New Direction

I’ve realized why I struggle to blog here.  I have this idea that I have to come all cleaned up and have some major revelation from God to share.

Not long ago I realized that I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to come to Jesus all cleaned up.  Why should Is show myself as that kind of person here, on my blog?

I’m not perfect. No one is perfect.  It’s time for me to start using this blog for that. It will mean being bold. It will mean trusting God with what I’m supposed to share.

God has called me to speak and I don’t want to put myself out there as some one I’m not.  I’m not perfect.  I have my struggles.  I’m seeing new struggles as I work through my past and how it relates to my future.  I believe that it’s time to stop hiding.

Mother’s Day Is Tough For Me.

 

I’m going to start out by saying that I have no clue where this post is going to go.  I’m writing this from my heart.

I’ve struggled with Mother’s Day for many years now.  I can’t buy my mother a sappy card because the words don’t reflect the type of mother she is to me.  It’s hard for me to celebrate her.

She doesn’t understand my love of Christ, my involvement in church, bible study or ministry work, and I’m pretty sure she won’t understand or support my calling.  My calling is to speak, share my story, and to help others trapped in the same chains that are falling off of me.  I can see God forming a ministry around this already.  Her view of a career is, well, not this, and she has no clue this is what I want to do with my life.  I am thankful for those friends that I have that are supporting me already.

My mother also doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, so she doesn’t see life the same way as I do.  I’m not sure if she ever will have that personal relationship.

I love her, but it’s a struggle.  I struggle to pray for her and to ask that she be blessed.  The Bible speaks of loving one another.  God teaches us how to love.  But how do you show love to someone who treats you with disrespect, selfishness, and constantly complains, expecting you to have answers?  Who demands things of you and always wants something in return instead of doing something just because?  Who expects pure perfection because they see themselves as perfect?

There are times that it feels like my own mother is my enemy.  There have been many times when I can see the Evil One using her to try and tear me down, and winning.  With the way that she lives her life, it honestly doesn’t surprise me.  I do what my mother asks of me, most of the time.  Some of her requests are only to gain her something, or to get out of doing something.  I have to walk a fine line of doing what she asks and not allowing her to walk all over me.

As a Christian, I find this to be a really difficult thing to face.  I’m constantly under judgement.  My own mother doesn’t understand who her daughter is becoming.  My own mother won’t take the time to understand.  That hurts me.

If there is someone in your family that you struggle with, know that you’re not alone.  God is with you every step of the way.  Listen to what He tells you to do, where He leads your life.  If someone is against your dreams, stand firm if your dreams are God’s will for your life.  What matters is following God’s will for your life, not someone else’s.  If you’re finding it hard to pray for that family member consider asking a friend to pray for them.  Give yourself a chance to work through the hurt that you’re dealing with.

I guess this comes down to the words in Ephesians 4:18 (NIV) that say, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”  I really think that’s the case for my mother.  I know I can live by the following words from Ephesians 4:20-24 (NIV): “That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

All I can hope is that she has seen a change in me, and eventually that God will reveal Himself to her and change her life.

It’s Been Awhile

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve written here.  God has really been doing some work lately and I love it.

About 10 months ago I found myself walking through the doors of a local Celebrate Recovery ministry.  I had no idea how much this ministry would change my life, the people I would soon call family, or that it would lead me to a new church.

God has really been stirring a love for ministry.  It’s been a couple of years since I got the call to speak.  I had no idea back then what that would turn out to be.  Okay, I can go talk about things I’d been through, no problem.  I just didn’t know what God was really asking of me.

Ministry.  God was calling me to ministry.  To help others that are going through the same things I’ve found or am finding freedom from.  Things that no one wants to talk about or acknowledge an existence of in the church.

This year alone has been amazing, just the first four months.  And I’m eager to see what God will reveal to me through His Word, discussions with others, and what I’m working on in my own life.

Are You Thankful for Jesus?

It’s that time of year again.  Thanksgiving is almost here.  Spending time with family, eating more food that you planned, watching football, and shopping the day after.

It’s also that time when we answer the question, “What are you thankful for”?  Most of us would say family, friends, our home, the food on our table, our job, our health, and so on.

If you were asked that question, would the first thing be “I’m thankful for Jesus”?  Would you proclaim your love for Christ in that way?  Christ is worth more than any material items that we have.  We should be thankful for Christ first and foremost.  If not for Jesus dying on the cross, would we have the blessings that we have because of Him?

The bible says to give thanks to God for everything.  Give thanks for the good.  Give thanks for the bad.  Give thanks that He gave His one and only Son to cover all of our sins.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for Jesus.   What are you thankful for?

Music Monday: Planetshakers-Nothing Is Impossible

I’ve decided to start doing something on my blog called “Music Monday”.  I’ll be sharing my favorite songs with lyrics or a video.  I love that God uses music to speak to me.

This song by the Planetshakers is such an upbeat and catchy song.  The choir (which I’m part of, even though I don’t think I can carry a note for anything), sung this song this past Sunday.  I’d been listening to it and thinking, “How can I sing a song I’m not sure I believe in at this moment?”  I was just in that kind of place.  The more I listened to it, the more it grew on me, and the more I was able to believe in the message.  By Sunday, it became one of those songs that I just love to turn up while I’m driving and sing along to.

Enjoy!

Picking Up My Mat

The last couple of weeks have been really tough for me.  I’d like to think that this season of my life is coming to an end.  Satan has put up a really good fight, really trying to pull me away from God.  I would like to think that I never gave into the enemy, but I know that I’ve listened to a number of his lies.  The thing is I know what God’s truth is to speak against the lies the enemy so often feeds into my thoughts.

This battle has been part of an intense spiritual warfare.  There have been a couple of nights that if it wasn’t for God’s grace and strength, I would have not made it through in one piece.  I’m thankful that when I am weak, He is strong.  I am thankful that when I need Him, all I have to do is call out His name and He is there.  I can tell Him anything at any time.

Just because I know God’s truths doesn’t mean that I don’t go astray.  The lies Satan wraps around me are lies that I’ve believed for many years.  Some lies are very difficult for me to get away from, and when I’m down, I’m more likely to believe them.  Isn’t that how Satan is though?

Today though, I knew I faced a decision that I had to make.  I remembered the story of Jesus healing the man at the pool.  Jesus makes a very strong command in John 5:8.  He told the man to “Get up!  Pick up your mat and walk.”  At this command, the man got up, picked up his mat, and walked.  A man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years got up and walked!  While I wasn’t an invalid, I was held down by my emotions and feelings.  They were consuming me.  I knew I had to make the choice of staying on my mat where I was miserable, or I could pick up my mat and walk with Jesus.

I knew the right choice was to pick up my mat and get to walking.  The healing that I know I need during this season isn’t going to happen if I sit and refuse anything and everything coming my way.  God is working; He is bringing people into my path, He has shown me in His Word just what I need when I am willing to open my Bible and read instead of just letting it sit on my desk.  Sitting on my mat and making excuses is not God’s plan, but His plan can’t happen unless I’m focused on Him.

Is there something keeping you on your mat?  Are you ready to pick your mat up and walk?

21-Day Challenge

I know…another post so soon?  This won’t happen often so enjoy it now!  🙂

I’m posting this because I feel so inspired to.  What is the 21-Day Challenge?  Here’s your answer.

Tiffany Thurston posted about this challenge on her blog, and I found out about it through Twitter.  God’s Word and journaling?  Together?  Reading God’s Word and journaling about it for 21 days?  Two of my favorite things together tied into a challenge?  I’m in!

There’s a link to a reading plan on Thurston’s blog, but with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) starting up on Monday, I’ve decided to follow along with the book we’re studying this year.  My reading/writing will come from the Acts.  I’m so excited about BSF starting up again, and now adding a further depth into it with the journaling will be good for me.

The challenge is from September 9th-September 30th, but it’s never too late to start!  Join in, apply what you read to your life, and see what God shows you!

If on Twitter, use hashtag: #21dayCHALLENGE

Leave a comment if you’re joining in!