Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Count it ALL Joy (pt 2)

I was sitting here eating a banana this morning reading with the She Reads Truth gang about the fruit of the Spirit and I had me some thoughts. 
I would love to share them with you beloved reader, and I apologize in advance if none of it makes sense because I'm only on my first cup of coffee. 


The past few weeks have been a heavy flow of one sad, depressing, rough and tough love song for those around me that I hold near and dear.
 
Although my home has only been plagued with your garden variety of hardships, nothing has quite come even remotely close to the difficult things that have been circling around me.
I'm not one who can hear about your sadness and move on my merry way.
Some can, and God bless them because they are the folk that keep the world spinning around, but this girl carries with her the sadness like a catchy tune that just lingers day after day.
It's the only thing that I can think about.

So it seems strange to me that I would sit here and feel compelled to write some more on the topic of JOY, but in my reading this morning I came across this ;

"In your presence there is fullness of JOY" Ps 16:11
 
For some reason this just jumped off the page and reminded me that the JOY of the LORD is my strength. It's not something you can conjure up or create. 
This joy, that is "of the Lord" 
*(sorry that just made me think of the movie Nacho Libre and  "these are the Lord's chips"  quote... I feel like every time I mention "the joy of THE LORD" for this blog we should say it in a Nacho Libre accent)
Ok so this JOY "of the Lord" is not like taking a happy pill or going around singing that happy song that asks you to clap along, even though I do love that song and usually clap along.
 
Its something completely different than the emotion of happy. 

The joy "of the Lord" is almost like a character trait that comes only from being in the Lover of your Souls presence. 
It's not my joy.
Its not a fake happy.
It's a state of being that never leaves.

You can be going through just about anything and still not be in the "depths of despair" as Anne of Green Gables would say, because you know deep down in your knower that everything really will be ok.

That's not to say that I don't still have a heavy heart for the very difficult things that are going on around me. I can also grieve and cry and feel sadness, but those aren't the constant in my life. Because I have learned a very long time ago that with this particular kind of genetic make up... the kind that would be described as;
*Wearing your heart on your sleeve
*Being overly sensitive
*Having a Sentimental heart
it is best not to ignore the tune, but rather to dive deep into the pain, and then sing it to the lover of my soul.

Because as I sing the sad love song, the song that He has felt so much more than I can imagine He listens and then carries on.
His hands are strong and able to heal much better.
His heart is unbreakable and much bigger than mine.
His eyes never slumber nor sleep.
He is always mindful of his creation and knows best how to comfort them all. 
So I leave the sadness with him and he replaces it with JOY, that then becomes my strength. 


"Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren and sisteren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Count it ALL Joy!




This lil gem was in my draft section and I blew the dust off because I needed the reminder maybe you do too ? 


I've been thinking about this scripture;

"Consider it all joy my brethren (or sisterhood) when you encounter various trials"
Have you heard these words from the book of James before?
You can find them in the very first chapter of the book of James in the bible.
It's hard to believe that this is what James, Jesus' brother wrote in the very beginning of his book.
It was like right off the bat he wants you to know, he's not gonna be the book you go to, to feel cozy and warm.
He didn't mess around that James dude!
As a writer you look for the opening statement that is grab your reader and keep them reader, I'd say James was a pretty damn good writer wouldn't you?

"Consider it all joy my brethren (or sisterhood) when you encounter various trials"

Ok maybe he doesn't have the sisterhood bit in there, but I'm sure that was just an oversight, I won't hold that against him will you?

The past few weeks I feel as though I have had me some trials!
I have heard me some trials from beloved friends!
They aren't the kind that are 3rd world trials by any means, but none the less they have been challenging to me and to those I love deeply. 
And whenever I go through tough times personally, or just from hearing of the variety of trials around me I always think to myself...
That James must have been on CRACK cause JOY is the last thing I think of when I'm having a bad day, week, month, YEAR!!
I mean no disrespect, but I wonder if anyone else can relate here?


I mean, if you take the word 
TRIAL
and then the word
JOY
they just don't seem like they would be best friends, do they?

Know what I'm sayin'? 
So, then I wonder what do trials and joy have any business doing together in the same sentence?

I think that might be a rhetorical question, but then again maybe not because I'm going to try and answer it too.

In the past few weeks I have asked for prayers for myself from "the sisterhood" about oh... I dunno... umpteen times. 
I felt kinda like a rug. 
Beaten and shaken out to dry!
But, in the midst of these couple of rough weeks I realized that something deeper was happening and if I could just make it to the finish line(or to the coffee pot) I would be o.k. 

And, I can honestly say, that is why ... Today, I had myself a GREAT day!!
I made it to the other side of FUNK mountain and I came out singing.
The light at the end of this tunnel of FUNK was so bright it almost blinded me today.
As I walked around with a song on my lips and a spring in my step I just thought... 
Here is where Joy and Trials go hand in hand. 
Because the truth of the matter beloved reader is that there may pain in the night but joy really does come in the morning when you just hold on for dear life to the Anchor, Creator, Giver, Savior, and Healer. 




Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bullet Point Rambles Update

I haven't really had a lot of time for blogging, and you can't imagine the dust that occurred here while I've been gone.
Not only is there dust on my computer but all over my house as well.
 
Sigh. 
I think the only thing that doesn't have dust on it these days are my window blinds that my son Solomon was paid quite handsomely to clean. 

It has come to this.

Paying my children to do my chores, or are they solely my chores now that I'm not a "stay at home" momma anymore?
Well, either way I'm happy to pay someone, anyone, to get this place in order... but then that paycheck doesn't really seem to last very long. 
Double sigh.
What's a girl to do?
If you have that answer please leave your wisdom and insight in the box marked comments below.


That's me, at work, working hard!

This is just one of the musings that have been kicking around in my brain as of late, but nothing of real substance.

I have however been having some random thoughts and ideas about life in general, but don't expect anything profound here. 
If you are looking for inspiration this might not be the blog post for ya. 
Here's another random thought;
The battery charge red zone on my phone.
It starts with the warning 
"20% battery remaing"
To which I normally just dismiss, and I think eh... I have some time.
When it gets to the 10% warning I start to kind of get worried if I'm out and about and not near a charger.
And when I'm down to 5% or less I go into full on anxiety attacks!! 
O.k. that might be a bit dramatic but I start to freak a little I'm not gonna lie.

So this past week, I was grocery shopping no time to stop and in total go mode and my battery got pretty darn low, and I had this thought ...
I act as though my phone is a person.
That if it dies, it won't come back to me.
That the world will stop and the tragedies that could occur while having a dead phone are too many to mention.
And well, this just really bothered me.
I began to think about the days before cell phones.
Do you even remember those days?
Tell me your thoughts on this beloved readers?
How do you react to a low battery?
Do you freak out like it's a person dying or are you cool as a cucumber about it all?

That random thought might be a sign that I need to unplug a bit more.



And now for a personal update;

My brother got married this weekend.
 
I think I still might be in shock.
I remember this pesky lil boy who would drive me nutts pretty much on a regular basis, as all little brothers do.
 
And now he's married to a beautiful woman who I can officially say I'm happy to call sister. 
I love them both.

They will continue to make a great team.
And I can hardly wait for some lil nieces and nephews... thee hee hee!!
Following in Grandma Ellen's footsteps there ;)




And finally the last topic that's been rolling around in my brain is the fact that since I've turned 40 I have gone on this kind of inward strike and I'm unconsciously boycotting all traditions that I used to hold so near and dear to my heart.

It's not totally even a strike as much as it is just an attitude.
Well, see, even attitude sounds too harsh.
It's more like my new favorite sentiment toward life right now,
Meh!
I'm not sure why I feel this way about the traditions that used to be oh so important to me, but if I figure it out I'll let you know.

Meh!

Before you go getting all hot and bothered that I won't have the traditional Pie Party in November... simmer down
I will forever be A Girl for all Seasons
What up Grease 2 circa 1989 ;)
It's a passing phase I can tell you that much.

That's really all I've got for now folks.
That and Happy almost May 1st!!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Velveteen Rabbit, Billy Ocean, and A New Tattoo (trust me I'm going to make this work)



“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit


Yesterday afternoon my oldest daughter and her choir put on a concert for a 90 year old woman who has been an active influence in the world of art and music here in Reno for over 50 years. It was an awesome event to celebrate her life and while I watched her play on stage with the other band members I started to think about the above quote.
I absolutely love the above quote. 
It really applies to life as a human being as well as life as a Velveteen Rabbit.
I miss the days of reading the Velveteen Rabbit, but when I was a child I never even knew the depth of this quote.
One of the main reasons I love that quote is because it reminds me that life is a process. There is no final, or test that you take to say you have graduated, or you have now become who you are going to be. 
You just become.
It really does take a very long time to become.
In watching the 90 year old woman last night I thought to myself, not even this lady has become.
She still has more memories to make and more lessons to learn, although it seems hard to believe but I bet if you asked her she would tell you that it's true.
You never stop learning.
You never stop becoming.
 It really does take a long time to become.
Upon turning 40 years old I thought if a person was ever going to be done with the whole becoming process it should be about half way through this life don't cha think? 
But no, as it turns out, it's really not even close.
I mean, sure it's closer than it was when I turned 20 but still so much more becoming is needed.
I look at older ladies in my life and see how secure they are in their skin and how confident their voices are and  I think I want that even more than I have it now, but I'm pretty sure its wrapped up in... you guessed it... more becoming.
It really does take a long time to become.
I don't want to be one that breaks easily either. 
There's a scripture in Proverbs that says, 
 "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." 
This scripture has always reminded me of that old Billy Ocean song, When the going gets tough the tough get going!
I think we should listen to that song and have a little dance party at the end ... 
What do you say, who's with me?
Let's get back on topic for now though... 
The wisdom in that proverb is that in this life there are going to be days, weeks, maybe even months or quite possibly years of adversity but that is when we have to push through and keep looking up, or  work on those tough muscles or get going like Billy says!
Speaking of looking UP, this past Friday I finally got Carl here, from the Disney movie UP tattooed on my inner arm.
Can you say OUCH!!
He (Carl) is a perfect example of this becoming business.
He thought when his wife died his becoming was over... but OH what joy awaited him when he started to become someone else, someone he always wanted to be.
I'm going to move on because even just thinking about that movie gets me weepy.
(Because remember when Isaiah turned 5 and had an UP themed bday party?)
I'll be honest, one of the reasons that scripture has always stood out to me is because I don't like adversity. I don't do hard or complicated or tough very well. 
I like happy, sunny, champaign wishes and caviar dreams, (only minus the caviar... bleh!)
But real life is not like that. 
We have to go through the bad that makes the good that much more betta!
It really does take a long time to become.

And let's talk about sharp edges. 
Have you ever noticed those grumpy old people with so many edges it's hard to be the same room with them?
Kinda like Carl before he met Russell.
Don't cha just love that Russell kid?
Oh wait, sorry I keep getting distracted all I know is that
I don't want to become... like that.
I know for me there is still so much more life ahead and rather than being worn out and leathered by the storms of life that come my way I want to be like a fine wine that only gets better, not the kind that turns to vinegar.
So that being said, let's become well together and don't forget to DANCE!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Woven

"I want you WOVEN into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else."
 Colossians 2:2-3 



I read this, a few days back and I immediately thought of the new women's group that I get the privilege of being a part of once a month at my home church Hillside Foursquare. The reason I thought of them is because we have named our group Woven with the idea that our purpose should be to weave our hearts together with acts of love. We feel that all of God's women here in Reno, NV and across the world are stronger, better, more courageous when we stand together as a unified force. 
 
I'm sure it makes a lot more sense now why this scripture that was on my desk calendar would shout out to me then. But, as I took a closer look I realized that God has been weaving a reoccurring theme throughout my days and that is unity. 

I have been studying the book of John with the SheReadsTruth ladies and a while back we read in John 5:19 that even Jesus was apart of the infinity circle. In this portion of scripture he talks about how he did nothing on his own but only moved always with the Father. 
It got me thinking about how every soul that ever was or ever will be desires closeness, oneness, unity with someone. 
When we seek out this unity our lives are richer, deeper, fuller and we are more in tune with our true selves. 

Every soul longs to know and be known by at least one.

God made us to long for this.
He made us to long for Him. 

If even Jesus needed this connection with the Father how much more do we need it as well.
When we fill our lives with other things it may temporarily fill that hole but it doesn't fulfill us for very long.
I believe this to be the reason that social media's have become so prevalent in our day and age because they are a way of staying connected.
 
The human soul is constantly seeking connection. 

We look with eyes of wanting to see at least one face in the crowd who understands and fully gets us.
That's what is so nice and comforting about old friends, they know you. The you that TP'd a house at age 13 or the you that got bit by a dog when you were only 14 or the you that married at 20 years of age, or lost your first baby to a miscarriage. 
They know you.
But only God knows the real you.
He's known you since you were in your mother's womb.
Doesn't that just trip some of you out right now?
That's a lot of knowing.
The truly awe-some thing about the fact that God knows us and sees us is that as we get to know Him he reminds us over and over and over again that He only ever wants to love us. Often times we think how could God loves this? Because we see through eyes of darkness we think that's all He sees.
But oh beloved reader, HE sees through eyes of light. 
He can only see the good in you.
What an amazing God we have.
Truly He adores you.
As we begin to know, really know this love of Christ we walk a little taller. 
Our head is not hung in shame for every mistake we have made.

This is the great mystery... the LOVE of Christ!


In seeking a greater level of peace this year I have realized more than ever how crucial my connection, my umbilical cord, if you will, to Jesus is a vital and necessary part of that peace.
Anytime I try and cut that cord the life just drains right out of my soul and I'm left tired, weary, and discouraged. 
Staying constantly at his feet in this busy, chaotic world is not easy.
I have found over the years that if I surround myself with scripture everywhere I look there is an opportunity for God to speak to me in my decor. 
And He does.
And almost on a weekly basis I'm wooed back to his feet by a simple word or reminder that, that is where my soul will be fed and my heart will stay in full, surrendered peace.
But even more than being surrounded by God's word I can honestly say that it is the LOVE of Christ that draws me, beckons me to come, because without the daily dose of Jesus I am not quite the same.
I function, but at a level that isn't my best self. 
My true inner soul needs Jesus the living water that causes me never to thirst again. 
His voice is still and small but if you listen, really listen He will call you too.
If you are the girl who's waiting by the phone and it never rings, or more likely these days waiting on your IG pic to be liked by a certain someone, please know that you have already been called, you are already liked, and you are beyond measure loved by the Lover of your Soul.
Focus on Christ and let Him weave you into this tapestry of LOVE!




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year, New Word


You know the moment when you are barely awake in the morning, snuggled in your bed with your favorite pillow and blankets tucked around you just right. The moment when you realize you are awake but your mind drifts back to slumber and the air is cold because it's the middle of winter and you know that the warmth that is blanketed around you will quickly leave the moment you step your first foot on the floor? 
That is the best description I can think of to try and explain how God's presence blankets his children with PEACE.
It is a peace that surpasses understanding because even though the world around you is cold and barren, chaotic and often even devoid of life, you are blanketed in this warm feeling that everything is going to be alright and you don't know how to truly explain that you know this except to say, that God has given you 
PEACE.

"Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give and bequeath to you. 
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do NOT let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Stop allowing
yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful
and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled."
John 14:27

This peace that Jesus has left those of us that follow in his footsteps can blanket us everyday. 
Even in our darkest moments his peace doesn't leave our sides.
He walks with us to those dark places and shines the light in every corner and every crevice.
He reminds us that when we open our eyes and we do step out of bed into the cold, dark world HE will be there to help us. 

When I began praying about what word I wanted to choose to remind me of something all year, the word Peace just kept coming to mind. I kept thinking of people that I know and have known in my life that have exuded peace. I thought of a counselor who My Giant and I recently went to for a lil marriage tune up and how one thing that Moses said he noticed right away was how peaceful this man is. 
It made me long for that to be a description someone might use about me.
And then I had a conversation with my sister Jen and we were talking about how we both really want new habits in our lives. And I was reminded of something a friend of hers once said that never really left me, 

"When did Jesus stop being enough?"

It left me a little weepy as I realized all the idols I have allowed in this temple, and I longed for Jesus to be that peace once again.
I longed for my peace to come from the source of peace and balance, and goodness. 
I wanted desperately to take back all the years, all the moments, that I had given someone or something else that very special place that should have only been reserved for him and him alone. 

As I have gotten older and the world around me has too, I need the peace that Jesus gives now more than ever. 
I have always been a bit of worry wart and the only medicine for my overly anxious heart has only ever been Jesus, but sometimes I look to people, or my circumstances or a glass of wine to be that blanket of peace and without fail I'm left wanting.

"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And GOD's PEACE shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of it's salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with it's earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that PEACE that transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7

This year marks 20 years of marriage.
17 years of being a parent.
40 years of being alive.
The year my brother Greg will get married.
10 years of marriage for my sister Gina. 
70 years for one of my life's greatest examples of peace, my Mom.

And those are just the moments I know will happen. 
For all the unknown moments are what can weigh my heart down with anxiety, and worry.
I need that blanket of PEACE that God gives, and I want to look to him before anyone or anything else.
I want to walk out knowing fully that Jesus is enough!
The only way I know how I can do this is to spend time with the Lover of My Soul and he reminds me that he really does have the whole world in his hands. 
I can leave it all at his feet and he will carry my burdens. 
When I'm in that blanket of peace I think of a saying my beloved Gram(the most peaceful person I've ever met) used to say;

"All this and Heaven too!!"


What a truly beautiful life!

Here's to a 
NEW
PEACEFUL
HAPPY 
YEAR!!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On Turning 40

Today is the first day of my 40s, and so far I have to say it's going pretty well. 
And just in case you were wondering,
I'm not giving up on ducky lips in my 40's, but I do think I should buy a legit pair of glasses.
Meh. 
Maybe Not!!


No mid-life crisis in sight, unless you consider having ducky lips at 40 a crisis?
But seriously, I know I'm only a few hours into this 40's gig but I have a whole life time of stories to tell you that led up to this moment.
And maybe, just maybe some wisdom even though I don't have the grey hairs to show for it! 
Dammit!!
Where are those grey hairs? 
I may be the only 40 year old woman you know who has plans to put some fake grey hairs on my head and still pull off a damn good duck lip, but that's what I feel the 40's are all about.
There is no rule book on what this is supposed to look like and so with that being said, let me tell you some of my thoughts on turning 40.



I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day and it made me feel a little bit better about turning 40.
I love a good story and if I could only approach this birthday with the attitude that now,
I have 40 years of stories then I think I won't feel so old.

I wonder what the title for this chapter will be?

I think I'm heading into this decade with a few heavy duty life notches under my belt like; getting married, having 4 children, moving away, owning homes, a miscarriage, having surgeries, getting degrees, changing jobs, losing loved ones, greeting new loved ones into the world. 
But, there is still SO much of life that I haven't experienced yet and so I find myself in this in-between stage.

The chapter called the Middle. 

When I look back over my life I realize I really do have a lot of great stories to tell and I'm truly grateful for each and every one of them. 

I have that one story of when I married a Giant man named Moses.
Gosh, I love that story.
It's been over 20 years now that, that story began so over half my life has been spent with him as opposed to without. 

If I had to choose only one person to spend the rest of my life with it would still be My Giant.


But before that story I have 19 years of stories that didn't involve a Giant.
And you can't skip those ever important formative years. 


I have the story of my first day in kindergarten when I cried ever so sweetly because I didn't want to leave my momma's side.
I was kind of a momma's girl.
I still am a momma's girl. 
The older I get the more I appreciate my momma. 

Being a good mom truly is a role that will forever be my goal.

She has led the way of what it looks like to grow old gracefully, and I'm happy to follow in her beautiful footsteps.


I have the story of when I met my first best friend at school. We became friends because some bully's where picking on her, and I came to her side and told her that I thought she was perfect. And I kicked those bullies asses... No, No I didn't! But, I wanted to. I probably didn't say anything at all that eloquent either because I was in Kindergarten,  and I'm fairly certain I didn't even give the bullies a dirty look but man was I ever angry on the inside. 
I love that story because it's still ongoing. I'm still friends with this child hood friend.

Old friends are the treasures in this life that nothing else can quite compare to.


I have the story of waiting outside of a retail store that said they would have the popular Cabbage Patch Dolls in stock, and I thought all my childhood dreams were going to come true, only to have my hopes and dreams dashed by a frenzied crowd that snatched up every doll in sight, and an announcement that they were all sold out.
My dad took me out to breakfast afterward to cheer me up and that's when I realized he would forever be one of my life's heros.
 My dad is still one of my life's heros because he has consistently showed up like that when it matters most.

The simple truth of what it takes to be a good parent is somehow wrapped up in the "showing up"!


I have the story of my first kiss that was actually stolen from my lips from a skater kid named Mikey.
That story still makes me angry. What a shit bird that Mikey was.
Girls, don't let that first kiss be stolen or any kiss there after.

Be mindful of where your affections are given. 

Shortly after that, I remember the story where my life would be forever changed by the Lover of my Soul. That story hands down, is my favorite because it has made every story there after better, richer, deeper, and more eternal. 

Make sure your life's story is building for a better eternity.


I have the stories of High School where I lived in the Choir room. I was that geeky choir student.
If my life where the t.v show Glee I was most definitely Rachel, maybe not as snooty, and probably not as confident.
I didn't care that it wasn't cool to be in choir back then because "singing loud for all to hear" was and still is my favorite. 

In this life you have to do what makes your heart sing, no matter what.


I remember that one time I changed my hair color and got tattoos that was a fun chapter. 
I'm kinda over the chapter of caring what people think about me and as I've gotten older it's been easier to live my life for an audience of ONE.

Live YOUR life, there will only be ONE.


I have had the chapter of little people who depended on me for everything. 
To cloth them, feed them, bathe them, and tuck them in at night.
Where every word was repeated and every moment was precious. 



Now I have big little people
who are so independent and capable that it's almost frightening sometimes. 
And every moment is still precious, but the words ...
well they have a changed a bit is all I'm gonna say about that!


Words are important, use them wisely.



I woke up thinking that turning 40 is so strange because in many ways 

you are too young to be old 
and 
too old to be young anymore.

It's an in between age.
Here's to the in between stage of life!
Thanks for sharing it with me beloved reader.
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