The Key to Your Heart #CreateinMe (Week 2)

Hello highlighter! We meet again.

There’s so much information in this week’s handout, but there are definitely a few things I want to journal so I will have the reminders handy.

We can be hoarders (but with our hearts). We let others into the front room of our heart and maybe even engage in a “heart to heart” chat meanwhile there can be so many other rooms to our heart that we wouldn’t even consider opening the doors to because the emotional debris would be impossible to ignore.

Yes, y’all. THIS is so true. And it’s also why I love, love, love, love my little blended family small group because the women – slowly but surely – begin to open up a few of the doors to those ugly rooms. I sincerely believe that there is healing in having a trusted place to share the truth behind your life and what makes you who you are.

She says that opening up is so much easier when you have the key because the locked door does 2 things: (1) locks out the unauthorized and (2) opens to the owner. We cannot “create in me a clean heart” without being willing to open the door.

“King David kept his heart clean by pouring it out before God. The book of Psalms chronicles his prayers where he shares his fears, his enemies plans and his feelings of pain, disappointment and despair. It’s a cleansing process to pour out your heart”. For years I’ve said that this blog is like my personal little book of Psalms so it’s really neat and fun to see her outline it that way. Makes my inner teenager a bit giddy LOL.

Have a fabulous day and coffee cheers your way 🙂

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Love on Lock #CreateinMe Video Lesson 2

How to have an open heart when you want to hide. Yes please!!!

I tend to be 1 of 2 types of extremes when it comes to my personality. I am either fully opened up or completely shut down. There is very little middle ground with me. Open or closed. I’m pretty sure that she was talking about me personally through the entire video. But I bet lots of ladies felt the same way LOL. A few of the things that I wanted to remember and save were:

The story of her neighbor who has the most beautiful land and pond but doesn’t own the mineral rights (the valuables buried underneath the ground) to the property.  Because of that, the oil people have come in and put up very large, loud pumps that have made the land lose it’s peace and ruined the view. Likewise, what’s deep in our hearts beneath the surface must be dug up and dealt with so it doesn’t steal our rest and rob our life.

The story of her mother teaching her to clean her house from the top down (ceiling fans, dusting, counters, then the floors). That there is an order to things. If you clean from the bottom up, you’ll have to do lots of double work because you’ll get things on the lower half messy again as you’re cleaning the top. In the instruction “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”, the proper order is Desires then Treasure then Heart. Watching the tongue first is like cleaning the floor first. So seek the Lord for the right desires. (I love that reminder). Your heart follows your treasure, so your heart must be guarded (see Lesson 1).

I especially loved the story about her dog Oliver and how he takes the lead during walks so the trainer said to shorten the dogs leash and stop the walk whenever the dog takes over. The Master is to stay in the lead. It’s kind of hilarious because I’ve always said that God has me on a “short leash” when deep down I’ve always wanted to run full speed freely without a leash. Anymore I still like to run, but would prefer to be confined to a safe space such as the dog park where I can maintain safety and stay out of trouble LOL.

Love these illustrations and how they help describe these key lessons.

Coffee cheers your way.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#CreateInMe Video Lesson 1 – Guard Your Heart

Hello Friends!!! I’ve been plugging away at the Create in Me online bible study but haven’t set down with my laptop in awhile. Since today is Good Friday, I really wanted to take the time to update my personal book of Psalms here and remind myself of how good God really is. Life isn’t always good, people certainly aren’t good (there’s no one good, no not one), but God really is good. Like great good.

Amie Dockery’s video on this topic was nothing short of fantastic and I want to log some things I took away from it so I can read them in the future when I need a reminder.

I’ve read and heard about “guarding your heart” and not following your heart many times. But the way she illustrated it really helped me understand it. She explained different types of guarding. For example, a body GUARD protects you from others but not necessarily from yourself. You GUARD a weapon with care so not to hurt yourself or others. A court appointed GUARDian makes sure that your interests are protected. Working in the legal field for 20 years, I worked with so many Guardian Ad Litems who were appointed to children to make sure that the actions of parents were actually in the best interest of the children rather than in their own self interest but I never considered guarding my heart in that same way. What a great example that makes sense. Though our hearts can be cleaned, they can also be corrupted so we should guard our heart as a precious jewel because it’s valuable but also watch over it like a prisoner because it’s loaded like a weapon.

She also described the enemy attacks on Jesus (and on us) in a way I’ve never heard. I’ve always been taught that the enemy uses temptation in 3 forms: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. She expanded that with this: (1) physical need (Jesus – hunger), (2) attack on your identity (if you are who you say you are), and (3) intellectual fear (look at what I can give you, are you sure …).

It’s not so much temptations or failures that damage us, its the FEAR of rejection and FEAR of failure and because of FEAR we do not push forward.

Girl… yes.

It’s no secret that in our personal life we have tons of “blended family drama”. Though I am a very confident and vocal woman, I do actually work very hard to avoid conflict if at all possible. Unfortunately, that fear of conflict has become a habit that has created problems in the lives of our children. For example, my ex was released from prison a couple of years ago and I have intentionally avoided him in order to avoid conflict (I had a restraining order on him for 6 years so we have not had contact in a very long time). But, avoiding him also meant avoiding my kids. When my son graduated, I sat apart from the rest of my son’s family and quickly left when it was over so that he could go mix and mingle with his dad and grandparents without me in the way. Earlier this month he told me he was planning to move into a new apartment and I told him I would take the day off to help. My son then told me that his Dad was going to be there so I quickly told him I would just stay home (fear of conflict) and would stop by the next day.

Hubster’s kids attend youth group at their moms church. They stay the night with the leaders. They participate in Sunday morning performances. His daughter is part of the choir. They’ve asked us several times to attend or to take them and we’ve always declined. Why? FEAR. Fear of conflict. Last week the 17 year old asked us to take her to the Easter event with youth group this weekend since she will be with us on Easter and our first reaction was no. Just in case Hubs’ ex was there which could create conflict.

We are done living by FEAR and missing out on our kids’ events simply because the ex spouse could be present. No more. That ends NOW.

And guess what? My son told his Dad that I would be helping him move and that I was always welcome at his apartment and I did show up but his Dad did not. I was able to participate in my son’s life and there was nothing uncomfortable or awkward and there was no conflict because his Dad did not even attend.

Tomorrow we are taking Hubs’ kiddos to the youth event at their Mom’s church. Whether she is there or not. We are tired of missing events with our children due to fear of conflict. Of course we hope there is not conflict. But my goodness the FEAR has got to go and go now. It’s been going on far too long already. Surely our love for our kids is greater than our fear of conflict with our ex’s.

Who knows? Maybe the more we are all present at the same place the more the kids will be used to it so that future graduations, celebrations, weddings, etc. won’t have to be so awkward and uncomfortable for the kids. It’s been a long time coming but better late than never.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Online Bible Study? Intro Video #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

 

 

 

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