Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Staying Grounded

I lost my forward momentum toward healthier living in the last month.  One unhealthy thought then the choice to entertain it leads then to another bad choice; then I found myself into a self dug pit.  I had 3 weeks of this and found myself struggling in my old familiar pit.

Yesterday was a regroup and refocus to slow down, be real, feel my emotions, stop stuffing, be honest, and accept community.  So here I go forward with Grace with one baby step after another...

Part of this God Sized dream group I joined links us up with other blogging God sized dreamers.  I am blessed to have linked up with two.  First is Elise from Circles of Faith has been someone I have connected with.  She is a wonderful writer of one blog and co founder of Circles of Faith.  I am blessed to have a prayer warrior and God Sized Dreamer to journey with.  Check out her page...

Here's to community, even virtual!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Small step (But God!!)

So I set the stage for this post with my writings about my trip through the Amazon and the beginning of my Bush Whacking.  One year later I was was watching some of my God Sized Dream's coming true.  I had been invited by a dear friend and current women's ministry coordinator at our church back in California to come and share my story and God's glory.

I felt so honored and blessed to have been asked to come and share... Well call it spiritual warfare, set back, disappointment, or what ever; but I had a major step back (so I thought at the time) and found myself in the Meier Clinic.  I found myself head first in my pit of hopelessness and depression.  I felt suicidal and was truly afraid.  Three and a half weeks of intense truth telling, counseling, and therapy I had grown and yet still felt shaken.  My good friend came and spent every day with me and the boys that following week.  I was still fearful of my irrational feelings that I just had a few weeks prior.  At one point she shared that her deep feelings of grief that I had lost my confidence as a mother and as a woman in Christ.

I had allowed my feelings and fears during this time dictate my actions; instead of the feelings just being indicators of what was going on inside my heart.  I was enslaved to my feelings... I turned down the opportunity to share my life with some dear women just 2 1/2 weeks prior to the date.  The shame that I felt, lies that I believed kept me home.

My flesh fails daily, but God reminds me He's holding on to me.
But God!!  (don't you love those words found with in the Bible) He didn't end my story there.  He told me to stop digging in my pit, dry my self off, and return to bush whacking.  And I have been working harder than ever all while resting with the light burden of Christ's calling in my life (Matthew 11:30).  Oh how sweet to abide in Christ, it cost me my familiar pit but has brought me peace and joy.

So in faith I talked to my dear friend in California to see if she would welcome a wrecked, yet redeemed sister in Christ to come and share again.  I will see...there are no guarantees...But Christ isn't done with me yet!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bush Whacking through the jungle...

The closest I have come to an actual jungle is March 2011 in Brazil on a river branch of the Amazon.  I can't believe that it has been almost 2 years since I took that leap of flying down to Brazil  hopping on a boat, and having the privilege of serving the people of the Amazon River.  But the lush jungles made it hard to reach the people of the Amazon; for this reason most travel is done solely by boat.  Sandy shores scattered with little villages pushed down to the waters edge due to the landscape.

Jungles grow up and down; from vines to trees, lush land covers, bushes, marshy areas.  According to good ole Wikipedia, "The biodiversity of plant species is the highest on Earth with some experts estimating that one square kilometer (247 acres) may contain more than a thousand types of trees and thousands of species of other higher plants." 

So it is thick!  This is a picture from my trip; hopefully you can picture the density and diversity.  Well I didn't do any bush whacking on this particular trip; but it does set the stage for what I would be doing for the next two years; and am still doing...Bush Whacking!  

I've seen a few machetes in my several mission trips; always something that the men want to bring home as their souvenir.  They usually aren't big and to be effective they need a lot of perseverance to make any sort of a path in this type of landscape.  Take this trail in the amazon...

Well I am truly a Bush whacker through the jungle...forming new paths of healthier life... I will acknowledge a thought in my mind; then hold it up to truth; if it is another lie that I have bought into, then WHACK!!  I dispute it as a lie straight from the pit of hell.  I am learning to not walk in my well worn path of discouragement, self deprecating thoughts, lies, bondage, and shame.   As my counselor says, "it is time to walk through the thick shrubs and form new pathways."

My old path is really well established; I walked it for 30 years and in someways it is comfortable, predictable, and easy.  But it ends in the same place, a marshy pit with an alligator taking guard  and I have always jumped right in.  I know its' crazy to swim in the amazon...but we all do it at times.  We walk the wrong path, maybe even run down it and jump in head first.  My pit is hopelessness, depression, lies (usually when I am in there I dig down even deeper all while getting eaten alive by my own bitterness, guilt, and shame.)

On my amazon trip I was struggling but felt I needed to smile and just serve.  Then there was this tug on my heart to ask to share at that days women's bible study my testimony.  All my emotions where screaming that I was crazy!!  I don't talk about the bad stuff; I am or was an excellent emotional stuffer for 23 years.  What was I thinking!!  I didn't know it at the time but that was the first time I pulled out my machete and took a whack at the shame I was carrying.  I shared parts of my story that I hadn't told my soul mate, yet alone friends, or even counselor.  My molestation was out!!  In the jungles of the amazon I shared, and I couldn't stop bush whacking after that!!  and it is hard and tiring.  Sometimes others have become victim to my new path making, as am learning to swing my machete for the first time at emotions and hurts that I stuffed.  But I am whacking away and am forming a new path for myself.  I sweat tears, pour out stuffed emotions on paper; and sometimes I find myself on the old path.  But I know the strength I have is a gift from God, and I just pull out my machete to find my new path again.

2 Corinthians 5:17 , "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."  -  Oh sweet truth I am new and the old is gone!!  Love this and claim this verse everyday!  

(Pictures taken my someone else; lost my camera on the trip.  I think it was my fifth
 since I got married.  Sorry honey.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Did you know that you are...

Did you know that you can be:

Deeply loved by God, completely forgiven and fully pleasing, totally accepted, and a new creation...Oh doesn't that sound nice...  Dosen't that sound like the the desire of every person if they look deep into their heart.

To be Loved, forgiven, pleasing, accepted, and new.  Not anything in this world or any earthly relationship offers this.  I have tried to find it in all the wrong places (now I sound like a country song).  I buy into the lie that if I was in a different circumstance, didn't struggle with emotions, was out of debt, had more community, etc, that I would feel complete.  But this is a lie thrown into our face every day.  Well did you know that you and I can live loved, forgiven, pleasing, accepted, and new through Christ Jesus by what he did on the cross? We need to accept the free gift and live in truth with a surrendered heart.

1 John 4:9-10, "This is how God showed his love among us.  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
Do you live loved?  I know I don't most of the time.  But what a beautiful picture of love is available.  To meet someone that truly believes they are deeply loved; you see a glow about them.  I have met a few people like this; one is the leader of the the Roost (women's bible study), Nancy.  Another one is a nurse that I met in California at my first day of orientation, Karen.  A peace and joy emanates them; these types of people live in the truth of Scripture and their beliefs and their life are congruent.  Oh when life screams that you or I are unlovable these two ladies can quickly point you back to God's Love.  (oh find find people like this).

Romans 5:1, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Oh justification gives complete forgiveness and then the peace of being with God.  Oh what a gift... Have you met someone that has been forgiven much and is assured of their place with the Lord.  Look at Paul in the bible, persecutor and executor of Christian's , then in Ephesians 4 speaks of God's wonderful forgiveness.

Colossians 1:21-22, "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in you minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight with out blemish and free from accusation."
Alien to reconciled to be holy in God's sight without any accusation; complete divine acceptance.  All sin forgiven in Christ; even the most heinous of crimes.  Jesus on the cross said to one of the criminals hanging beside him in Luke 23 "today you will be with me in paradise."

2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come."
Then is the most beautiful of promises; in Christ Jesus we are completely new and the old is gone.  Struggling with a hang up or a hold up in your life?  God wants to make you completely new, white as snow.

 So that's what you are and what I am in Christ Jesus...let's embrace God's truth together..

Saturday, January 12, 2013

God Sized Dreams...

I joined a group of ladies that are coming together to blog and spur each other on toward their God Sized Dream.  You can click on the link to see the community I joined... When I think of God Sized; well actually I can't wrap my mind around that idea.  God sized is risky as I can attest and many of you can.  It brings up fear of failure, fear of man (What will others think?) and what if it fails...

Well that is where I use to stop, fear paralyzing me to action and the spiral of depression begins...

But that isn't my new story.  The one I have been living in for several months now... fear is still there I look at it feel it and then act in light of truth and keep going through it to what God is calling me to do.  Proverbs 16:9, "The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." (ESV)  Proverbs acknowledges that man has a heart and inclinations toward purpose, but the Lord directs his steps.  Oh those precious words take out the fear to dream and and to make plans and be open to the Lord directing my steps; which may take the whole dream in a different direction.

I would like to list the dreams in my heart I don't know if they correspond with the steps the Lord wants me to take but here are some;

- Speak and share my story of redemption; from depression to hope; weeds to blooming flowers (I am dreaming big here like Women of Faith)

- Write God's story of my life for other women to hear the hope of Christ and find some healing (I will need a good editor because I haven't been blessed with good spelling or grammar)

- Get rid of all dept aka student loans ( this year our goal is to get rid of $25,000)

- Freed up to do medical mission work (I would love to go from a RN to a NP and do it with out borrowing $)

- Intentionally live the call of Isaiah 1:17, "learn to do what is right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."

Now do I know how to live out my dreams?  No, not really but I trust that God will direct my steps and as I submit to Christ  and then he will mold and change my heart in accordance to His will and plan.  For now I will follow my heart and take one step at a time.  The Lord can't direct my steps unless I start walking.  One step at a time, no matter how small it is I choose today to take a step.  Some days I don't feel like even lifting my feet but I will say yes and do it!!

"A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - Grace Hopper.  Let's start sailing...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Don't Worry

"Don't is just the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.  You have survived every tomorrow so far." - From the Meier Clinic facebook page.

Oh there is a resolution that I want to have this year, maybe better called a desire "don't worry."  I can worry about anything and everything, ask my husband.  But looking back I have survived all the days I worried about and chances are most of us will survive today.  Those on the East Coast have even a higher chance of even surviving today, since they are an hour closer to the end of the day than I am in central time.

How futile is our worry; the bible says we can't add a day to our life by worrying.  Many of us may worry that we lost a few days to stress, increased heart disease, increased risk of cancer etc; but that again would be worry!! And I resolve to worry less.

Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God."

Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Matthew 6:27, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

  I have found in change you can't just stop something without replacing it with something, I then resolve to pray.  So if you need prayer I know I am going to be doing a lot of it and would be honored to pray with you.  So comment or e-mail me...