Why Online Bible Study? Intro #CreateInMe

It’s taken me over 10 years to finally understand WHY I love online bible studies so much. Because it feels SAFE. I can watch, listen, read, and journal from the safety of my own home and remain anonymous. I do not have to participate or share any more than I feel absolutely comfortable doing. That’s also why I tend to invite atheists, agnostics and baby believers to them also. Because it’s so much safer than participating in person. The digging deep aspect is excellent also.

This week, I was watching the Intro or Week One of Create in Me when the leader mentioned that as a leader in church, she had prayed for people at times from a place of a sinful heart leaving people (and their sin or baggage) uncovered and unprotected. That bothered her and she had been convicted by that. Y’all, you have NO IDEA how thankful I was to hear a church leader openly admit to that AND apologize for it. Apparently, I’ve been waiting on that for the past 10 years and didn’t even realize it.

As a strong agnostic who did NOT believe in Jesus or Christianity and did not intend to be deceived into believing such nonsense, I was shocked to encounter Jesus. And within 3-4 years of that encounter, I began taking my children to church because “it was the right thing to do”. Most Christians love their church more than they love God. Or they confuse the two to be one in the same, and it’s not. I will not mention the name of the church, but they claim to be A Lighthouse to the Nations. Ummm…. that’s a great mission but let me tell you my story because my kids and my family were corrupted there.

While my teens were away at youth camp, their female youth leader and her husband made out sexually with one another in the presence of the kids. As they were deeply tonguing each other and rubbing each other, the high school kids were saying “get a room” to which the youth leaders replied “this is what happens when you separate married people” because the leaders were newlyweds and were staying in different buildings with the teens. Then at worship one night, from the worship stage, the leader of the entire camp told the audience “if you are here with your spouse tonight, kiss your spouse and don’t make it a peck either. Show these kids what they are in for when they get married”. As you can imagine, 5-6 of the youth group kids started texting their parents and friends and making comments on social media about how perverted this camp – and their leaders – were. I sent a letter via fax to the youth camp itself and requested a meeting with the youth leader personally. She refused to meet with me and the senior pastor met with me himself where he apologized for the youth leader’s behavior, meanwhile justifying it by saying she was just doing what the other leaders were doing yada yada yada.  As a parent, I work really hard to teach my kids that they should NOT eat Tide Pods just because everyone else is doing it. So that excuse really didn’t fly with me. THEN the youth group leader removed my son from the praise and worship band because he had told his parents what had happened at church and what happens at church stays at church. Y’all, that is not church. That is a CULT that divides families. Some time later, a teenage girl was crying up front upset that she had been sexually assaulted and was going to be going to court the next morning and wanted prayer. The same youth leader told the teenaged girl that her problem was unforgiveness and that she just really needed to forgive the person who assaulted her (who was an adult who ended up pleading guilty to child sexual assault and went to prison for 6 years and is now a registered sex offender). It’s been 10 years and that girl is still fearful of getting involved with a youth or young adult group because she felt so beat up by her youth leader. The next church I went to told people that “you enter a church the way you left the prior one and you need to reach out and make it right with your prior church before coming in.” These religious groups stick together y’all. And it’s scary. So, for years I’ve avoided really planting roots within a church congregation and I flee – fast and hard – at the very first sign that a church is unsafe.

I do NOT; however, flee from God. Which is exactly why I participate in Online Bible Studies and is why I decided to participate in Create In Me. And it’s been exactly what I needed. Even just hearing the leader apologize, softened me a bit and allowed me to experience some healing that I guess I’ve needed for a very long time without even realizing it.

I’m really looking forward to doing this study and have no doubt that I will benefit from it. God knows my heart and thank God He does because he’s ever so patient with me while I battle life and everything it throws at you.

Social media hugs to all. Have a GREAT day. #CreateInMe

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Haters, Honesty, Transparency, Sexism #TaylorSwift #Swiftie

We recently purchased tickets to the Taylor Swift Reputation Tour so I’ve been listening to more of her music. After a music video ended this weekend, this video played entitled “I Hate Taylor Swift – Taylor’s Side”. And I LOVED it!  This is a MUST SEE video.  Yes, Taylor is poised and handles her critics very well. But she also covers much more than “her side”. For me, as a blogger and outgoing person, I tend to be very open and transparent and that has definitely come back to bite me (especially with those loving, well-intending… I mean gossipy, dishonest church ladies, if you know what I mean). And you know what? That’s wrong. It is wrong of people to mishandle your open diary.

When you have time, take a break and watch the video. It’s really so so good.

Iced tea cheers your way 🙂

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Year, New You #2018 #HappyNewYear

Every year I like to make a journal entry so that I can go back years later and see what my goals and plans were and how much I’ve changed or grown since then (or to see if I’m still pretty silly and immature haha).

Everyone right now is on the “New Year, New You” bandwagon. The churches are doing their 21 days of prayer and my health and fitness friends are starting their cleanses and posting their workouts on social media. I’ve learned – for me – that I tend to do better with the “slow and steady wins the race” mentality and that’s pretty much where I am and am hoping to stay.  My goals for 2018 are:

To continue doing what I started last year. Purging the things I don’t need, downsizing my closet, organizing clutter (more slowly than Hubs may prefer LOL), paying down debt, focusing on the needs of my family, striving to maintain a healthy work-life balance that includes sanity, and dabbling in self-employment endeavors which I’m really enjoying by the way! Although 2017 had some terribly tough moments, that’s sort of the ups and downs of life, right? 2017 also had some AMAZING moments including a trip to Cabo with Hubs, a beautiful summer vacation with the kids just lounging at the local pool reading magazines (at least until it became too hot to breath outside), meeting new people through work, making some new girlfriends, joining a Pilates studio and so forth. Overall it was just a really great year. Sure, it had relationships challenges, raising teenagers challenges, and unplanned hiccups (like that dang AC unit going out). But it was still a fantastic year! For 2018, I’d like to see that continue but also see improvements. I’d like to be more consistent with pretty much everything. I’m also hoping to launch my own YouTube channel and a third blog and am interested in seeing how that turns out. Especially with my numerous issues with techy equipment. Watch me record an entire video with the camera still off or in the wrong mode. Oh, I just can’t wait to see that mess.

I’m so excited and hopeful about this season of life. Well, at least I am right now while the kids are on school break and the house is quiet and I’m enjoying coffee and doggie snuggles.

Happy New Year guys!!! Coffee cheers your way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving 2017 #TheGiftofTime

Even when life is tough I believe there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, you just need to look until you find it.

Aside from my marriage (that definitely hasn’t been smooth this year) 2017 has been a season of restoration and reconciliation and healing for me. I think it was the gift of time. In my single mom, work overload days I never had time to relax, breath, rest. This year I did all of that. This year I did exactly that. I scheduled rest and one on one time with each person in my immediate life circle.

Im thankful for my adult children. I’m so proud of them. They have grown into such responsibile, kind, caring, life benefitting people. I’m blown away by their work ethic and kindness to others.

I’m thankful that the younger kiddos have really been able to experience fun things this year from date night and a new haircut to seeing the Blue Angels and bungie diving at six flags. I’m certain 2017 has been a great year they will always remember. They were able to be involved in more activities than ever before because we had so much spare time. Oh and summer was swimming and snuggling and sleeping late daily. Best summer ever!!! P.S. I really wish I had that kind of time when mine were young. I missed so much working and being in college. Enjoy your kids while they’re still young y’all because it really does go by quickly.

I’m thankful for another year with my sweet Abigail. As crazy as that yorkie can be, I can’t imagine life without her. The pitter patter of her tiny little feet meeting me at the gate when I get home makes my heart explode with fireworks.
I’m thankful for my little blended family small group. It has been awesome to see women supporting and encouraging other women. The group as a whole has gone through a lot this year. Divorces, lawsuits, a custody battle, one suffered a devastating child loss… But without fail and no matter what was going on, someone in the group always took the time to listen and be there for the person in need. Virtual hugs are still hugs, right?

My goals in 2018 are to lose 20-30 pounds (please don’t try to sell me anything lol), have the surgery I need, and figure out my future career path. At my age (clearing my throat) it feels impossible to start over or start from scratch but I really really really am just so burned out with the legal field and do not want to go back into it. Like ever. So, I really need to figure out what it is that I am going to do professionally because it’s time to get back to work.

But first, coffee ☕️

I hope you all have much peace, love and joy this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving 🍁

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Broken Beautifulness #FaithHopeLove #RHOD

I was talking to a friend the other day about this “beautifully broken” life I’ve lived (and that my friends have lived) and how it compares to a stained glass window.  On Sept 5, 2017, I made this journal entry in my cell phone notes but haven’t really taken the time to blog it yet.

Have you ever seen a beautiful, colorful, vibrant piece of stained glass artwork? It’s pretty darn amazing. So, I looked up how to make it and stumbled across a website that said: Part 2 – (1) Make your template, (2) Score your glass, (3) Cut your glass, (4) Grind the edges, (5) Foil the glass, (6) Add flux … (7) Solder the glass… (8) Frame your creation.

Isn’t that like life y’all? Our creator has given us a template and life does the scoring and grinding. When it comes to myself, I really enjoy Step 1 of life and the hope of Step 8 of life. Viewing the template. Seeing the potential. Knowing that in the end there is going to be something beautiful. But you know what, I HATE the steps in between. The “art” of being scored, cut and ground down…. YIKES. But life will do that to you. It just will.

I am not going to say that I’ve committed to those in between steps, that I like those steps, or that I want those steps, but I am committed to believing by faith that  – in the end – once I’ve been molded and worked with and worked on by my creator and life’s experiences, that I will end up a beautiful creation worth framing – scores, cuts, scars, soldering and all. And you know what, I believe that you will be also.

Monday night on the RHOD Reunion Part 2, Andy Cohen asked each of the ladies what their rose and thorn was from this season. Every rose does have its thorn, right? The normal highs and lows of life. LeeAnne Locken said that she has such a hard time seeing the rose through the thorns sometimes. But y’all, that’s where faith does come in. Despite the thorns of life, despite the stained glass project that is not yet complete, find the rose in the season that you are in. The roses are ALWAYS there. You just have to look for them and trust the process. And yes, that’s me preaching to myself LOL.

Coffee cheers from Texas y’all. Go slay today.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Enlightened Lyricist

For the past 6 months or so, I’ve ran into a local kid several times (ok he’s in his early 20s but they are still kiddos to me at that age LOL). What struck me about him in particular was his journal. It was well worn and well loved. I’m a journal junkie and have at least a dozen of them so immediately I was curious. I mean, I can’t  remember the last time I ran into someone in public who carried a good, old-fashioned pen and paper journal. That’s sort of a lost art in todays techy world but it is still my personal favorite for note taking and brainstorming.

Come to find out, he is a young poet, artist, writer, rapper, etc. that goes by the tagline The Enlightened Lyricist. I like that tagline. He says that people think he looks scary. I can see that. But digging a bit deeper, peeling back some of those layers like an onion, there is so much more than meets the eye (as with most people, right?). He sort of reminded me of Eminem once he started rapping some of his poems (see Praying for Marshall Mathers).

If you look even closer you’ll notice that he has a large tattoo on his lower arm that says Proverbs 31:10 which reminds him of his beloved Grandma because that was her life verse and the one they used at her funeral. One of these days, he wants to meet a Proverbs 31:10 woman and get married, have children, and have a traditional home with two parents there to lead and guide the family daily. What GREAT goals and expectations to have in your early 20s.

We discussed our favorite musicians and though they were vastly different culturally, they were also very similar. For example, I LOVE Brantley Gilbert who is a secular country rock artist but who is also a man of faith having albums titled A Modern Day Prodigal Son, Halfway to Heaven, and The Devil Don’t Sleep. Within each of his secular albums is at least one faith-based song. To me there is something completely awesome about being at a country rock concert and the crowd busting out in a faith song because we do all have a spiritual side and spiritual nature whether we acknowledge it or not.

The Enlightened Lyricist introduced me to one of his favorite songs by the controversial rapper DMX and y’all, this song – Lord Give Me a Sign (which is linked here) – is awesome! Simply awesome. I’ve added it to my Spotify playlist. He also identifies with the song Demons by Imagine Dragons and is very open to share about his spiritual walk, journey, and personal struggles with anger, depression, life hurts, and unmet relationship expectations. He is light years ahead of the game and really I expect great things from him in the future.

One day I hope to be sitting on the porch enjoying a nice cup of hot coffee listening to the Enlightened Lyricist on the radio. Why? Because he will be able to do ALL THINGS…

Coffee cheers from Texas y’all.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Precious Cargo #ShesStillThere #Pro31OBS Ch. 8

Dang these homework questions in Chapter 8 LOL.

According to Chrystal Evans Hurst, we are all carrying precious cargo: gifts, talents and abilities that are unique to us. She writes that it is our responsibility to move through life well; to operate in full awareness of the possibilities that lie within us. It is our assignment to steward what we have been given and our job to get the contents within us deposited safely at their destination.

Pastor Duane at Victory Life Church used to tell us that a lawnmower serves no purpose in the dessert. It could even be a top of the line, high end, amazing lawnmower with all of the bells and whistles. But, if it’s not in the right environment, it’s purpose is not going to be fulfilled. That is exactly where I feel like I am in this current phase and season of life if it’s not where I’ve been all of my adult life. I’m not even sure what environment I belong in. It’s like I’ve been pursuing a long-term “trial and error” learning experience without ever “knowing” exactly where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. I got pregnant in high school and was forced to move out. So I got a job. I raised kids. I paid bills. I did what I had to do to survive. But, what do I do now?

One of the Reflections for the Rescue challenges says to identify your biggest struggle in carrying your cargo well. Maybe it’s “I don’t know or love my God-given cargo“… Yes,  Absolutely, Oh My Goodness! I just don’t know. At this point, I’m wondering if I ever will know.

What I do know is how I FEEL and I feel like that amazing tractor with all of the bells and whistles living in the dessert and I really desire to know where I belong.

Coffee cheers your way guys. Much love and hugs.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment