Did I Hear You Right?

D2300766-D046-4D4D-9397-E890752A4E3AThis morning as I was walking with my walking buddy, we discussed how when we did not have two nickels to rub together, as they say, when young and starting out on our own, that someone helped us.  Today, we have not forgotten the person or their kindness, not to mention the expense.  Paying forward now is what we do and hopefully the trend continues.

It was nice to think of that this morning and remember the rough periods but also that my Christian walk and my prayer life developed in those times.

I was in my early twenties and living at home with my FADC724E-F7D5-49B9-91F7-D3380F3717C8parents still, which was fine then.  Our telephone rang, I answered and it was a lady we know stating her rental house was available.  Great, I’ll tell my bother and sister-in-law was my thought.  As I walked up to the finished attic that served as my living room and bedroom, I kept hearing, ‘It’s for you.’  Each time, it was if I could turn around and see somebody standing and saying ‘It’s for you.’  A little spooky.  Those words would not leave.

1777A712-8114-4C68-A8EC-8558DC3B8D68Okay, fine! I called the lady back and inquired about the small, shotgun-type house and, of course, her husband had the time to show it to me right then. So, I went to look at it.  I picked it apart in my mind of what it needed, did not have and built my case to show the Lord it was not for me. No doubt, He knew I would try to prove Him wrong.

The biggest things were that there were no appliances (stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer).  Nope, not for me.  The old, ugly disgusting carpet was beyond my comprehension of dealing with. Nope, nasty.

It was that same week, my brother and sister-in-law moved to a new place, not this house.  I come home and the garage door was open and my mother, a clean freak, was cleaning a stove and refrigerator to store away until needed. Of course, my mouth dropped and as told her what had just happened.  It’s for me.

Everything lined up that I needed to start housekeeping.991C4B29-1B9C-460C-AF91-8E0B99285539

As for the carpet, my aging neighbor had new carpet put in that week, too, and had the old brought down to our garage for me.  Not knowing what was happening but because years before, I told her I like it.  The garage filled up with everything I needed with no effort, but cleaning and moving.

This little house was mine to rent for a small amount and the owners paid for paint, new locks, etc., and another room of carpet because they knew it was for me and I would take care of it.  It’s for me!  I loved that little house and lived there seven years.  I grew up spiritually in that house and learned to trust the Lord and my faith flourished.

Listen for His Voice.  Trust the Lord and He will do exceedingly, abundantly all things. Remember what He has done for you.  What an Awesome God we have.

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I Don’t Care!

Well, I do but not as much.2AD3C654-55F5-45B9-BAB1-6586A33A6257

Always I would watch and listen to people and they have their opinions, thoughts or no filter on what was said. They could care less what you thought or what I thought, giving no time to share. Often, I would wonder or want that and question how do they do that, what gives?

My husband was one. Early on in our relationship, he said he did not care what others thought. Proved to be true.

While at times this would be a nice quality, I am glad that I am somewhat quiet and reserved. What is said, is said and cannot be taken back. A few words can destroy a relationship forever. I know that to be fact. Forgiveness is required but the heart will never heal.

Thinking of what I just did for me, I had to come to the conclusion that I don’t care. I am trying to take care of me. I am not a small, petite older woman. I am tall and have a large bone structure and there is nothing wrong with that.

Over the extent of my marriage, a not so happy one, but through the emotional garbage and emotional eating, I gained over one-hundred and fifteen pounds. Not good.

3C4E3597-6B07-4E85-8E34-06C6C41BD9CDThe good news is that I have lost eighty-five of it. Yay me! I am at the weight before having my second child. I walk a lot, watch my food intake and guzzle water often. I am trying. I have been in counseling the last five years to tend to my wellbeing in all areas. This endeavor has not been easy and at times, cookies and milk would sure solve all of my problems, which is not true, of course.

Walking has helped me with stress and anxiety. I found that to be very helpful after counseling sessions a year or so ago, after meeting with my former counselor. As much as I love and miss her, she could really hit some buttons. No regrets.

Anyway, walking is boring especially if I am by myself, although I have my earbuds in listening to either Christian music or podcasts, all to help and encourage me. I need to move so I bought myself a nice bike. 20C42D68-4A3B-498A-8404-3037C58C4AAB

I haven’t had a bike for years and never felt comfortable riding when I did due to my weight and spread of my hips swallowing the seat.  The thought of what others thought riding behind me whether they be walking, riding, or driving is somewhat unnerving to me and my desire to quit and hide has haunted me.  A life-long fear of my thoughts of what others see, think or say.

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That is where I don’t care or at least try to not care.  I need to switch it up from walking and I chose this.  My riding until I get my bearings and hard nosed will go forth.  How else do I or any other heavyweight person lose the weight and seek self-care, if not getting out there to try and not care.

Some people are just rude.  No doubt there is not one person that does not want an area or more different on their body.  We all have insecurities.

This past year I have shrugged my shoulders up so much as to the I don’t care attitude and I like it.  As my mother used to say, sweep around your door.

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I am taking care of me, I recommend you do the same.  It has taken me way too long, many counseling sessions and prayers to get to this point.  I have fought to get to this point. The Lord has more in store for me, for you and each one of us before we die.  Let’s make the most of it.

So, shrug those shoulders and say, I don’t care.

Quotes

  • “The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.”
  • “One of the greatest mental freedoms is truly not caring what anyone else thinks of you.”
  • “What God knows about me is more important than what others think about me.”
  • “Until we care more about what God thinks than what other people think we are never truly free.” Christine Caine
  • “You are not what others think you are. You are what God knows you are.”

https://biblereasons.com/caring-what-others-think/

Just Forget Me

As I drove home from work the other day, thinking and praying, I was praying about a matter in my own life. As I went around the bend in the road, I started praying for my son. While he is getting through some issues, my heart remains heavy for him. I am his mother so he has my full heart.687B8AD4-B9DF-430E-9EDC-1B2EDA59250A

In my car I tend to pray a lot as I drive, tears flow and I feel the Spirit of God fall on me.  Now don’t tell anyone, but I tend to sing well in my car, too. I am sure many do the same as I do. Right? It’s me and the Lord. So many times through the years and had it not been for those driving moments, I may not be here. He heard my cries, saw my tears and He never left me.

As I was starting to pray for my son, I just stopped and said, ‘Lord just forget me right now, don’t take up your time with me, as I will make it through but please put Your Mighty Hand upon my child and help him.’  In just a sweet moment after saying that request, the words ‘I will not forget you’ rushed through my mind, my spirit.  I smiled. I questioned, as that was me, which is normal but that is exactly how caring He is. Confidence in knowing He will not forget me.0FBA556F-ACD2-40CD-9E73-5B963F592813

Through the years, too many times, those sweet moments carried me through and my faith increased.

Perhaps you are going through something right now that seems impossible or overwhelming or for a loved one, like me.  Please know that the Lord sees you, hears you, knows your heart and sees your tears. Trust Him and allow His Peace to flow through you.

 

3D22EC84-FD16-4AE4-B4B1-5A9D09F2C38B

Struggle in the Dirt

9D1F1378-C217-4A2F-8027-1D2A65C7114FIt was about a week ago, as I spoke with my counselor, it got a little deeper in our session than normal. Still, we are becoming familiar with one another and I like that but digging deep gets to the rich soil that is there. Plowing up some old hurts and present issues to bring healing and the joy of blooming where you are, where I am.

7A434994-C26D-4812-93D1-F0240CB5F9DBI know this all sounds so flowery.  Not in the beginning though because there is dirt and lots of it to contend with in life. The big, bad and ugly parts that are buried. You know how it goes, the seed is dropped in the dirt, watering and sprouts begin to develop and soon the stems with flower buds and flowers. Season after season, this can happen. Just as in life, we go through seasons.

As we discussed some issues, we mentioned and discussed abandonment. A common thread in my counseling sessions throughout the years along with my blogging, as it had such an impact on me.

My former counselor of four years was one that saw me 7177A8D1-60B1-4C48-89A6-C99539B65E87in the dirt, plowed and plowed to get me ready for seed and growth. It was not a small undertaking by her at all, it was orchestrated by God. He knew I needed her when I did and allowed us to work together for all of those years.

Today or now as I meet with my counselors, it comes easier and I feel joy. It is not that I did not feel joy with my former counselor, I did at times but she had to do a lot of forceful digging to get deep with me and in my heart of hurts and issues. Many times I wanted to quit growing. The rebellious part of me asking why do I have to go through this.  Many times feeling and saying I don’t want to do this. Deep down though, I knew in order to feel life later, I had to and continue.  Even though I am older, I have more life to live before I die and the previous ones proved to zap life from me. Nobody really ever cared enough to know me and understand me, as she did.  Healing comes when heard and understood. To dig deep was not easy for me nor for her.  Most counseling sessions ended with me being overwhelmed and emotionally spent.  I remember well dealing with it all, trying to make sense of it all for a good twenty-four hours, if not more, each week. We would do it all again the following week.

Now the sense of joy felt is that I understand myself better, she opened my eyes to many areas that proved to cause confusion in my life from childhood, marriage and just in life itself.

Each session enriched the soil within my life. Today, I feel joy because of just that. I have grown through the dirt and standing tall, most days. Other days, maybe peeking out at the sky and others I feel a bloom about ready to pop with new life. How exciting.C8C1C887-908C-442A-91BA-F711DA3A4F90

The counselors I have now are watering the dirt, the seed and sprouts and stems and at times, flower bulbs. I did not say flowers. I still have a way to go but I feel the growth, the warmth of the sun and one day, the flower buds will burst open with beauty. Oh how I want that. In hopes that I can freely express myself to others that they know they are not alone, as in the struggles I have endured. We are to help one another. Our testimony just might be healing for another. The vulnerability frightens me a tad but the Lord will help me, I feel, when it is time. I’m patient, I have had to be in life, while in the dirt.

While we may feel hopeless in the darkness, hurt and alone, as in the dirt, the root system is growing and enabling strength to endure of what is to come.  Not all bad.  Trust the Lord because odds are, He has a plan.

I do not know what all of this will look like but the anticipation of it all is exciting. I have been truly blessed with my counselors. The Lord truly placed each one in my life to help me struggle through the dirt, wilt at times, push through, stand and get strong, form a leaf or two, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAexperiencing a bud now and then, as I look forward to blooming and the flower burst into beauty.

Hope! There is more to the rest of my life and I want it.

How about you? Where are you in this growth process, in the dirt, standing and waiting to bud and bloom or are you wilting away and stuck in the dirt?

I was stuck for so long and the darkness about overtook me. I had to make a decision and if this is you, move forward. Try counseling, see a medical doctor for a blood workup as you just might be low in areas or need anti-depressants (and that is okay). Most importantly, trust the Lord and allow Him to touch your life and heal the heartache and broken pieces in your life.

When I was at this one pivotal point in counseling, my counselor’s advice before she left on vacation was for me to get in every altar call at church, have others pray for me and I did just that. Humbling experience but I did just that to move forward and it did. If you take one step, He will take two.

Whatever, do not remain stuck. I had a choice, you have a choice.

Get out of the dirt and bloom where you are planted. 🌸

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Isaiah 35:1-2 “Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God.”

 

 

 

Don’t Quit

E679E712-8355-41A0-8890-1AB87F22F88DOn my way home today from church, I heard the man on the Christian radio station mention and encourage those listening to not quit.

Whether it be your job, etc.   Life can be demanding and we may not like where we are in a position whether that be working, a marriage that is dying, health issue or whatever it may be. Discouragement and hopelessness takes over to the point you’d rather die.  Sadly, some do to suicide.

As I pondered what he said and knowing right now my son is in a place that is hard, wishing he could hear this brief message of encouragement himself.  I can see it, hear it and pretty well know he is struggling, as I am his mother.  My heart hurts for him. I know, too, that he has to work through this or I will enable him and that will not help at all.  I can pray. I have to trust the Lord through this process.  He has been through some rough periods before and while it was hard to endure, for him and for me, he did it.  I was so proud of him and he was proud of himself.  As we will be together this week, I hope to remind him of just that.  He can and will get through this, too.

In hopes of encouraging him, I remembered back to my own life and how I felt lost and hopeless.  It’s so hard. Actually many times, as I have had to deal with some issues that only the Lord knew about because I did not share with others.

5BA31D32-8549-4B04-8CA8-6AB0ACA545C6It was about twenty years ago, I did not care if I woke up when having gallbladder surgery.  I had a note prepared for my children and a cassette tape (so that was a long time ago) of my voice talking to them, just in case I did not come through surgery.  I remember the drive to the hospital and the hopelessness and sadness of my life felt.  My gallbladder was to be removed but my heart was so broken, I did not think I would make it.  I found myself so disappointed that I was still alive, and I can still remember that moment in recovery.  Talk about hopeless.  Nobody to share with, so alone and I was beginning to really doubt that the Lord knew me, cared, much less loved me.  I wanted to quit life!

Still, I did not quit, I kept moving forward. I was back to work the following week and just going through the motions there, at home and in life.  I was not happy.

Thankfully, I did not quit.  Has it been easy?  No.  Have I wanted to give up since?  Yes.  Many times.  Still, I know to keep going.  Sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and be thankful that your heart and lungs know how to function without your help.  Keep going.

794281EB-67AA-4107-916D-BCB5EF146274It was when I heard this song, “He Knows My Name” by Tara Jackson and played the song over and over for the longest time and still one of my favorites.  He does knows my name and He knows where I am. Thank God.

Days, months, years passed and I did not quit. Finally confiding in a Counselor, it helped get myself together somewhat but he moved out of state after a year or so of counseling.  Alone again.

It was six years later, I had enough and that I knew I needed help so I begin to ask the Lord to lead and direct me to the right Counselor.  He did just that with four years of counseling with one of the best that changed my life and helped me put my faith and trust back in Him.  He was always there for me but being so hurt, my attitude, anger and rebelliousness was there also.  Was counseling easy?  No.  Many times I wanted to quit.

No matter what I am going through, whatever my son is going through right now or you as you are reading this, don’t quit.  We are just going through. While life can bring some hurdles and sadness, there are blessings and joy, too.  Look for the good in what is around you.

Tomorrow is another day if today sucks.  Get some rest.

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I Need Your Arms

F197C556-6FB8-49EA-A438-9FEA9947885CAll I can gather is that the emotional toil on my life has zapped me more than I thought.  The past two months of losses with animals, loved ones, turmoil with my child of worry and the unknown of what is before me.   Exhaustion with it all plus the heat and humidity where I live has caused a lack of energy.  Giving myself grace instead of feeling all down, depressed and lazy is a big step for me though.  I have been through a lot of ups and downs.  It’s okay to have some up and down days, too.

Still, I find that I have struggled with the need to be loved. Is that wrong though?  Understanding and grasping why those thoughts come and desire to be loved is part of my childhood, called Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). 612D9385-1AE5-45D1-A68A-A8F04AA06A92

While I was loved by being in the family, I was not loved or shown love through hugs or physical touch as a child should be given and a lack occurred in my emotions and how to acknowledge them.  Sad.  Realizing all this finally about four years ago after going through life and questioning what is wrong with me.  My former counselor was wise enough to recognize, help me see the pattern and how to notice what is happening in me when I get to the deep yearning of a motherly hug.  Mentally and emotionally inside, screaming, ‘please hug me.’  It usually points to the fact I am tired and now, exhausted.  I recognize and acknowledge now instead of letting this emotion of sadness of loneliness overtake me.  Apparently, I did learn from her.  She would be so proud.

0212DB89-3576-4696-9D57-D230B1A63FD8Instead of yearning for the motherly hugs from motherly figures around me or even from my counselor, which she gave me often upon leaving our session due to knowing my heart and feeling my basic heartache, I have turned more to the Lord.  Lord, hold me through this or I need your loving arms to wrap around me.  I need you. Hold me tight, don’t let go.  Perhaps learning while knowing, that was what He wanted from me anyway, which was to turn toward Him and allow His Love to fill my heart void of love.  No other can fill that void.

Oh, but years of having a deep desire to be held in an embrace of a motherly hug so tight that my emotions would drain from me was always present in my mind. 06A77E96-8D39-458E-8387-E0C4863D86EC

Throughout this process and understanding, the yearning for the love of motherly figures lessened.  Then to lose my wise, sweet counselor due to closing her counseling office,  I was beside myself and even angry at her with the way it ended.  Although, I am sure and have no doubt that she, too, needed the Love of God through the process and decisions made to close her practice.

Recently, questioning if I am grasping everything we discussed in counseling for years in this area of CEN, as I do not require the hugs nowadays or perhaps I have stuffed my feelings down more-so because I felt hurt yet again by another and especially by her, the one who understood me and knew me best next to God.  The walls we build to protect our heart from hurt, they can go up quickly. Pondering this for many months, probably both at times but when I realized I was calling on the Lord for His Arms to hold me, hug me and to feel His Love, that is exactly where I need to be. A2F942F1-4A41-4D61-88F9-D77DA177C0DFPeople, whether, friends, family, church, even counselors, etc., will let us down and hurt us.  Normal.  Our focus should be on God and know that He truly loves each one of us.  To truly grasp that from one growing up feeling unloved, just existing, and love not shown, it is easy to question.  Also normal.

He Loves Me!  He Loves You!  Isn’t that great!?

Grasp it, hold it and yearn and allow His Arms to hold you in whatever you are going through.

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Childhood Emotional Neglect – Dr. Jonice Webb https://drjonicewebb.com/

 

 

Play Dead

2F8555C6-80C8-4770-8A15-43CA9D4A83CBLife has a way of throwing one for a loop sometimes.  For the most part, it is good and a happy, fun time but other times, it can make you shake your head and stop you in your tracks.  Just overwhelmed.
For whatever reason, I gave thought the other day of the load I have carried for many, many years and while now it is easier due understanding many areas, but I was weighted down.  The stress was too much. Probably typical of each person as responsibility and burdens comes and increases due to all types of situations.    Apparently, that day I was feeling the load of stress and of life in all areas.8312B0AB-877A-43E4-8E96-918D3FA704E5
Back when I was in a counseling session with my former counselor, we went through this several times of looking at various little hard-rubber animals sitting on the table near to where I was sitting (frog, raccoon, beaver, opossum and a couple of others) and I had to figure out which one represented me.  As crazy as it was, each time we did this, it was the possum.  The reason being, it was the load I always had to carry and still.  Many of their characteristics, I can relate to. Today, I’d still pick the same.
Although we never discussed in counseling what these silly animals represented and why we played that so-called Therapy game, I will always wonder why, her thoughts and the reasoning behind this task in counseling.
Just a month or so ago when writing this, dealing with a final decision of a serious matter, as I normally have to make because I knew my husband would not make, it was on my mind.  Plus, recently dealing with my son being overwhelmed and crazy enough, I felt it today myself.  Frozen in the anxiety of it all.  Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
63D69FAD-7D0E-456F-A846-3CCD4F8D774CSo at those times, when over my load limit, overwhelmed and all, I guess I just want to play dead as the  possum will do. I’m tired, I cannot go much more, etc.
Just as an ole possum, it gets back up and continues on with life just as we all do.  Just life!
3AB4BF1E-E8BC-4E59-B753-31CABD66A70FSo no matter what is before me, my son or if you are overwhelmed take a break and then get back up and continue on.  It’s just temporary.
You’ve Got This!  😊