Lightening Struck – My prayer answered for direction

My prayer one afternoon was to be struck with lightening, and without harm, for me to know what God’s will was for my life – would I stay in England or leave? Wanting to leave, I felt to stay, but I did not want to stay. More than either, what I wanted is to know what God wanted, for sure. I wanted to know He was with me. I have come to find that if I believe God is with me, I can handle anything – if I know the path I’m on is His.

I know God is with us whether we make our bed in hell or heaven, but because I felt like I’d been in hell already there, I was looking to depart. If I knew He was with me, and it was His will for me to continue on, I would be able to do so with grace.

Praying my desperate prayer for confirmation, I felt badly right afterwards, for wasting God’s time. Like, what a stupid prayer. Just face up to your responsibilities and do it, if that is what you feel you are to do! Well, He was merciful toward me, and He did not strike me down, but I had my prayer answered. Lightening struck, and I stayed.

Work was better than ever, but more “problems” pursued personally with living situations, but God used everyone of them to show me Himself in my circumstances, only making things better and better every time and growing me and drawing me more closely to Him. Incredible situations presented where I was able to find Him loving me as a Father, Jesus as my brother, and the Holy Spirit as my gentle peace followed by an ever increasing faith in Him. That was the best gift, well, knowing He really cared for me and loves me was the best, and is, but having circumstance after circumstance show me that He Is, and He Is for and with me.

What a great time in my life. All the struggles to find Him. All worth it.

Full story below on podcast.

How Suffering Perfects

So, what I think now is that I must start being obedient again whether or not I agree with my promptings. I fail and succeed at that, but I’m not new at this, and what an incredible gift, honor and privilege it is to be in tune with, and guided by, the Holy Spirit.

“He learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

This verse in Hebrews came to mind today as I had been suffering from both hurting my knee and missing an appointment to have fun because I had failed to following the leadings of the Holy Spirit. I hope this doesn’t sound crazy!

If Jesus had to be made perfect through suffering, I might have to too. These are called the “learning the hard way” folks. 🙂  I’d like to be obedient from now on, instead. No more suffering, small or large!

Today while I was praying, whining a bit, I heard, “Walk.” Now let me say I am not crazy nor do I have schizophrenia, but I often get little directions, like Holy Spirit cues. Many times I follow them and many times I don’t.  Today, I did not obey the cues on a couple of circumstances, and this morning, as I was suffering from hurting my knee while running, I felt I’d been a disappointment again, and gone on a did what I wanted to do without respecting what I was told to do.

I first of all delayed the instruction to walk a bit b/c I had things to get out before proceeding with my day. I guess God was bored with my lamenting and whaling about my past I am working through and trying to heal. “Forget about those things which are past, and heal. Press on! Get outsides and get some fresh air!” may be what he wanted for me instead. Clear your head. Fretting only causes harm according to the bible in Psalm 37:8. I am just really trying to work through some stuff and was letting it all out this a.m. and rebuking and releasing and binding up. The whole works. God was not into that, maybe. Walking happened, eventually.

So, I finish up at where I figured was a good enough spot, got my workout clothes on and headed for the bridge. I got to just about where I would cross the street and head up, and I hear, “Back.” Not wanting to turn back b/c I was coming to the best part of my walk – the water with the sunshine on it in the early morning – I proceeded. I began to smile because I knew what to expect and was so excited to see the early morning sun and to look over the beautiful Stuart waterway. I pressed on. I got to the top, and lingered a bit while aweing the beauty gratefully before I headed back. I did not want to go back the ugly roadway, so I walked through town, defying again.

I began to feel like this walk was way too long. I had plans that morning and felt I might have blown it. My legs were feeling strong enough so I thought I’d run a bit. I was good, but then felt something in my knee collapse a bit. Ouch! It brought me to a halt. I walked from there, almost home.

I return only to find out that the date I had planned on going on this a.m. to meet people for biking would expire in terms of my timing. I was to leave at 8:25 to be there on time, and I walked in at 8:25. I blew that! I got ready anyway. I jumped in the shower, and rushed to make it. I would not make it. My bike was a block away, I had to fill the tires, put on my bike rack and get it loaded. I also wanted to eat breakfast.  I just decided If I had to go alone, that would be acceptable, but not preferred.

Felt disappointed and bothered for God b/c of my response and lack of surrendering. He tries to help me, and I fouled it up! Mad! I was suffering in a way from what I just judged someone of doing to me, too. Oh how we are always reaping what we sow.

Well, I felt once I saw the time and realize my error I was living the verse in the bible that talks about Jesus learning obedience through what he suffered. By not listening, I not only hurt my knee, but blew my chance and fun with others I thought. Pissed a little. Disappointed at me for God. Not sure if he feels that. Now just thought he is infinitely patient so maybe he doesn’t feel disappointed, if he knows we’ll be obedient eventually? Not sure. May need a bit more patience with myself too, but need to step it up, too. I knew better!

Anyway, a hurt knee and missed biking tour were my morning sufferings! Bummer. It was a great day for a bike ride. I was pissed and disappointed at myself. Felt bad for God, like why do you put up with me? I hate disobedience in my students, and I do it, too, still – doing what I want to do and/or just overriding what I’m led to do by the Holy Spirit because I logically reason out of my instruction. I do obey too, a lot, but not always.

I made it to the preserve and there were no bikers around. I hit the trail and headed out to find who I was to meet. I’d never been on a trail like that – so broad and a secluded, long ride through the scrub at  Seabranch Presereve State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/seabranch-preserve-state-park. The bike trail extended way beyond that. I found my people in Peck Lake Park, eventually, gladly, too, about 15 – 20 minutes into the ride, but missed the end result of that walking path which looks very pretty, below.

Jupiter Group Obedient

 

Was so glad God had mercy on me, and I was able to successfully find them at a good spot, despite my being about 30 minutes late. Glad to have found them. It was a good time. It was a beautiful, breezy morning where I met new people, caught up with who I already knew, rode 18 miles (I’m on day 4 of committing to fitness:), and got to take in all new nature sights of 1 Preserve, 2 different parks, I hammock and a tortoise encounter. I opted not to join them for lunch being that I’d just filled up prior to the ride, and I headed home, instead.

Hobe Sound BikingHolly Tamiara River

After I got back from biking, I had a little ice cream and decided to head to the beach. Could use some cold water on my hot body, and it was beautiful beach weather. I jumped in the shower yet again and headed to the beach. Not having enough water or having good, cold water, I thought I’d pop into the store to get some when I was guided not to. But it’s hot and I will drink all this water and would like cold water too was what I reasoned with myself, like it was me against me. I went in against my will.

As I left, I felt grieved – I was disobedient, again, not trusting my instruction, I was swayed this time with reason, not desire, but a little bit of both.  I was heavy, feeling I’d grieved the Holy Spirit and didn’t quite understand. Perhaps I could have bought water at the beach.

Yes, it was small, but we know about the little foxes. If you have kids, think about even the littlest of things you tell them to do for their own good and they think they know better or want more, so they just defy you and do what they want to. It’s annoying and bothersome, at least to me! So, I get to the beach, no water to buy, make my way to a spot and start reading only to have my umbrella blow flat. It is not staying properly poofed-up for shading! I put it down and continue to read after smathering myself all over with sunscreen.

No time later, and here comes the rain! I put my umbrella back up, but I was literally holding it with one hand and reading with the other for about 25 – 30 minutes. Luckily it was not cumbersome at all. I finished a whole article on Neaderthals and a debate about their perceived intelligence. I rarely finish long articles, so I was glad to be stuck, and it pertains to my work a little, so it was relevant.  Shortly after the rain stopped, I’d finished the article, took in the wind and sun for about another 2 minutes and headed out. I packed up and saw my sweating cold water bottle, hardly having any water out of it, and figured I blew it, again. ISo much for my logic. God knows.

So, what I think now is that I must start being obedient again whether or not I agree with my promptings. I fail and succeed at that, but I’m not new at this, and what an incredible gift, honor and privilege it is to be in tune with, and guided by, the Holy Spirit. Its really awesome when you think about it!!

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths,” the bible says. God, our Father, is hear to help us and lead us and direct us in all of our ways – even to get water or not!

In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him

Every little thing matters, and he cares about us and is here to help us. It makes me sad to think how helpful he is and when I don’t listen, I’m grieved. So, despite my mess-ups, I have been reminded to listen because not listening takes me from his protection and the best he has for me!

It is a good reminder too, to be obedient, and to please him in that. God desires obedience more than sacrifice. I Samuel 15:22.

I thought about when I left the beach this evening how we are to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. My thought with that is to just be obedient to his promptings. That is honoring him. Why would He keep giving us what we clearly disobey or disregard or distrust? I have learned enough to know He is helping me at all times, and He has reminded me, today. So, thanks for the trials, Father!  Remembering. Thank you. One more thing – in considering I am able to hear from the Holy Spirit, what a blessing and an honor. Thank you, Lord, for that. Thank you for honoring me with your presence and ever present help and aid. I love you!!

What a WOW too, when you really consider we are guided by the Holy Spirit as born again believers. I love it. I am grateful to be reminded of this tremendous! blessing.

Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered. Not sure what all he went through before he became obedient b/c that is not quite clear, but I have felt this before today even. It’s time to listen more reverently and obediently!!

I have learned when I follow the Holy Spirit it is actually more exciting because you never know what’s going to happen and/or it can spare you hurt, time and money lost or any unnecessary evil. Either way, it’s always good to walk in obedience because God has our best interest in mind in all ways.

Holly

May: A Time To Commit… Commit To Fit

What I realized this a.m. was that it is a good time to get into a good habit, especially feeling a bad one looming.
One thing I have learned, if I’m realistic, I will likely achieve what I set out to do, and often even more. Too much is discouraging. 20 minutes is doable, and totally SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

If there is something else I know and like about myself, it is that once I commit to something, I’m in. So, that is my commitment for starters – to make myself do some form of exercise for 20 minutes, 4x/week.

Fit – something I enjoy being. Mostly, I’m pretty fit. But, there’s more to be done. Thighs and hips here we go!

This morning it came to me that it is May 1st. A new month. Commitment is what came to mind. To what must I commit? To fitness.

I came home last night and it was beautiful, and though I was not hungry, I decided to make food instead of going out in the beautiful weather and taking in the evening sun before it parted ways for the day. It would have been a good night for a stroll or a run. Anything, but I opted to go onto my balcony instead. That was a pivotal moment, I felt.

It felt pivotal in the wrong direction! Now, I have been crazy busy over the past many months, and literally have had no time to make for anything, but today, yesterday, and for the next many months, I will have down time finally in the evenings most nights, and with no looming commitments to big time responsibilities at work, I will easily be able to commit to being fit.

What I realized this a.m. was that it is a good time to get into a good habit, especially feeling a bad one looming. A new month, and a new goal. Any goals at this time would be good! I have been out of goals lately.

Being in my new place now for 2 ½ months, I have still had only a little time to enjoy it, and I have not yet begun to establish any routines because my schedule has dictated and dominated most of my week nights.

I have realized how much having enough food in me to keep me going is crucial to not being laid-out once I arrive home. I am prone to feeding my face despite my hunger though because I love to eat! Last night I had plenty to sustain me through my two tutoring sessions after school, and did not arrive home until close to 7. Despite not being hungry, and it being beautiful, I opted for a sluggard’s behavior, instead :(. I felt that was a bad decision, and felt it a bit too coming home tonight, but remembered my commitment idea.

Commit to be Fit

Tonight, I was plenty fueled up on fuel too, but an 11 hour day did not sit well with me running out the door immediately to run or walk or do whatever I was going to do to meet my commitment goal which I was not even concrete on yet. 5 minutes came to mind. No! Too short. Be serious.

I begrudgingly got ready and went out figuring I would be done with it and would be able to relax the rest of the evening.

I walked for a while and then ran for a minute and was sick to my stomach immediately. Not sure why, but I pushed through while also feeling like my joints may come undone. My body feels weak and limp! It was the biggest strain. My mental state likely made it worse! I walked again, eventually, and turned around soon. I got back and had been out for 20 minutes. Perfect! I worked out exactly what I have decided to do. I will likely do more other days as I feel like it, but all I need commit to for now is 20 minutes a day. If that’s all I want to do, great, but I need to get in shape, and I need to strengthen, for sure. So, I just realized I need to go to the gym for that, maybe. Glad its going to be summer break soon – that will make all this easier and more palatable! I have to remember too that once I’m into a routine, it’s easier and more enjoyable!

May is my month to Commitment. My commitment is to 20 minutes a day for 4 days at least, a week. That’s it.  Whatever I can do – walk, ride, run, strength train. 20 minutes. One thing I have learned, if I’m realistic, I will likely achieve what I set out to do, and often even more. Too much is discouraging. 20 minutes is doable, and totally SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

If there is something else I know and like about myself, it is that once I commit to something, I’m in. So, that is my commitment for starters – to make myself do some form of exercise for 20 minutes, 4x/week. Getting ready for Summer!! Easy! Also, there’s another thing I’ve learned about myself. When I make 1 positive change in my life, it often has a domino effect. So, more into being fit –> more into healthy –> more into life –> more into fun.

Here’s to being fit, and more so, to commitment 🙂

#CommittoBeingFit

Giving Out of My Poverty

God is faithful to give to you when you give to him. Giving with a pure heart brought me a great reward, pretty much immediately! God is so good.

 

One Sunday at church, while living in England, as I got ready to get out of my car, I thought to get some money for the offering. I only had 5 pounds on me – the equivalent of about $7.50. I didn’t have much money anyway those days despite that being all I had on me. I was on the verge of moving into a new place and money was tight. I thought I’d just give what I had.

My reality of, “this is really all I have to give” actually hit me, and brought me to a place of humility. I felt like crying. I felt so poor. I had so little. There was some sort of humility to that evening I remembered feeling in my car seeing all that I really had and feeling truly poor for the first time in my life.

My finances at that time had to do in part with the Lord having recently blessed me, having opened up for me a good place to live the last couple of months I’d be living in England. The rent I was to pay was a little over my budget, but I had wanted out of where I was living and was given the opportunity to do so, so I took it gratefully. I was broke.

The offering bag came by. I popped in the 5 pounds I had, and left it at that.

After church ended, Joy, the woman with whom I’d be living, approached me. I can’t remember what was said other than she informed me out of the blue what I found to be the deliberate reward from God for me having given to Him in the offering what I could.

She happened to tell me that she would be taking off 50 pounds off of my rent. “What?”  I was surprised. That was so phenomenal!

I was wowed by what she had just told me. It was like God deliberately just blessing me for what I’d done. I gave God what I could without even the thought of receiving anything in return, and He then blessed me right away in my efforts for what I gave in prompt return giving me back what I needed, a 50 pound reduction in rent. Wow.

It was neat to see Him in action like that. I love how He works, and with such expediency too. It’s amazing.

Remembering that I felt humbled, I feel it was the Holy Spirit upon me somehow showering me with grace to give, a humility-filled heart. I was blessed by my “poorness” that night, as Matthew 5:3 states, and mine was the Kingdom of Heaven.”

God gave me back an immediate 10 fold increase for that month of a blessing on what I had given to Him – over the next three months it would total a 30 fold increase totaling 150 pounds from my meager 5 pound offering. Thank you, Lord, God. That is so awesome.

He allowed Joy to help me too in the process. She could have also had excuses for why she needed the money, too. I found out later that she got the prompting to reduce 50 pounds from my rent while in church that evening, but listening and following through is the key. So glad she did. Thank you, Lord, Thank you, Joy!

Amen.

It’s important to follow through. You never know who you’re going to bless or how you will be blessed if you follow through on an action. It’s good to follow through though because God is trustworthy and He’s always got the best plan for us all.

It shows that when we honor God, He may use others to honor us somehow, too.  Ultimately, it’s all from God though, isn’t it? 🙂 God was letting me know He was honoring me in doing what I could. He was being faithful to my giving.

There is a story in the bible about a widow who gave all that she had to live on – who gave out of her poverty, and, in that, Jesus tells us that she gave more than all those who gave out of there surplus, though theirs was clearly more, financially. This story is recounted in Matthew 12:44.

Being willing and faithful to give what we can is important. Whether it be of money or of time. God will provide the assistance we need. Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” We can trust that. He finds a way to give us back what we have given Him. I believe God uses many different circumstances to build our faith in Him too – to find Him working in our lives, to see Him. It’s so delightful to find Him working on our behalf. It is beautiful to see Him here, caring enough to show Himself. I feel like, “Who am I?” But I, like others, am His. I am His beloved daughter. I love that. If we did not know His word, I believe that we would likely have less opportunity to see Him gloriously working in our lives, although I didn’t know that bible verse before about giving out of your poverty before I did that.

I believe that God was developing my relationship with Him more, too, there during that time, clearly. That instance provided an opportunity for God to show me that He is with me, taking care of my needs, helping me through others, and providing for me help in my time of need. I’m reminded too that the poor state of my finances has often allowed me to “see” the “kingdom of heaven” it seems to me. I love that. It makes sense that Jesus said that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” I get it. I get to see God’s gifts manifesting to me in so many ways in my need. I love it, still.

Luke 6:38 tells us, to “give, and it will be given to you.” God is our provider, our Jehovah Jireh. He will see us through. We can always give something, even if it’s just a little. God will restore us and may even increase what we have given by 30 fold!!

 

 

 

I thank you so much, Lord, and I love you, and thank you for helping me always, for showing me too through my circumstances that you are here helping me, caring for me and loving me in all that I need.

Thank you.

Halleleuia.

Holly

Finding Joy in the Little Things…like an unexpected plunge in the river for five minutes of unparalled bliss…has helped me realize I need balance

Tonight is the first night I have had to myself in weeks where I am actually doing something that interests me – it happens to be work related, but it is also inspiring. I have found that when things get really bad, as I have felt them recently, but more so of which I am attributing to being so overwhelmed with my job with too many competing responsibilities, I have to look for what I can do to make things better.

Seeking Balance in an Imbalanced Life

Now, this was not my first response today, but I have come to know that is what works best with me. I am responsible for my reality. My response today was that I am ready to move on from education – that it is not fun. What can be such a great topic is burdened by timetables and tests and it’s not fun!

My life has been more of a swarm of activity of these past couple of months – moreso than any other time in my life I believe. There have been a convergence of things going on – prom planning, moving, and science fair – on top of which I am a teacher which itself is a ridiculous amount of responsibility beyond what time is provided in a regular workday.

I have found that when I embrace my responsibilities that I am happier. Maybe this morning, and it has been waxing and waning over this past month plus, I just feel I do not want to do it any more. That it is no fun. That every day is consumed with something – something to do – always something to do – it’s too much right now!

There has literally been no free time except for my weekends which were consumed with moving and which I have been unable to bear as of recent b/c of the burnout from doing that all by myself, as well. There have been 12 hour days almost daily, and for 4 days I travelled last week, and had more “no me time,” but I will say it was easier and better than being in the classroom for awhile. I needed a break, but it was still not enough. Burnout is what I get (understand) now. I’m a worker and always have been, but it’s beyond reasonable, but I have brought on some of it myself by also adding tutoring jobs in the evening on top of everything else I am doing.  At any rate, my day today has been depressing, and I am not a depressive woman. I felt burdened and heavy and edgy. Cranky. Heavy is the best word. Snippy with students too – very stern and mean kind of with shananigans. Got better over the day as I realized my harshness, but my bs meter with certain student behaviors is in the red.

I actually had 40 minutes free tonight between work and tutoring. Normally, I literally come home, brush my teeth and head back out, but because I had about a 3 hour planning period today because my students were testing and my normal period of planning was extended, I got much done for once in a while.  Then, I found out, on my way to tutoring tonight that my tutee had cancelled. I happened to be at a shopping mall so I popped into Home Goods to looks around and left empty-handed but with a couple of options.

I need to do some stuff like apply for a passport – the main thing, taxes, put together my bookshelf, and write/post online, but I opted to eat some ice cream and cookies, instead, to have some coffee, and watch a plant documentary by which I got inspired.

Just having this night to myself without doing anything I have to do has left me inspired and back to feeling like me again. My inspiration has left me not wanting to get out of teaching, but instead employ a new idea, of which I’d also gotten more as I planned for my tutee while I was having my 40 mins of “down time” earlier, but that one was much more elaborate and would not likely happen in a traditional classroom b/c of all the science it involves with testing. Too bad b/c that is what we should be doing!!

So, my life recently has me realizing the importance of taking time for me. My morning time is so important. I had an actual hour this a.m. which felt great, but still left me in a bad mood for some reason – not sure why – maybe just too under it all still! Not normally a time-counter, but the next 7+ weeks will be gladly met my me for my mental and physical well-being. No time for exercise either b/c every night has been occupied and by the time I get home, I eat dinner and go to bed shortly thereafter – bad combo, but that’s where I’ve been. 2 more weeks and prom will be over. Science fair ended last week. Then, just the EOC for the students and it’s easy sailing from there. The weights will all have been lifted and I will have accomplished them all.

Here’s what I’ve found. I don’t like this much responsibility. I am a big fan of responsibility and when I embrace it, it makes me feel good. Recently, however, because it is too much in terms of not being balanced, I’ve been more resentful primarily just with my job because I desire to fulfill my responsibilities well – not just show up, and I feel my teaching is suffering as a result too which I do not  like.

I went out with a friend this weekend for a walk on the beach, church and lunch. We spent most of the day together which was nice. We’d driven past the river at one point and I mentioned my desire to swim in it which hit me as I went to meet her that a.m. When we went to lunch, my desire was still intact. When I left her later that afternoon, she’s called to say she left her food in my car and would I return it to her. Begrudgingly I did, but I said yes. The time factor bothering me. I had been told by her earlier to go swimming in the pool if I wanted to swim – to take five minutes. I didn’t want to swim in the pool. I wanted to swim in the river! She went on to say I didn’t have to take a lot of time, but just rinse off the desire, so to speak and move on about my night. Figured that would not likely happen, but with the time frame, it might.

As I turned around and would drive by this river for a 4th time that day, I thought to just go sit by it for a moment and take time for me. I pulled off on the side of the road, and walked to the water. There were different people who did the same – some were swimming or fishing. I went a got a chair, an uncomfortable chair. I put it back. I got my beach recliner, and that felt wrong immediately. I didn’t want to relax and lay down, I wanted to go swimming…in that river! But who had a suit? It was gorgeous. A nice evening at this point around 5 p.m. The water was glistening which I love, from the sun descending. I decided I was goin in, bathingsuitless, in all my skivvies alone. I would wear an undershirt, too. Glad for that!

Maybe it would look like I had on a bathing suit, but I didn’t really care, I just wanted to swim in that river. I needed to be in that water for a swim like I need water when I’m really parched. I can’t explain it, but I was dry, and desperate to sooth my soul in there, momentarily. My spirit was aching for sun and water and freedom to swim and play in the water – the river water. I just needed to give myself that, and that I did. I stripped down into my undergarments, and in I went. I walked in slowly.

It was chilly. I then finally took the plunge, head in, swimming about free-style, finally meeting a jelly fish which quickly brought me to my feet again to assess the type. Knew it wasn’t a stinger, seemingly, and it wasn’t. Small and brown. Almost just like the ones my brother and I would throw at each other when we were kids. I went back in ignoring further jellies, but was then worried a bit about sharks as I was out quite a bit at this point. I just wanted to swim! I walked around for a minute taking in the wonder around me, really assessing, still, the shark situation, and decided eventually to head back in. If there was a shark, I should be closer to the shore. I gave it a hard swim feeling great to be back in the water and free to be in my element!

I got out and dried off, got my clothes back on and found my moments of happiness again, smiling, free, happy to have taken my five minutes for me to do something I really wanted. A true desire, fulfilled.


What I realized is by taking time to do what I really want to do, it makes me happy – no matter how little a time I may do it. Making time for that was huge, and set me up for a great rest of the night, happy to tackle whatever lay before me not worrying about what I had to do resentfully because I took care of myself first and derived a bit more of what makes me feel whole and more balanced.

Doing what I like is huge to me, apparently, and I have lost that in these past weeks.  There are a few times I can remember smiling recently and feeling really happy, and it was when I was in the river, and right after – driving home my face maintained it’s smile for some time, and of course, when I ride my bike – that always brings me to a smile.

My mom wrote in her parting letter to me – one of her many tidbits – to embrace all the parts of getting to know who I am, and then being her. I have found some less than desirous parts of myself this past year. This season of business, the new people in my life and different responsibilities in my life I have found many parts of myself, many of which I have found not to my liking and have made me sad to realize how I am (I’ve also found some good too), but also the moment I employed my mom’s advice and embraced a part I did not like, I was brought to tears by my own compassion of sincerely trying to love this hateful part, and trying to understand myself, and by doing so, I believe loving what I hated in myself had allowed me to let her go, in part, at least, seemingly, to a large degree.

I realize this is a lot of rambling maybe, but I have been keeping a lot in too which has me unraveling a bit on this – a catharsis, of course. . My main take-away from all of this: I have got to make more time for me and be more realistic with my schedule. I like making this extra money tutoring and with my other responsibilities, but they leave me with no “life” time from my work life and those are not viable, sustainable, realistic ways to live. At least not for me!

I am going to begin to make more time for me – if it’s a bike ride up to the store to buy some groceries or a visit to the gym , or a little walk, something just to get me out of the house or my routine, I must make time for me, even know literally 12 hour days have been much of my norm as of late.

Five minutes of doing something I really wanted to do revealed my desperation for joy and fun in my life right now. Fun and joy on a regular basis are now what I  will seek regularly for my sanity and for more happiness. 

To joy and fun, in whatever ways we may find them!

Holly

When Speaking Your Truth Causes You to Lose Your Dad, but God Trumps Your Reality

My Story Based on Malachi 4:6, and how God’s word did not return to Him Void, like it says in Isaiah 55:11: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. . .
That would be Malachi 4:6 for me and dad:)
Awesome 🙂

My devastating reality of speaking the truth came into being. When I spoke my truth to my dad my biggest fear was realized, that he would no longer have a relationship with me, and that was the case – “I think it better we no longer speak,” was all I got to in response to an email I sent him, after the bit about me having “Crossed a line.”

Well, that got me requesting prayer at church one afternoon soon where someone prayed over me and for my dad Malachi 4:6.

“He will turn the heart of the father to the children, and the heart of the children to the father.”

What followed was indeed miraculous, and grace showered upon me like it was being poured out from heaven upon my head – days later – out of no where. Bizarre, and beautiful.

Love and compassion flooded in me washing my “bad” thoughts about my dad away, and leaving nothing but good. God worked his miracle working power in this circumstance of my heart, and, I found out later, my dad’s.

God is such a marvelous Father – loving us so much. Even know I was the one with the bitterness in me toward my dad for his lack of x,y,z that he failed to do, I wasn’t the one who was consoled. God gave me His grace to love my dad! I LOVE THAT! Heart emoji.

Listen and learn of the grace of God, healing me and my dad forever more. He’s so good!

What I like about Me. What I am Celebrating about Me:)

Celebrating me. My birthday was earlier this month which had me reading my birthday card from a friend of almost 30 years – crike!. One of the things he suggested was to celebrate all month. I thought I would take this to heart, but I did not know what that meant to me or would look like. So, I thought what I might celebrate. Came up with ways to celebrate me, like taking myself to the salon to get a mani-pedi or to go get a massage – neither of which I ever did.

I got a bit derailed early on because of a tiff I had with my housemate that left me distracted. 10 days later, last night found me laying in bed thinking about making the best of me, my life, what I want for this year, how I will achieve what I want, and back to celebrating who I am and what that would look like. What I came up with was simply what is worth celebrating me for – what would I celebrate about myself if I could, because I am 🙂

My natural inclination for some time has been to be highly critical. I have heard by people that I am a perfectionist. One of my bosses first told me this some years back. I had no idea, but when I told it to my aunt, she totally agreed. Maybe I was. I finally did come to terms with it, but have since let go of it’s strong hold on me. It’s pretty freeing.

I have found my inclination for scrutiny, and perhaps also criticism, has likely come from my inner teacher, but mainly from living in a world for a period of time where I grew up where there were lots of lies and justifications for things that I felt were either unjustifiable or were excuses for people to behave badly, but I of which I never bought. Now, as an adult I have little tolerance for b.s. I can be real with what I know and believe now, and will call myself, or others, on the b.s.

I know for a long time I only looked at what was wrong with me – putting myself down. Never building myself up. I am not big on putting down myself – I realize what my issues are and ask for the Lord’s help in overcoming them, however, but I have learned that putting me down only keeps me down. I can still celebrate who I am while also working on changing what needs changing.

When thinking about celebrating me, I found things to celebrate. I thought, “What do I like about me?” I lay in bed last night stunned that the ideas were brimming. In a celebratory factor, I went for it, not worrying about boasting, because I was simply honoring where I am in this journey in which I presently am, and I like it.

I also took this idea to work with me this morning – asking every one of my students to say 1 thing they like about who they are – mentally, physically, spiritually – what ever they like. I realize many of us are scrutinizing, and we often overlook the good while under the scope, so my prayer this morning was to honor my students. What “I” came up with was to ask them, “What do you like about you?” What I found was no surprise – it was difficult for many to find anything they like. Sad too. I stayed with them until they came up with something. I put it in their minds and encouraged them to continue looking for things in themselves to honor, and to build themselves up, but also to work on what may see in themselves that needs improving, and to do that also.

So, here’s what I found for me. These are some items I like about me, what I feel celebratory about for me! Maybe I I will come up with more later, but for now, here’s what I’ve got: I’ve got dozens of reasons to celebrate me.

Here goes: What I like about Me:

  1. I like that I am curious
  2. I like that my body responds well to health food and fitness quickly
  3. I like that I can eat a lot and burn it quickly – I like my enzymes!
  4. I like my mind
  5. I like that I am cheerful and able to cheer up myself
  6. I like that I know the word of God and believe it
  7. I like that I am a faithful woman
  8. I like that I practice the word of God
  9. I like that prayers of mine are heard by God and answered
  10. I like that I know the Lord and He knows me
  11. I like that I am my own best friend
  12. I like that I have done a couple of triathlons
  13. I like who I am as a little sister to my brother
  14. I like that I prize truth and beauty most of all
  15. I like that I love love
  16. I like that I love nature and find beauty within it
  17. I like that I love
  18. I like that I am hopeful
  19. I like that I am positive
  20. I like that I am encouraging to myself and to others
  21. I like that I am silly
  22. I like that I am fun
  23. I like that I am spontaneous
  24. I like that I am kind and friendly
  25. I like that I am full of peace
  26. I like that I am interested in plants and medicine
  27. I like that I like science
  28. I like that I am privileged feeling – that I know my every day  conveniences are privileged. I like that I enjoy simple pleasures, plane rides, coffee, breakfast on Sunday mornings in an outdoor café with the sun shining and cool breeze and bustle around me
  29. I love my sight – I like that I am grateful for it and my taste buds.
  30. I like that I know what I like and don’t like in relationships
  31. I like that I like people
  32. I like that I know that I get to be me and what that means
  33. I like that I have come around and let hate go and find love in my eyes where I see my mom
  34. I like that I can state my mind and I know the importance of speaking my truth
  35. I like that I know my hardships have brought me here and that I see
  36. I like that I make myself matter now
  37. I like that I know what responsibility feels like and like that I like how it feels
  38. I like that I like myself at 48
  39. I like that I am susceptible to suggestions – like the written statement in my birthday card to “celebrate all month” led me here – to figure out what that would look like for me? I have come up with things about myself to celebrate and here is what I have come up with so far – celebrating what I like about me.
  40. I like that I have stopped stopping at critical and constructing something from it instead.
  41. I like that I have taken my mom’s suggestion to enjoy getting to know every aspect of who I am, and to take the time to get to know me and then to be her, and to love all of the parts of being me.
  42. I like that I like a challenge
  43. I like that I have an adventurous spirit
  44. I like that I am a child at heart – fun and playful and kind
  45. I like that I am serious
  46. I like that I am discerning
  47. I like that I am better at decision making
  48. I like that seek peace within myself, with others
  49. I like that I am cute and I like that I like cute
  50. I like that I am honest
  51. I like that my body is aging well
  52. I like that I focus on for what I have to be grateful
  53. I like that I reset my mind
  54. I like that I have taken risks in important relationships
  55. I like that I do not cave when I am threatened with losing what matters to me over losing what is true to me, even when what matters is a dear member of my family
  56. I like that I love smart
  57. I like that I like to serve, to give, and to contribute to making others happy
  58. I like that I am an over-comer
  59. I like that I seek to be better
  60. I like that I like to play games
  61. I like that I dress well – most days (highly subjective)
  62. I like that I have good taste (also highly subjective)
  63. I like that I am creative
  64. I like that I am a good dancer
  65. I like that I am open-minded
  66. I like that I am fair
  67. I like that I am happy
  68. I like that I have a good work ethic – I am a dedicated worker
  69. I like that I am productive
  70. I like that I like who I am:)

What are you likely to celebrate about you?  There are many. Embrace the lovely.

Holly