From a Chaotic Rat Race to “Being Still” and “Loving Life”!!

So yesterday was my birthday in which I had the most wonderful, slow paced, enjoyable day with my amazing husband.  We were living life, having fun, being giddy, young at heart, and I was truly being in “each” moment, soaking up the love we have, and the memories we were making, and at the end of the day I was so grateful.  I believe this was my best birthday ever because I chose to be in “each” moment, instead of trying to get through to the next destination or the next item on my life’s “to do” list.  Actually last year’s birthday was a big milestone of why this birthday was so wonderful.  You see, on my birthday last year I was very sick with the flu and whether it was the flu, too much NyQuil, reactions to the z-pack I was given, or a combination of it all, something really went wrong with my body. There are too many symptoms to mention, but the main issues since then, is that my digestive system has been a mess which I’m still trying to figure out, and my body felt totally depleted. By Christmas I was just numb and going through life trying to make it through each day. I tried figuring out what was wrong with me, self diagnosing, but finally decided after the holidays I would go to my doctor and get help. For starters, my thyroid and adrenals were completely depleted. I’m working on getting these balanced out, and as many of you know for years I’ve already been focused on healthy eating and living to help ease my pain of fibro and arthritis, but now with the skin rashes and digestive issues I’m completely off of gluten and sugar, and am slowly on a path of healing, as we continue to figure things out.

So all of this has caused me to sit back and review my life. I’ve kept myself over extended and exhausted for years.  Not only with society’s busyness of life, when you add my control and perfectionism where I have always needed to have everything right, always in its place, being the best, trying to do better and more and bigger things, on top of my codependency of trying to help fix and rescue anyone and everyone in my path that reached out to me, as it made me feel important when others needed me, because I needed to be needed, accepted, loved and liked, and I thought that’s what I had to do to get it. All of this had me in a chaotic rat race of go, go, go — both physically and mentally!  

But, I’m changing this crazy cycle of mine to slow down, be in the moment, breathe and enjoy right where I am, rather than hurrying through just trying to get to the next destination, never enjoying the journey. Right now making these changes of being still, intentionally slowing down, removing things from my agenda and life, saying “no” and not accepting new and more responsibilities, is as awkward for me as it is looking at the word “waler” with my OCD and not having the “t” crossed. My life has been where I’ve needed to be in control (at least think I am) and have every “t” crossed and every “i” dotted. But I’ve realized, even if the word “waler” doesn’t have the “t” crossed, people will know what the word is suppose to mean, and it’s not the end of the world if the “t” isn’t always crossed.

My codependent, perfectionist, controlling personality has actually controlled me, and has taken away my peace, joy, contentment and loving life as a whole, and I’m done. These have been tools I’ve used as coping skills over the years that I needed to deal with things in my life that was out of my control, but they are unhealthy and robbing me of so much. As I get older I realize more and more the importance to just “be” and enjoy all that I’ve been blessed with and not let these things control me. They have been my addiction to cope, but I choose to stop this and instead love life, breathe, play in the rain, splash in the puddles, breathe in the air, be still and feel the sun’s warmth soak into my aching body easing the tension and pain. Learning to laugh deep belly laughs, and sing at the top of my lungs with goodness, fun and foolishness. Being silly, enjoying life with my wonderful husband, family and friends. Life on this earth is too short to stress over nonsense, and it’s time for me to enjoy all the blessings I’ve been given.  To stop pushing to get one more chore done, one more thing to do before I can stop and enjoy life. Because my to do list will never end, and there’ll always be one more chore to do, so I choose to stop focusing on that “one more” thing and live life right where I am.

Like the song from Casting Crowns says “stop holding on and be held”.  Holding on is me still trying to control, where being held is letting go, surrendering my control, and instead being held and resting in the loving, caring arms of our creator trusting in His unconditional love for us no matter who we are or what we’ve done. You see, for years I believed in the man made laws of religion which shows God more as a dictator watching and waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us.  And for several years I couldn’t even open up the Bible because I thought it was just a lot of lawful do’s and don’ts in which I couldn’t take anymore, because I already put so much guilt, discipline and strictness on myself.  But I’ve come to know our true creator and Heavenly Father.  And now I can’t get enough of His Word because after removing the lies of man I’ve realized it’s filled with promises, hope, peace and joy  He offers to all of us if we will just accept His gift.  You see as his child I’ve tried to “do” to earn His love, grace, forgiveness and mercy.  But you can’t “do” anything for a gift, as it’s offered freely.  My works were trying to make me feel better, because I thought I had to do this for Him.  He even says in His Word,  if a child asked his parent for food would his parent give him a stone? No! Even humans who have flaws want to give their children good things, how much greater love does our Heavenly Father have for us. (Matthew 7:9-12)  Religion with man made laws cause us to feel we must “do” to be loved, approved, accepted, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt these are lies by man, because our creator and loving Heavenly Father is so full of love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and patience, and the more I “be still” and rest in Him, accepting, realizing and soaking up these wonderful gifts from Him and remove the lies of man, the more free I am in mind, body, and soul, and the more I desire and am able to give these same attributes out to others each day of my life.  God is saying: “be” who you are, His wonderful creation, wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  “Be” in a relationship with him through accepting His gift.  “Be” loved.  “Be” forgiven.  “Be” accepted.  And by accepting His gift we can “Be” filled with a hope, peace, joy, contentment we never thought was possible.  I’ve realized, just like an appliance needs to be connected to the power source to work, I need to be connected to my amazing Heavenly Father (through his word, prayer and the Holy Spirit) as it fills me with exactly what I need every day.  Love when I feel unloved.  Hope when I feel hopeless.  Wisdom when I need guidance.  Strength when I am weak.  A firm foundation when life is stormy.  Consistency that He’s the same yesterday, today and forever in an ever changing world.   Confidence when I’m afraid.  Trust when I need to know He’s right there with me- holding me, carrying me, desiring to give me the best life I could possibly ever desire if I stop holding on and just be held (Jeremiah 29:11).  And I know as I intentionally work towards this new way of life– to be still, to be held, to just breathe, to let go, and just enjoy each moment I’m in, I will slowly come to find that this will no longer feel awkward, but will become my new way of living, another step closer to the way God planned for me to live from the beginning, and I can’t wait to see what it brings to my life and all those in my life.

Listen to this wonderful song and believe, know without a doubt you are loved unconditionally by your Heavenly Father. https://youtu.be/tIZitK6_IMQ

Posted in Codependency, Faith & Courage, Family & Friends, Health & Wellness, hope, Peace & Contentment, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

In This Election – Remember, One Thing Remains!!

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So, anyone who has read my blogs knows my passion is to vote for the one who’s looking to uphold that which is closest to God’s word.  And as God’s child, I’ve always had a peace whichever way this election goes as I know our Heavenly Father is ultimately in control.  But, as I’ve been watching, listening, reading blogs, seeing news, hearing some argue their opinions, some unfriending others on social media, it’s been heartbreaking to see such division rather than unity.  My desire is to speak the truth that’s in my heart with love, but agree to disagree with those who aren’t where I am, and to love each person right where they are, and believing in the power of prayer, seeking His word for truth and asking the Holy Spirit to direct myself and others as we make our decisions.

As I sat and pondered all that’s been going on, it hit me.  When God created us He wanted us to have complete freedom of choice, which He provided, and will never take that freedom away from us.  He allows us the opportunity to choose things that are best for us, and he also allows us the freedom to make bad choices – of course we reap the benefits or consequences, we all know that’s the way it works.  But either choice we make God’s love does not change.  His love never fails.  He loves us unconditionally.  And because He cannot look upon sin, but loves us so much, He made a way for us to be reunited with Him forever through the life, death and resurrection of His one and only son Jesus Christ in which I am so grateful.

We have been blessed the same way here in America, where we have the freedom of choice, where again laws are provided for our protection and if we obey we can come and go freely, but if not, we pay the consequences.  With this election, more than ever, I can see so clearly how God has blessed America with having the freedoms of choice.  Free to own our own business, our own homes.  Buy the cars we want.  Stay single or be married.  Come and go when we want.  Attend the church that we want, or not attend at all.  Go out and have fun when we want.  Go on vacations when and where we want.  And I could go on and on.  I also know that these freedoms aren’t always provided throughout our history as some men have tried to govern and rule over man.  Such as Hitler, Saddam and more.  After looking at both candidates for President I see one  who has messed up many times and continues to, but who I believe loves our country and will fight for it and our freedoms.  And I see another one who absolutely has done evil, unexplained, heart-wrenching things now proven, and being brought to our attention even more in the last few days, who I believe truly desires to rule us and remove the freedoms we have come to know and love, using lies and deception to make us think she has our good at heart.

As a christian I trust God’s word, and believe the many verses that says “fear not” and whichever one becomes our next president we have a Heavenly Father whom I know I can depend on, trust and who has already won the battle.  No matter what may come in our future, I know that I will have eternal life forever.  What I see with Trump getting in, is that our freedoms to truly make our own choices will be allowed.  What I see with Hilary getting in, is that we will all lose our freedoms to truly make our own choices, and more and more will be governed and told what we can and can’t do.  We may not see it ourselves, but our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will.  But again, I know that God’s in control, and saying that isn’t saying that I’m naive’ and don’t see what could happen.

In a nutshell, here’s what I believe is a good possibility.  If Trump gets in we will have the freedoms we have all grown to know and love, but if Hillary gets in I believe we will lose those freedoms.

And whichever way it goes I am confident in this – that God cares more about our eternal souls than our temporary bodies – and if He sees that more souls will be saved by providing us the freedoms we’ve come to know and love by sharing with others the hope, peace and joy we’ve found in him that’s wonderful.

But, if He sees that more souls would be saved where our freedoms will be taken away from us, and we are told what we can and cannot do, and that we can no longer worship our God but another god, like the time of King Nebuchadnezzar with Shadrach Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3) – where when the rubber hit the road, and they were given the choice to bow to another god or be put in the fiery furnace – they chose their Living God and did not bow – Then God’s power was shown through saving them in the fire, and many knees bowed and turned to our living, almighty God.  Only God knows the future.

But I am confident in this. That our God is a God of love who desires a personal relationship with each of us and wants to pour His blessings on us. And whatever man may do, I am confident as His child that I am promised a hope beyond this temporary life.  My desire is to share this hope I’ve found in Him with others has He’s made it available to all mankind.  I’m confident because He’s never failed me.  Man has many times.  But our Heavenly Father has been my firm foundation, my one constant in an ever changing world.  I know His love never fails and never gives up on me. He was, is and always will be.  He is the I AM.  I claim His words when He says “Fear Not” for death has no sting, the victory has been won, and Jesus is the King of all kings, Lord of all lords, and will reign forever, now into eternity.

Like Christ in the garden of Gethsemane I have been crying out in prayer for our nation.  Praying  for our eyes to be open to see what really is and not believe lies and deceit on whichever side it may be coming from.  I’ve prayed that evil will be exposed and that we may all see clearly what truly is before this election.  I’ve been crying out to God that He would spare America from evil and allow us to keep the freedoms we have grown to know and love so that we may spread the hope we’ve found in Him with others, telling them about the great news.  But, I also surrender my will to His as I know He knows the future, and I’m confident in His love for all mankind, in His wisdom to know what’s best, in His power to do what He sees is best, and in His perfect timing, not for our temporary pleasures, but for the hope of souls to be reunited with our amazing Heavenly Father for our eternal lives.  Please know whatever may come, one thing remains, God’s love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out on us.  Please listen to this song: One Thing Remains (God’s Love)

God bless you, and God bless America!

Posted in America, Devotions, Faith & Courage, Family & Friends, hope, Peace & Contentment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

America, I will not allow man to control me through lies, deceit, greed and selfishness again! Are you with me?

Wow, I highly recommend watching “Hilary’s America”. It’s nothing like I expected. It’s a true story filled with facts about our history of the political parties up through today, with interviews by experts in their fields from universities, etc. This has cleared up questions of why so many things I see going on in our country are like they are.

It reminded me of my growing up in a legalistic church where they preached one thing, but lived completely different, full of lies and deceit, having power over you built on fear and control. Making you think they are doing things for our good, but really was using us for their benefit and selfish motives. Causing us to view God as a God to be afraid of filled with complete judgment without love which took away our freedom of individuality and personal identity. This way of life filled me with fear, feeling lost and broken with no true identity of who I really was and a false identity of who God was. But through much searching, seeking, counseling, and crying out to God, for several decades, I’ve come to know this way of life was absolutely unhealthy, teaching falsely about our creator who is full of love and grace.  I hated religion and chose a personal relationship with my loving creator instead.

I vowed at age 22 when this church (cult) fell apart, that I’d never again allow myself to be under that kind of control, lies and deceit by man. But as Americans, we are so close to this, and I choose to stand against this and fight to protect our freedoms.

I plead with you to not put your head in the sand and think everything will be okay and that we will continue having the freedoms we all have grown to know and love. Get the facts. Know the truth. Be informed. If you do nothing else before this election I plead with you to watch this movie and then make your decision.

I believe as a whole, no matter which party we are on, as Americans, we truly desire peace, honesty, fairness and the freedom we’ve known in our wonderful country. I believe we desire to preserve, protect and defend our freedoms. Are we willing to give up all that our forefathers, dad’s, mom’s, grandparents, siblings, sons and daughters have fought for?  Will we allow their deaths for our country to be for nothing? I say NO!

I will do everything in my power to never ever again allow man to control me through lies, deceit, power and greed. I love our country. I love our freedoms. I love you. And I believe as a whole we Americans want what’s best for our country, not only for now, but for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  United we stand, divided we fall.

I pray God bless America!!

Watch my video

 

#Trump2016. #Clinton2016. #ReviveUs2016

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Will America be a blessed nation by God or become a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah?

*Millions of believers are blind to the disaster a Clinton presidency will be to their jobs, their church and their children.

*God was on the throne when Hitler rose to power. God was on the throne when Stalin extinguished the hope of millions.

*God is on the throne as Christians all over the world are being killed by radical Islam.

*God is looking for heroes to rise up and—by His power—intervene to save America. He uses people.

*If Hillary wins, we will not be fine on November 9th. Proverbs 29: 2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people mourn.” Prepare for years and years of groaning if she wins.

*Eric Metaxas said, “If Hillary Clinton is elected, the country’s chance to have a Supreme Court that values the Constitution—and the genuine liberty and self-government for which millions have died—is gone. Not for four years, or eight, but forever.”

*To the basket of Christians gullible I say this: Nothing matters more in this election than what Hillary will do to America. She will fill the Supreme Court with leftist judges—she will destroy our economy—she will cause a war—all forms of abortion will be legal—and the church in America will be severely crippled.

*We could stop this insanity if we unified against real—not imagined evil. If we could see our real duty in this election—if we could get over our false sensibilities and hurt feelings, we could save the country. The great heroes of our faith who witnessed tyranny would grab us and shake us to our core if they saw our apathy and naiveté in the face of this threat.

*I am not fretting over the fate of Christianity. I am fretting over my nation. I know Christianity will survive without America, but America will not survive without Christianity. America as you have known it will not survive Hillary Clinton.

Are we going to allow America to become a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah or stand up against evil and vote for what God’s word tells us as His children to stand for.

**…When the day of evil comes…stand your ground, and after you have done everything… stand. Stand firm then… Ephesians 6:13-14

**It’s breath-catching, heart-breaking, and soul-searing to watch our nation implode morally and spiritually. The mental picture of the Twin Towers on 9/11 collapsing in a cloud of debris and dust comes to my mind as I pray for America.

**It is not buildings that are collapsing today. It is us — our nation.

**What can God’s people do?

**We can humble ourselves, seek God’s face, and pray. We can fast. We can turn from our wicked ways. We can return to the Lord our God. We can plead for God’s mercy to hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our land.

**And we should do all of this!

**But I believe it’s also time for something else. It’s time to take a stand against evil by applying our Biblical values not only to our worldview, but to all we say, do, or think, which includes the way we vote.

Who will I vote for? I will vote for the most pro-life candidate, because God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Prov.6:17). I will vote for the most pro-Israel candidate, because God blesses those who bless Israel & curses those who don’t (Gen.12:3). I will vote for the most pro-debt reduction candidate, because the borrower is servant to the lender (Prov.22:7). I will vote for the most pro-work candidate because God says if a man not work , let him not eat. (2Thess.3:10). l will vote for the most pro-marriage candidate, because God is for marriage as defined in Genesis 2:24 . I will vote for the candidate who most closely believes government’s purpose is to reward the good & punish the evil (Romans 13). I will vote based as close as I can on God’s Word (2Tim.3:16). Knowing that whoever gets elected, God is the one who puts all men in authority (Dan.2:20-21). May God have mercy on America. I will vote.

And for you who say you don’t want to vote what’s closest to the word of God, because you’re more concerned about the individuals running and you don’t like them.  Let me ask you this.  If you had a child playing around snakes and one was a garner snake and the other a cotton mouth, which would you be protecting that child from?  You probably wouldn’t want him playing with any snake, but if that was the choice, which would you protect him from?  The evil, poisonous one of course.  That is where we are in our country.  For mine and your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, I write this blog, praying we as God’s children will fight the evils of this world and seek God’s face – as His word provides us with His truth’s that we should be taking a stand for, and also taking a stand against the evil we are seeing in our country, and vote for the one who speaks closest to what God’s word calls us to do.  Vote against the cotton mouth – the evil, poisonous one that will do all it can to destroy the very foundations of what this country was built on, and stand for the truth of God’s word that will stand the test of times.  Ephesians 6:10-18.  I will repeat what’s stated above once more, I am not fretting over the fate of Christianity. I know one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess He is Lord, and I know beyond this life I will have eternal life forever.  But, I am fretting over our nation. I know Christianity will survive without America, but America will not survive without Christianity. America as you have known it will not survive Hillary Clinton.  God’s blessings are ours if we choose His truths, which is what this country was founded upon and why we’ve been such a blessed nation.  But God will not take away our right of choice, and this election will tell so much, and if we choose evil over God’s truth, I believe the closer America will become a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.  So christians…

…When the day of evil comes…stand your ground, and after you have done everything… stand. Stand firm then… Ephesians 6:13-14

*http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/60751-mario-murillo-gullible-christians-are-helping-to-kill-america

**http://www.annegrahamlotz.org/2016/10/13/time-take-stand/

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Wow! It hurts my heart to see how some christians are acting in this election…

As a christian, what saddens me more in this election than our options we have for president, is how so many christians are acting in all of this.  I’ve seen and heard nasty remarks, un-friending on social media, harsh and hateful words when others aren’t seeing things like they do.

Remember the acronym WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?)  Well that’s a great question so let’s take a look.  There’s nothing new under the sun today that didn’t happen over 2000 years ago.  What is going on in our nation today was going on in Jesus’ day.  So how did Jesus handle things when sin was all around?  When rulers and kings were over nations who were selfish, power hungry, greedy and with destruction as part of their plan?

First and foremost He stayed in communion with His Heavenly Father, seeking out His will daily and then following His plan.  As he went about preaching, teaching, and admonishing many, we see that He spoke with humble confidence filled with love and acceptance.  What does that mean?  Well, His humility was that even though He knew who He was, the Son of the living God with greater power than any man on earth, He went about humbly with a servant’s heart and spoke God’s truth in love to others. His confidence, was that He knew the truth and that it shall prevail no matter what man may say, and that the truth will set us free if we believe and follow it.  He knew that His Father, the Living God reigns over all kings, powers and nations.  He knew God “was”, “is” and “always will be”.  He knew He is the “I AM”.  Once Jesus spoke this truth in love to many, He loved and accepted them right where they were.  Some followed and desired to hear more.  I know this made Jesus joyful as He knew the hope, peace and joy that follows in following the truth and promises of God.  But, some accused Him of many terrible things.  Some mocked Him and lied about Him.  Some wanted to kill Him.  But He never treated them with the hate and strife and un-friending that I see so many christians doing today.  No, rather He loved them and accepted their choice and went on about His Father’s plan.

You see Jesus knew that God created us all to have freedom of choice and that in our own human power we cannot change any man from his choices.  No matter how much we yell, argue or try to force them to see it our way.  God won’t even take away our right of choice.   But, we can live a life humbly confident in who our God is and know that His truth shall prevail, and that it has set us free of this world’s bondage, and we can love and accept them right where they are.  That doesn’t mean we agree with them.  That doesn’t mean we give up our values.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences to choices that are made, we all know there are.  But we can’t make them change, but we can live what we believe with humility, confidence, love and acceptance.  By doing so, we can speak what the truth has done for us in our own lives and how through our loving Heavenly Father we have found a hope, peace and joy unlike any other.  We know that He is the bread of Life, the well of living water that never runs dry.  A God who has power over death, and gives us hope of eternal life through the sacrifice of his only begotten son.  We can tell them our praise of Him and what He’s done for us as an individual, and how through communion with Him through prayer, and reading and placing our hope in the promises of His word of truth that we have been set free and accept His gift of mercy and grace.  Then, no matter how each individual responds (like Jesus – some desiring this, some ridiculing us, some mocking us, some lying about us, whatever it may be) we should love and accept them right where they are.  We should allow them to continue their lives as they choose, loving and accepting them.

And as we go on in our daily lives, we can show them our hope, peace and joy by living a life truly confident in God’s promises, God’s almighty power, His never-ending love, with the greatest wisdom ever, and His perfect timing.  In a world that’s broken filled with hurts, pains and strife, where the rain and the sun fall both on the just and the unjust.  And when hard times hit, as we all know they will, we can stand firmly on the promises of God, showing them we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us (Phil 4:13).  That when we feel like life is falling apart, we have a firm foundation to stand on that’s not sinking beneath us.  And when we feel we can’t take another step, cry another tear, go without another night of sleep, that we can trust in the one who created us to hold us lovingly, hearing our every cry, being right by our side, never leaving us (Heb 13:5) even when those around us do.  And even when evil is all around, we can claim His promises that greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).  And with confidence we can know that rulers, kings, and presidents can have their time here on earth to rule.  But one day, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord of lords (Rom 14:11), the King of kings, and is the Ruler of all Nations for now into eternity.

So, back to the 2016 election.  Personally, my choice during the elections has never been democrat, republican nor libertarian.  You will see on my facebook page, that I’ve always had under my political headline: What’s closest to God’s word “One Nation Under God” Psa 46:10 “…I will be exalted above all nations…”  Since Jesus himself isn’t running, I can study, research, pray and seek Godly wisdom to choose those closest to God’s truth.  As I believe the closer we follow God’s word, the greater peace, joy and hope we will have as He desires to provide a safe, loving haven for us if we will allow ourselves to rest in His love, mercy and grace.  For me it’s that simple.  God promises in 2 Chron 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”   As one child of the King (christian), I choose to do this and stand firmly on His truths*.  And I pray many more are too.  If we do we can claim His promise.  If we “choose” not to, then the consequences shall be.  I pray for America’s sake we do.  But, no matter who gets in, Clinton or Trump, if we go to November 9, 2016 after it’s all said and done, we can be confident in this:  Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty.**  He will still be in charge!  He will still be on the throne!  Understanding God’s sovereignty over all nations, kings, presidents and powers now through eternity provides a peace that is amazing!

God bless you and God bless the United States of America!

*a great blog from Ann Graham Lotz on “It’s time to take a stand” http://www.annegrahamlotz.org/2016/10/13/time-take-stand/

** a great blog from Max Lucado on November 9, 2016 – https://maxlucado.com/prediction-november-9/

 

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Our Hopes And Dreams…Are We Ready For Them???

self employedThis coming December, My husband Ron and I will have been blessed to be small business owners for 30 years.  Over the years we’ve had our ups and downs, but to be able to have one of America’sAmerican Dream with flag dreams of owning our own business full time, supporting ourselves and our family has been a wonderful experience.  We started our business in our 20’s in our hometown of Cincinnati, OH, but due to some health issues where cold weather was causing me more problems, we moved to Spring Hill, FL in August 2007.  This has allowed me the privilege of living life again rather than just existing, which I amgrateful with pic of ocean very grateful for.  The same time we moved in 2007 is when the economy took a big crash and it continues to be tough, but we chose to start our small business again from scratch down here in Florida, where our heart has been to honor God and serve each customer as if we were serving Christ in all we do and say. We get up each day giving ourselves and our business to God, asking Him to use us as we serve others.  God has provided and we have been able to pay our bills and stay afloat, and I am grateful for this, as so many have closed their businesses, lost their jobs, homes and much more in these past 5 1/2 years.

However, down deep, I’ve felt like this isn’t all there is, there’s more to be had.  Not out of selfishness, but to give of my time and efforts to serve Him and do His will by loving, caring, and encouraging others.  We have wanted our business to flourish, not only to support us, but to be a provision for others to be able to servant leadershipsupport them and their families.  Praying God would use us with our servant hearts to serve our community with quality so they can see a difference, which is because of Christ living in us. We have dreams of writing a book to help consumers understand flooring and furnishings that are produced so they can make the best choice, not just for the decorhopes and dreams candle, but also for the daily maintenance and wear and tear, making life easier for them.   And I’ve been praying this business would allow me to be catapulted to give of myself as my passion is to help and encourage others realize, no matter what hardships may come, all things are possible through Christ, through writing, speaking, and whatever ways God wants to use me.   I also would love for Ron to reach his dream of getting his pilots license and a small plane.  Even though my heart has desired more, I realize now I haven’t been ready for those dreams. I can look back over my life and see how God’s been growing and healing me for years.  And over the last year and a half, He’s been molding and sifting me, causing me to face the hurts in my life that has caused me to have bad habits and hangups such as control, codependency and perfection issues.

The Language of Letting God daily meditations for codependentsSo as I was reading my daily meditation for codependents recently in the book written by Melody Beattie, “The Language of Letting Go”, I realized I haven’t been ready to receive those hopes and dreams.  Here’s what it says in blue:

Do not ask for love unless you’re ready to be “healed enough” to give and receive love.

Do not ask for joy unless you’re ready to “feel and release your pain”, so you can feel joy.

Do not ask for success unless you’re ready to “conquer the behaviors” that would sabotage success….

…Wouldn’t it be nice if we could imagine ourselves having or becoming–and then immediately receiving–what we wanted?  We can have and be the good things we want.  All good things are ours for the asking.  But first, groundwork — preparation work — must be done.

planting seedsA gardener would not plant seeds unless the ground was adequately prepared to nurture and nourish those seeds.  The planting would be wasted effort.  It would be wasted effort for us to get what we wanted before we were ready.

First, we need to become aware of our need or desire.  This may not be easy!  Many of us have become accustomed to shutting off the inner voice of our wants, needs, and desires.  Sometimes, life has to work hard to get our attention.

Next we let go of the old “programming” — the behaviors and beliefs that interfere with nurturing and nourishing the good.  Many of us have strong sabotaging programs, learned from childhood, that need to be released.  We may need to “act as if” for a while until the belief that we deserve the good becomes real.

We combine this process with much letting go, let go let God signwhile we are being changed at the core.

There is a naturalness to this process, but it can be intense.  Things take time.

Good things are ours for the asking, if we are willing to participate in the work of groundbreaking.  Work and wait.

Today, God, give me the courage to identify the good I want in my life and to ask for it.  Give me also the faith and stamina I need to go through the work that must be accomplished first.

I read this meditation I know at least twice, back in 1991 when I first realized I had stop self sabotagecodependency issues, and again last May as I was working and healing on my codependency, but these words did not hit home with me until reading it this time around.  Just recently I mentioned to Ron that even though we have prayed for greater blessings and growth, and believe down deep God has greater things in store for us as He lives and works through us, I realize that God knew best as He always does.  If we would have received our prayers immediately it would have been a rough road and wouldn’t have lasted long, we would have sabotaged it like the meditation above stated.

You see, this past year I have started healing through a 12 step program called Celebratecelebrate recovery - recovery acrostic Recovery, and Ron and I have also taken Financial Peace University (FPU) provided by Dave Ramsey, which are both based on God’s word, which is my desire to follow, as I’ve realized His word is all truth and the truth shall set you free.  With the growth, healing and knowledge we have received, I can see how God is healing me of my control, codependency and perfectionism — so I am learning to trust and obey God to provide, rather than me trying to control it all.  I am setting healthy boundaries, rather than being codependent which would have allowed employees or anyone to abuse my fixing and rescuing which would not allow either of us to grow nor be responsible for our own selves.  I am letting go of perfectionism and instead of waiting to write or speak or do anything until I feel everything is perfect, I move forward in faith, trusting God to provide. FPU - normal is broke, be wierdAnd with the knowledge of FPU we are telling our money where to go, rather than wondering where it went, and living like no one else right now, so later we can live and give like God always answers prayers - Yes, No, Wait...no one else.  We are trusting in God’s word that if we follow His plan, one day at a time, He will provide.  I give this all to God and I know He answers my prayers.  He may say “yes”, “no” or “wait”, but He always answers it for our best interest, and I’m so grateful for that.

So now that I’ve opened my heart and let you know where we’ve been and what our hopes and dreams are, what’s next?  Well I’d like to conclude by applying Matthew 25:14-28,The parable of the talents which speaks of the talents given by the master.  To some he gave 5, 2 & 1 talent.  I don’t want to be like the one with 1 talent who was so afraid to do anything he just buried it.  My desire is to use my talents given, for the one who provided me these talents, soTrust God - don't worry, don't be impatient God knows what He's doing it can grow and produce more.  With that being said, whether I spread the good news of hope, joy peace and contentment one person at a time by the lives I touch daily.  Or to several through my blogs and other avenues that come my way, such as Celebrate Recovery.  Or to thousands, even millions by writing and speaking and ways I can’t even imagine, I leave surrender - intersection between acceptance and changethat to God.  I’m tired of trying to force things to happen in my own time and power, all it does is exhaust and stress me out.  I’ve learned that by taking things one day at a time, “being still” and “waiting on Him”, seeking His will through His word, praying, meditating, and surrendering myself and my life daily to Him, great things can happen through His love and power in His perfect time.

So, I will trust in Him and claim Jeremiah 29:11 “For I Jeremiah 29,11 - for I know the plans I have for you...know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

As well as Ephesians 3:20 “He is able to do above Ephesians 3,20 - able to do great things more than we can imagine...and beyond anything we can ever ask or image”.  From the experiences of my life I’ve realized, to allow God to direct my paths and guide me with His wisdom, guidance, and in His timing works so much better than when I take control.  Therefore, all things are possible through Christ which strengthens me (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13), and what He knows I can handle, I trust completely He will provide and make a way.  I delight in His ways and trust in Him, and claim His promises that He delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heartwill give me the desires of my heart, as long as I seek His will and surrender to His ways. (Psalms 37:4)   I’m so grateful for such a loving, powerful God who knows and provides what’s best for us always!  I’m anxiously awaiting for the day that I can look back at this blog, and claim His greatness with a follow-up blog on what He has done and where He has taken us.  I am just loving this journey of life with my Lord and Savior, helping to bring the good news of hope, peace, joy and contentment that He provides for anyone who is open to accepting His free gift for now into eternity.

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In Honor of Those Who Gave Their Lives — I Gratefully Say Thank You…..

Memorial Day - the fallen but not forgottenOn this Memorial Day weekendGrandpa Hentricks

 I will honor my grandpa

Carl Hendricks

and all of those who gave their lives for our freedoms we have in this wonderful country we call America.

But as I ponder what this Memorial Holiday represents, those who have died for our freedoms here in our country, I also want to honor my Lord

while we were yet sinners christ died for us and Savior for giving His life so we all can receive a greater freedom.  A freedom from sin and death, with peace and joy in this life and the hope of eternal life with Him forever!

There are so many conversations these days about our country and the fears so many have of what the future may hold.  2 Chronicles 7:14 states “if my people, who are called by my name, 2 Chronicles 7,14 - if my people who are called by my name will humble...will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  This is my prayer that we as Americans will do this, as I know God keeps His promises, and America could be healed for centuries to come for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  But as a country, if we do not do this, and things go in a different direction on this earth, I am grateful there isrepent and be baptized hope for eternity through our Lord and Savior, as He overcame sin and death by His willingness to die for each of us.  And if we believe, repent and be baptized as He states in His word, we have the hope of eternal life forever — that’s so comforting.  So we may not know what the future holds here on this earth, but I know who holds our future, and one day as His word states in Romans 14:11, every Romans 14,11 - every knee shall bow, every tongue confess...

knee shall bow and every tongue confess He is Lord.  I’m grateful I am claiming that now, and am comforted that the Living God who is full of love and great power even over death, holds the future in His hands.

If men and women are willing to go to death for oursoldiers in battle freedom here on this earth, I pray I am willing, with God’s love and power, to go to my death, not just for the freedoms of this earth, which is for a small amount of time and then it’s over, but for men and women’s souls which will live for ever in you are just a vapor and then vanish James 4,14eternity.  I also pray that in all I do and say daily will reflect the love and power of our Amazing, Loving, Living, Powerful, Wise Heavenly Father so souls will be saved from eternal damnation to eternal life and that He may be glorified.

So today I gratefully say “Thank You grandpa and all of those who gave their lives for our freedoms here in America”, “Thank You God for providing the hope of eternal life, for each of us if we will open our hearts, minds, body and souls to accept your free gift of salvation”, and I pray “God Bless America!”

Psalm 91 - soldiers

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Finding True Peace, Serenity And Power – It’s Joy Unspeakable!!!

grant me the serenity...So how do you find true peace, serenity and power that’s joy unspeakable?  Well I’d like to tell you how I came about finding it.  For me it’s been a process, but over the last year and a half it’s really become so much clearer for me.  Since October 2011, God has been molding and sifting me, and helping me heal of my need to control, of my codependency and perfectionism.  I’ve realized that for years I have tried to control and put up walls so I don’t get hurt.  I’ve used codependency, giving up myself and my own dreams and desires, to try and fix and rescue others in hopes they would love and accept me, and to not focus on my own hurts and issues.  I’ve stressed, worried and fretted, trying to be perfect in so many ways.  But with God’s help I’m learning to surrender my control, letting walls down, and trusting God and safe people.  And instead of allowing codependency to rule me, I’ve realized I have a voice and choice in life, and I’m learning to set healthy boundaries, to love, pray for and encourage others, but leaving them to take responsibility for themselves, and for me to be responsible for myself.  And instead of stressing out about being perfect and waiting to do something until I think it’s perfect, I’m learning to relax and be myself and enjoy the process of life, and just move forward with things in my life right where I am trusting God to guide and provide.

Looking back over my life as I’ve been healing this past year and a half, I’m thankful thatchrist redeemed us from the law...Gal 3 13-14 at 10 years of age I made the most important decision I could, which was to have faith in Christ so I can receive eternal life, which His word says in Acts 2:38, is to believe in Him as Lord & Savior, repent and be baptized.  However, I’ve realized life is a process, and it’s not about a religion but a personal relationship with Him, as Galations states “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law…”.  Religion is more about man and laws, where God is not about religion, but about His Kingdom, a personal relationship with us here on this earth, and eternal life with Him forever.

God's voice versus Satan's voiceFor years I thought to know Christ was more about condemnation and guilt, but I’ve realized that it’s about a personal relationship with a loving, wise, caring, powerful Lord & Savior.  Man and their laws and Satan try to condemn us and make us feel guilty, where God convicts us and encourages us to do what’s right, and together, with Christ by my side, we walk through life together as I learn, grow and heal, through my surrendering to His love, power, wisdom and guidance.  I’ve received such freedom knowing that rather than me trying to abide by rules and regulations, and Eph 2 8 - for by grace you are save...giftalways failing and feeling guilty about doing so, that just by accepting His love, grace and gift of salvation, through belief, repentence (which is ongoing) and baptism I am His child.  It’s Done.  There’s nothing I can do to gain it — it’s a gift.  The more and more I surrender and let go to our creator the more I realize His word once again is so true, as He states in Matthew 11:30 — “My yoke Matthew 11.30 - my yoke is easy my burden is lightis easy, and My burden is light”.  It’s man  and satan who try and put such weight and burdens on us, not our loving Father.  When Christ was on this earth he didn’t talk about religion, but about the love and kingdom of God.  The more I realize His great love and power the more I desire to do His will, out of love and appreciation for what He’s done for me.  And I’m realizing the more I surrender my will to His, the greater peace and contentment I actually have, and a power greater than myself makes the impossible, possible through Him.  I’m just in awe of the peace and power I have in my life by surrendering to Him.

To me surrendering was giving up control and power, which totally freaked me out.  But, I’m realizing more and more, that by surrendering I’m becoming more free and able to place my full Faith Hope & Love...greatest of these is love  I Cor 13.13trust in my creator, and rest in His loving arms.  Having a power in my life through Him that is amazing!  Instead of trying to force things to happen, I pray and surrender to my Heavenly Father who knows and wants what’s best for me, has the power and ability to provide what’s best for me, and loves me so much He wants to give what’s best for me, and I can be free to live and enjoy life in this beautiful world He created.  Of course this didn’t happen over night.  It’s been a process that I’ve learned and realized for 4 decades now.  As I continue to learn and grow over time, the more I realize His love, grace, compassion, and power, and the more I desire to seek His word for great wisdom and guidance in my life.As a dear panteth

All I can say, where I am today, is that I’m so grateful, that even though for several years, I couldn’t open the Bible because I thought it was a book of “do’s and don’ts”, “rules & regulations”, that through prayer, healing and surrendering I’ve found it to be a book of truth, hope, promises and power for a life greater than I could have ever dreamed of.  I’m not saying that my life is free from the hurts, pain, sadness and all the things this life may bring, but I’ve realized that by surrendering my fears, anxieties, god has not given spirt of fear posthurts, habits and hangups to my creator, who loves me so much he would have sent His son to die just for me.  Who is all wise, He made a way for us to get back to Him when we would sin.  Who is all powerful, that through the plan He provided, He was able to overcome sin and death.  And is so full of grace, that while we are still here on this earth filled with sin and destruction all around, He’s made a way, through a personal relationship with Him, and the power of the Holy Spirit to be able to be more than conquerers and have the ability to be filled with a peace, joy,contenment, and power that without surrendering and trusting fully in Him we can never attain.  As humans it’s just part of us my peace i give you John 14.27to want a peace inside– to fill that void, and we all seek for it!  We all have vises to try and find it or run away from the pain and hurt.  Whether it’s abusing things in excess, or holding on tightly to things we don’t want to give up.  Over the years, mine has been work, trying to control, codependency and perfectionism.  I’ve realized, it doesn’t matter what the vise is, it just doesn’t work, but that Jesus is the only true vice to bring that consistant peace & power, to fill that void and overcome the hurts and pain.  By surrendering my vises daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes minute by minute to Him I am receiving a peace, joy, contentment and power overflowing.  But it’s a daily surrender, a daily commitment, a daily desire, daily prayer & meditation, daily claiming His promises, daily rebuking satan and the Phil 4. 6-7 be anxious for nothing...and the peace of god...negative thoughts, daily journaling — because if not, the things of this world will try and take over, just like weeds in a beautiful lawn.  I know, I’ve been in both places.  I pray I remain with “one day at a time” on my mind, saying the serenity prayer, and seeking God’s word as I realize more and more each day, it is the only truth for all aspects of my life.  What a change in perspective I have of His word, since my willingness to surrender my hurts, habits and hangups to Him.

the truth will set you free John 8.32 (2-on sandy beach)Even though I feel I have always been a very honest person, in my healing I realized I had been in denial and lieing to myself about so much.  But by being honest and facing the truth, and being comforted along the way with the love and help from God and safe people, I have realized a freedom and power I’ve never experienced, which again is written in God’s word in John 8:32  “…the truth shall set you free.”

I have gone through many ups and downs in this life, physically, financially, emotionally and mentally, but in this life’s journey, even when I tried to do it all on my own at times, He was right there by my side, waiting for me to surrender my hurts, habits & hangups so He could release me of my fears, anxieties and pain.  He promises He’ll never leave you nor forsake you2never leave us nor forsake us.  He doesn’t force Himself on us.  He has given us that freedom of choice to try and do it on our own, or let Him in.  He is so patient with us and is ready to walk with us through life if we’ll just ask Him to come along.    I’ve found Him to be my BFF of all times, my one constant in an unstable world, and my firm foundation and solid rock when life is unsettling.  I am so grateful, for His love, patience, grace, compassion, and power, and for that I desire to do His will, not because I have to, but out of appreciation for what He’s done and continues to do for me.  And the more I do His will, the more I realize it’s all for my own good, the more peace, joy, contentment and power I truly have through Him.

the-power-of-surrenderIf you are at a place in your life, where you feel it’s just too much to bear, and you’ve been hurt so many times, and you’re tired and exhausted and you don’t know who you can trust.  All you have to do is surrender it all to our loving Heavenly Father and He will bring a peace and power that’s unexplainable.  So many times we try to earn His love, His grace, His gift.  But we can’t earn it!  Sometimes we feel we’ve been too bad or done too much.  That’s not true.  Christ died for us while we were yet sinners – in our worst place — God loved us so much while we were yet sinners Christ died for usHe loves us that much (Romans 5:8).  We may also feel whatever it is in our life is too big and we can’t get over it.  We can’t on our own, but if we just surrender it, God can totally give us what we need and the power to overcome it one day, one hour, one minute at a time.  It’s a process through life and God will help see us through it one day at a time.  God loves each of us right where we are, that’s why He sent His son.  It’s a gift He so desires to give us, all we have to do is believe, repent, be baptized, accepting His wonderful gift of grace, and then daily surrender our hurts, habits and hangups to Him, and He will love us, heal us and fill us with such a peace, power and joy it’s unexplainable.   Rebuke satan and his desire to make you beat yourself up for all you’ve done.  God’s at the door just waiting for you to open it right where you are, and He’s ready to love, comfort and be with you, providing a power over the impossible in your journey through this life, with a great gift of eternal life in the end.  It’s taken me 4 decades to get where I am today, Greatest of these is loveand I’m so grateful He never gave up on me, and I’m so excited to see what He has in store for me.  Please know that He won’t give up on you either.  I’ve included a beautiful song that truly speaks to my heart, knowing that no matter where we are in life, or what we’ve done — “This one thing remains” – His LOVE NEVER FAILS–NEVER GIVES UP — NEVER RUNS OUT ON ME — It goes on & on & on & on!!!! by Kristian – Passion.  Click on the link to hear this song.  I hope you enjoy it and I pray you’ll let the words speak to you as well.  Remember, He loves you right where you are, and if you surrender to Him, He’ll walk with you along life’s journey providing a peace, contentment, power and joy unspeakable!

God bless!

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What To Do For Valentine’s Day…Laugh and Play – We All Wanna Have FUN!!

happy-valentines-words with heart confetti  Ok, so we’re just a couple of weeks away from Valentine’s Day. What plans do you have for your spouse or significant other? Some of you may be like Ron and I where we’ve chosen not to spend a lot over the years for Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it a special day for your special someone.

I have a book called “52 Ways to Wow Your Husband-How tbook - 52 ways to wow your husbando Put a Smile on His Face” written by Pam Farrel, her and her husband Bill are well known for their marriage seminars “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti”. I’d like to share portions of one of her WOW’s with you that you may want to do this Valentine’s Day (in blue).  Men, if you’re reading this blog, this is something you can do for your wife as well.  Here goes…

WOW 43 – Play It Again, Sam!

We were interviewed by a magazine on how to keep the fun and laughs in marriage. We didn’t realize how much we have invested in this area until we were approached as “experts” in finding fun! Here are a few tips on making fun higher on your to-do list of ways to wow your man:

Be a Pal: What did you do with friends while growing up? Maybe you enjoyed things like bike rides, skateboarding, water or snow skiing, jet skiing, camping, rock climbing, hiking, board games, dancing, kite flying, frisbee throwing, miniature golf. Anything you loved when you were young could bring some fun back into your love life today.

Be Prepared: Get some things on hand to serve as ticklers of your mate’s funny bone: joke books, the Sunday comics, squirt guns, silly string, whoopee cushions–you’re getting the picture. Put a few things in your desk drawer that could help lighten the load of your mate by providing comic relief.

I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but stock up so you can be spontaneous. If you are prepared, you can seize the moment! And a spontaneous attitude has its payoff…

Be Proactive: Schedule in fun as you would dentist or doctor appointments. If you haveValentines-Day-plate of breakfast food light at the end of your responsibility tunnel, the daily load is eaiser to bear. Another benefit of being the cruise director of your hubby’s fun is that his heart will look forward to seeing you and spending time with you. Who would you rather see, the dentist or the cheerleader, an IRS agent or the masseuse? Easy call–you want the one who renews you, revives you, or releases your pain, not the one who inflicts it.

Be a Parrot: Make it your goal to remember those humorous things you see, things you say, jokes and stories you hear, signs, billboards, and bumper stickers you read. Some of our best laughs are when we run in from a lunch, a trip, or a meeting with a joke or story “you just have to hear.” If you need to, write these down or use the recorder on your smartphone to help you remember the punch lines.

WOW Assignment
Set aside some time and some money to stock up for amusement. Make a list of activities your spouse enjoyed as a boy, as a teen, as a newlywed. You might need to interview his family and friends or casually ask your man about some of his happy memories. Pile up some books, magazines, toys, and novelties that might bring a smile to his face (garage sales can be a great source for guilt free enjoyment).

WOW Wisdom
Fill the storefront! Joseph was elevated to second in command of Egypt because of the wisdom he shared to save for seven years so there would be a surplus in times of famine (Genesis 41). If you store up happy memories, when tough times come, your husband will find it easier to see the cup as half full and picture you as a friend not a foe.

WOW Date
Take your mate back to his boyhood. Invite your man out by attaching a note to a fishing pole, ping-pong paddle, or wrist rocket. Spend the afternoon skipping rocks while you tell stories or take a dip in a local pond after a picnic. Skate at a local park and take pleasure in sharing a banana split. Tousle his hair as you tickle his soul…

Go play!  Make it your goal to laugh until his sides split.

This of course can be a great thing to bring out and do spontaneously, not just for Valentine’s Day.  Especially when times seem exhausting, overwhelming and tiring.  Life can get stressful, with so many things to do and take care of, at times we forget to stop and have FUN.  So, if you haven’t had FUN in quite a while because the busyness of life just seems to get in the way, start having FUN this Valentine’s Day — take your spouse out for a fun time of childhood play — go fishing and share jokes or funny stories, rent a funny movie, play hide ‘n seek in your house or backyard — laugh and play and enjoy your Valentine’s Day together.

If there are any fun things you did as a child that you’d love to do again that aren’t listed here, please feel free to put them in the comment section to give all of our readers more ideas.

Valentines-Day-dog with lips on head and holding heart pillowThanks for reading my blog, and I wish you and your special someone a very

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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