fell through, it propelled me into my panicked state.  I felt like I had wasted 3 “good” years with him and needed to find someone else immediately.  I wasn‘t getting any younger!!!) 

I did , e-harmony, and went on any dates any of my friends would set me up on.  But nothing was working.  They all pretty much flopped.  I was praying every night …God, PLEASE bring him to me.  I am ready.  I want to be married.  And then God spoke to my heart….and he told me very clearly to wait.  I will never forget it.  I knew with all my heart that I was to wait on Him.  That God had a plan for me and I needed to wait on his timing.  And at first I did wait, but pretty quick I got impatient and took things into my own hands.

Oh how I wished I had waited.  But I did not. I ended up getting back together with my ex-boyfriend, who then became my fiancĂ©’ and is now my ex-fiancĂ©’.  It was not right and I knew it but I did not listen and at the time I did not care.  I walked away from God to do my own thing. 

Let me tell you, I have paid a price for my disobedience.  I had to go through a lot of hurt and heartache to get myself back on track with God.  In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says, “When you do not wait on the timing of God’s will, you will end in making difficulties that will take years of time to put right.  Wait for God’s timing to bring it around and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment.”  I wish I had listened to God.  I can not undo what has been done but I have a choice now, and I choose to wait on the Lord. 
Just today I read in my Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young (Day March 26th)  Waiting on Me(Jesus) means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do.  It entails trusting Me with every fiber of your being, instead of trying to figure things out for yourself. 

I am SO done with trying to figure things out for myself.  I am ready and willing to wait on the Lord.  If God has called us to wait, we have to trust that He is at work in our lives. 
Psalm 130:5  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope! 
Give God your life today.  Tell Him you will wait on him.  Put your hope in His word. 

*Listen to song # 10 on my Single Girls Groove list.  It is called While I am Waiting.  This song really spoke to my heart when I heard it!  I hope you enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pit of Despair....

I love that I have married friends that are following my blog.  It is so great that you are wanting to try to see a singles perspective!  But the truth is unless you are in someone else's shoes you have no idea how it would feel.  You probably do not know what it feels like to be the only single person invited to a dinner party with all other couples there, or to walk into church by yourself and sit alone every week.   It is not an easy thing for a single to do.

I was married for 10 years and have been divorced for more than ten years now! (Yikes!)  I have woken up on more than one occasion (and I'm sure it will happen again) and thought to myself...This is my life... really??  This wasn't supposed to happen to me.  I was supposed to get married, have a great little house with the white picket fence, 3 kids in tow, be a stay at home mom, with a loving husband who adores me!  What the heck happened?  I'm sure you can relate!  Life seems to of given you a curve ball you never saw coming.  And it's not fair.  Why oh why did this happen to me?  The pit of despair has begun.  It's pity party time, and I am ready to whoop it up.    Maybe you've never been married and you are waiting...and waiting...and waiting....while it seems as though all your friends are getting married and starting families all around you.  You think What gives?  Why not me?  No fair!....and you join me in my pitty party. 

The devil just loves a good pity party.  He loves it when we feel like God has really let us down.  The madder we get at God the further away we walk from him...and frankly that is right where the devil wants us.  In the Pits of despair.  Nothing good ever comes out of there.....but I can't help but think of someone else who literally was in a pit and had some pretty crazy stuff happen to him, but instead of getting mad he stayed faithful.  He knew God would see him through.  You know who I am talking about, Jacob's son Joseph.  The kid with the really fancy coat. 

Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers because they were jealous of him.  He was sold into slavery and later thrown into jail for something he did not do.  Years and years passed by.  And Joseph stayed faithful.  We all know what happened later, Joseph became a very powerful man and God blessed him for his faithfulness.  Joseph had a choice:  He could be bitter at his circumstances and wave the "No Fair" flag or he could submit to God and continue to believe God and his promises.  I have waved that flag more than once, but not anymore.  I am truly believing God has an amazing plan for my life and yes my life has not turned out how I thought it would, but seriously who's life does?  No ones.  So you can be mad at God and miserable, or accept his will and trust him.  Talk to God tonight and tell him you trust him even if you don't understand. Start your walk with him in faith....

*Read Genesis 37 -45 for the whole story of Joseph. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You know the half...

The half of the oreo cookie without the cream on it.  You are not half of anything.  You are whole and complete just as God made you.  Now let me tell you I am a sucker for a sappy movie and a sappy line every time.  I literally gasped out loud the 1st time I saw Jerry McGuire and heard the whole...You complete me and you had me at hello line.   I remember thinking... I want my soul mate that completes me.  (Where is he darn it?)  Little did I know I was completed and whole in Christ.  NO human being on the planet can complete you, or meet all your needs.  It just is not possible.  God says in Colossians 2:10 "In Christ we have been made complete."    The 1st step in being joyful, content Christian Singles is knowing I am complete in Christ.  He completes one else!  Now if you don't feel very complete, it's time to take it to God.  He will show you the way but you have to GO to Him!  

* Half a cookie illustration was inspired by The Power and Purpose of Singleness by Michael Cavanaugh 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Let me start by saying.....

I have not always been so ready to give my life over to God.  I have spent a lot of time doing the opposite.  I have totally bought into the....You're no one with out someone line.  I have had wrong relationship after wrong relationship and I almost married someone I had no business being with  just because I was tired of being alone.  But let's face it society does nothing to help a single girl out.  They do tell us...You are no one with out someone.  Two is better than one.  I think you get what I am saying here.

So this past summer soon after I had called off my engagement I was pretty close to having a nervous breakdown.  It all was just too much.  I heard the lies in my head.  You are no one with out someone.  No one will ever love you.  You aren't good enough.  Yes, pretty dark stuff.   I was really loosing it and then I found a book that started my transformation.  (Well that and a really good Christian counselor.)   The Book is called The Power and Purpose of Singleness by Michael Cavanaugh.  It really sparked something in me.  I am on a mission to reach out to other singles.  Guess what you are not alone.  You my friend are not half a cookie....