One Lovely Blog Award

Hello and happy Saturday morning! It is a bittersweet morning as I enjoy the quiet moments of the morning before my family is awake knowing that my vacation time is coming to an end. That being said, I am trying to finish some things up before I jump back into the day to day busy routines of normal life.

One of the things that I want to do this morning is to take a few minutes to thank a wonderful blogger for nominating me for the “One Lovely Blog Award.” This award is all about honoring and supporting one another in sharing our stories with each other. Talasi Guerra over at  Braver than Before    has graciously chosen me as one of her recipients for this honor. Her blog has offered inspiration to me and reminds me that I am certainly not alone in the struggles and journey over anxiety and fear.

As part of the One Lovely Blog Award honor, I am asked to share seven facts about myself.

1. Mornings are my absolute favorite time of the day. I will willingly sacrifice sleep for some quiet time during the early still hours of the day. I love to spend quiet time with God and read, write, and reflect over coffee or tea before the rest of the world is awake and moving.

2. One of my passions in life is serving older adults. I have worked with older adults in some capacity since I was a freshman in high school. I have always had a close relationship with my grandparents. I love the wisdom and stories that elders have to share.

3. If I had to choose mountains or the beach, as difficult as this decision might be, I think my heart is in the mountains. There is something peaceful and quiet about the beauty of the mountains.

4. I started this blog as an avenue to share about my frustrations and hope with my food related issues but realized that my journey of food issues had much more to do with my spiritual growth than simply learning about healthy eating. I discovered quickly that I am not a food blogger.

5. I married at the young age of 18 to my high school sweetheart. We have been married almost 20 years and are still learning things about each other. It’s been a good life and it grows sweeter with time.

6. I love music. Although I can’t sing well, I listen to music much of the time. I have also been known to have new “favorite” songs every few days and then listen to that same song over and over…

7. I love dark chocolate…the darker the better. 🙂 But as much as I love chocolate, Jesus is the absolute love of my life. Without my faith and relationship with Christ, I would be lost. He provides hope and healing daily.

And now for the honor of sharing some of my favorite blogs that have inspired me and encouraged me in this journey of life. I nominate the following blogs for the “One Lovely Blog Award”…

Heartandsoul974

Hand Washed Grace

Fearfully Made Mom

Beauty Beyond Bones

Help Me Understand

Girly Christian

Quiet Confidence

My Parallel Life

Bloggers, if you choose to accept the One Lovely Blog Award and pass it along, you will find your instructions below:

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate at most 15 people
  • Tell your nominees the good news!

#onelovelyblog award

Have a great weekend!

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New Year, New Opportunities

Life is all about perspective. I believe that to be so true. Looking back, 2016 was full of changes and life transitions for me. I changed jobs. My husband lost his and registered for college. College plans fell through and he ended up back to work. Our daughter left for college. Our son started junior high. We had to buy a new vehicle. 

Each of these challenges have brought life lessons. Some, we continue to learn and grow from. Growth has been painful at times.

During my morning devotions, this verse captured my attention. 

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. – Philippians 3:13-14 
Pressing on… Looking ahead. It’s a new year filled with new opportunities. God has been working in my life. This past year has been a time of spiritual, professional, and personal growth. One area I have really grown is my trust in God.

This is my wrist.

See the faint reddened line on the right? My Keep Calm, Trust God bracelet was a little too tight. It is now MIA. And the thing is… I’m not panicking. 

Here is my bracelet the day I received it. At that moment in time, my anxiety was at an all time high. I needed the visual reminder to stay focused on God. 

Tonight, when I realized that the bracelet was missing, it was as though God was whispering to me.. you’re okay, my child. I am still here.

I am by no means healed of my anxiety struggles, but I have grown immensely in my trust in God to carry me. Today during a situation, I took it to God, remembered what was in my circle and outside of my circle for God to carry. He placed a supportive coworker at my side. He continues to carry me every day, every hour, every moment.  

With or without my bracelet as a visual reminder, I am pressing forward in 2017 trusting whatever comes my way to God as the author of my story. Every opportunity this year is another chapter in my story. 

I am looking forward to whatever comes my way this year. God will never leave nor forsake me.

 Look forward with hope that the same God who created the sun, moon, stars, oceans, and mountains, is the same God writing your story. Every experience is an opportunity to trust God deeper!!

Joy

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Through the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail;

and the fields yield no food;

Though the flock may be cut off

from the fold,

and there be no herd in the stalls

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength;

He will make my feet like deer’s feet,

And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

 

Alzheimer’s & Gratitude: A Matter of Perspective — The Long and Winding Road…

Great blog post on gratitude!!! I spend my days working with elders and their families so this really touches the heart!!! And, it’s just a great general reminder on perspective and gratitude!!!

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month in the United States, and I’m grateful to my new friends at the worldwide Network for Grateful Living for helping shine the spotlight on Alzheimer’s! After being introduced to their site, I was inspired to write a piece about Alzheimer’s and gratitude, two things we don’t necessarily see as going […]

via Alzheimer’s & Gratitude: A Matter of Perspective — The Long and Winding Road…

Hop on over…

snow day beauty

This is what I woke up to this morning…snow in March. Truly, though, it was a beautiful sight. Another beautiful thing to celebrate this day is friendship…

One of the things that I have grown to love about the online community is the connections you make. I have met some amazing people through blogging. My friend Lisa Roberts Bell who writes a fantastic blog on self esteem from a Christian perspective invited me to guest blog. Please take a few minutes and hop on over to her blog to read my guest post:

https://becomingyourbestselfblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/perfectly-imperfect/

And I encourage you to stay there a while and read a few more of her many great posts.

Have a great rest of the week! Find the beauty in every day.

 

Silence Speaks

I have always enjoyed silence.

A quiet moment in the morning before anyone else is awake. The world outside is still. Life moves at my pace for a snapshot in time before the craziness of the day begins.

That is silence in solitude.

Comfortable silence with others represents a closer, more intimate relationship reserved only for close friends. I can sit with my best friend or husband and say nothing, and it is OK. We are comfortable with each other even when we are saying nothing.

What about when God is silent?

This is where I am right now.

The last few months of last year as I struggled with my job in a difficult work environment, I surrendered the situation to God. I said ‘Yes” every morning before knowing what I was facing. I spoke with God all through the day…Psalm 61:2….when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. God clearly spoke to me so many times through those challenging days.

Now, I am in a new job with a much better work culture, but am struggling with work and family balance and a trying staff member. My husband’s situation with his job….uncertain. The direction of our church as we seek to plan the direction God desires for us to go next. Other unknowns in my life. Emotional situations.

Which leads me to ask…what, God, do You desire for me to learn from the silence?

Just as I could not see the wind today on my walk but could physically see the tree branches thrashing back and forth with the force of the wind that pulled me towards one side of the sidewalk, I know wind exists. I cannot see it, but I can feel it. God’s silence is the same. I cannot hear God speak now, but I know He continues to be with me.

What can I seek to learn through this time of silence?

  1. Silence is not the same as absence.
  2. Silence is an opportunity to trust. God has spoken to me so powerfully the past few months; He has provided me with His lessons that can continue to lead me through my daily struggles now.
  3. Silence doesn’t mean nothing is happening. I can trust that God is continuing to work in my life.
  4. Silence is a time for me to really examine my life…what areas may God be asking me to surrender or confess or trust Him more with?
  5. Silence is an opportunity to trust His sovereign will.
  6. Silence provides me the opportunity to remember all the ways He has worked in my life in the past, the ways He has blessed me, and has taken care of me.
  7. Silence provides me with the choice….will I continue to worship Him even when it is hard, even when I may not feel like it, even when it may be easier to simply accept things as they are?

Psalm 13 (NLT)

O Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever?

How long will You look the other way?

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?

How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!

Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

Don’t let my enemies gloat saying, “We have defeated him!”

Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in Your unfailing love.

I will rejoice because You have rescued me.

I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.

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Silence can speak powerful truths if we are still enough to listen.

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Faith over Fear

Ever had that moment when you knew God was speaking to you…and you didn’t know what it meant?

On Saturday night, I felt strongly led to read my Bible before bed, and I felt strongly led to read the book of Obadiah. Obadiah is a short, one chapter book of the Old Testament. As I read the brief introduction it shared how Obadiah was a prophet but his book in the Old Testament was not filled with happy news. There was no good and bad news, only bad news. I remember thinking…Okay, God, whatever You desire for me to learn from this book, please open my heart.

It didn’t take long…the third verse: The pride of your heart has deceived you.

The pride of your heart has deceived you….Obadiah 1:3

I finished reading the rest of the short book of Obadiah, and then I wrestled with these words as I tried to fall asleep. I woke up still wrestling with what these words meant to me. I wrestled with them as I went to church. We talked about pride in Sunday School, how pride can manifest itself in many different ways in each of us. We talked in terms of how difficult it can be for us to accept the help of others because our pride gets in the way.

It became clear to me…pride and fear are so closely related. Pride is all about self. Fear is about protecting self. Both push others away. The pride of my heart has deceived me…the self protection of my own self sufficieny, of not wanting to reach out to others for help, of wanting to cocoon within my own self preservation and figure things out on my own.

The pride of your heart (my heart) has deceived you (me).

My husband and I will be stepping into unknown territory very soon…a future with unknowns as he prepares to lose his job the beginning of February. This rocks our world financially, our sense of security pulled out from under us, the comfortableness of the normal, everyday routine, the expected….gone.

God is asking me to lean deeper on Him, lean deeper on my husband…faith over fear. He is asking that the pride of self sufficiency melt away into trust for Him, trust in my husband’s decision as he seeks the Lord’s leading in his life.

My friend reminds me often that the Lord disciplines those He loves. Well, Sunday I was feeling very disciplined through this conviction. Once I ackowledged the pride for what it was and the basis  for my fear, I began to feel freer. I journalled and poured my heart out to God.

It’s a new year full of new beginnings and new opportunities. My husband’s word for the year is opportunity. So, with God’s guidance, I will  choose faith over fear.

I encourage you…whatever you may be walking through today or tomorrow…choose faith over fear and trust the One who sees the bigger picture of your life.

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