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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Posted in Codependency, Faith & Courage, Health & Wellness, Peace & Contentment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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Ringing in the New Year — a New Year’s Resolution & More….

As I watched the ball drop, and heard the countdown, then hearing everyone celebrating in the new year, I had mixed feelings.  With 2012 being a year of ups and downs, several changes – good & bad, spending much time soul searching, being still & waiting upon God, with His help healing in my recovery of codependency, finding myself, and yet not knowing what the future holds, I was glad 2012 was over, but a sense of fear and anxiety went through my mind of the “what if’s” that could happen in 2013.  Then I sat down, journaled my thoughts and feelings, prayed, and realized I was allowing the fear of the unknown to try and take over my life with anxiety.  But once I stopped the chaotic “what ifs”, and let my mind “be still”, and place my hope in our almighty God and His love and promises…

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God” — Philippians 4:6

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  — Psalm 16:11

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord make me dwell in safety.” — Psalm 4:7-8

“For I 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.” — Jeremiah 29:11

…trusting in Him, not in myself, helped me change my attitude expecting instead many great blessings from above, physical, emotional and financial abundance, & making the choice to live life with hope, peace & joy in my life, having confidence in the one who is in control of everything, the one who has already won the battle, defeated death–loves me and those I love, cares for us, wants what’s best for us, and knows what that is — therefore, I choose to give God myself daily, asking Him to shine His love through me in whatever I do and say, to allow me the privilege to encourage others, pray for others, love others and leave them in good hands of their creator and loving heavenly Father.  After journaling and praying my fears and feelings to our heavenly father, claiming His promises,  and praising Him for His love, watch and care over me and those I love — it was just like Him to comfort me in what I was feeling through these words in the book, “God’s Abundance” (written in blue):

“…We all face challenges every year, yet some years seem more daunting than others.  At those times, the future seems forbidding.  The abundant life seems difficult to reach.  Yet, I recognize now more than ever before, the need to press forward and live.  Live fully.  Live courageously.  And most importantly, live without fear of continued suffering touching my life or the lives of those I love.

I recognize this life is peppered with pain and injustices of every sort–this is the human condition and none are immune from it.  For me to hide myself away and allow part of life’s ills to immobilize me would be the saddest of tragedies.  In truth, it would be the greatest irony of all–for the losses would be ever more compounded if I succumb.

So this year, I choose to put behind me the fears I feel about the unknown.  I consciously decide to embrace the future, facing each circumstance with joyful expectancy and hopeful anticipation rather than with fearful pausing and hesitancy.  I will live my life with the integrity which can only be earned by relinquishing my selfish securities and unattainable control over the mystery of life itself.  I am determined to make this the best year yet!

What fears are you facing?  Let God speak hope to your heart.  He knows His plans for you and they are meant only for helping you grow in abundant living.”

Isn’t our God amazing?  So, for those of you who had similar feelings when the new year rang in, I hope this blog has helped encourage you, and has given you the confidence to move forward in hope, peace & joy through the love of our creator and heavenly Father.  With that I leave you several good quotes from others who opened their hearts and listened to our loving heavenly Father throughout their lives as well.  God bless!

“The secret lies in how we handle today, not yesterday or tomorrow.  Today…that special block of time holding the keys that locks out yesterday’s nightmares and unlocks tomorrow’s dreams.” — Charles Swindoll

“So often we pray and then fret anxiously, waiting for God to hurry up and do something.  All the while God is waiting for us to calm down, so He can do something through us.” — Corrie Ten Boom

“The fierce grip of panic need not immobilize you.  God knows no limitation when it comes to deliverance.  Admit your fear.  Commit it to Him.  Dump the pressure on Him.  He can handle it.” — Charles Swindoll

“Faith is having a positive attitude of what I can do, and not worrying at all about what I can’t do.” — Joyce Meyer

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When Should I Say “No”, and When Should I Say “Yes”? As a Codependent, It’s Not Always As Easy As It Seems…

So we just finished the year 2012, and for me it was a year filled with many blessings, but also things that made me do some deep soul searching and brought healing for myself.  Being a recovering codependent, I have had lots of problems with saying “no” when I should, and even saying “yes” to things when I should.  Recently I read something that helped really clear things up for me, and so I thought I’d share it.  I hope for those who fight this battle of codependency that this will help you as well, and for those who have no problems with these two words, but know someone in your life who does, maybe this will help clear up why they battle it so much.

In my daily meditations for codependents called “The Language of Letting Go” by Melody Beattie, I read the following two daily devotions (one on saying “No”, and one on saying “yes”)  Here goes…

Codependent Daily Devotion:  Saying “NO”

For many of us the most difficult word to say is one of the shortest and easiest in the vocabulary:  No.  Go ahead, say it aloud:  No.

No — simple to pronounce, hard to say.  We’re afraid people won’t like us, or we feel guilty.  We may believe that a “good” employee, child, parent, spouse, or Christian never says no.  The problem is, if we don’t learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please.  We may even punish others out of resentment.

When do we say no?  When no is what we really mean.  When we learn to say no, we stop lying.  People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves.  All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.

If we’re scared to say no, we can buy some time.  We can take a break, rehearse the word, and go back and say no.  We don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions.  When we can say no, we can say yes to the good.  Our no’s and our yes’s begin to be taken seriously.  We gain control of ourselves.  And we learn a secret: “No” isn’t really that hard to say.

Today, I will say no if that is what I mean.

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Codependent Daily Devotion:  Saying “YES”

Okay, so we just read about learning to say no.  Now, let’s discuss another important word: “Yes“.

We can learn to say yes to things that feel good, to what we want — for ourselves and others.

We can learn to say yes to fun.  Yes to meetings, to calling a friend, asking for help.

We can learn to say yes to healthy relationships, to people and activities that are good for us.

We can learn to say yes to ourselves, what we want and need, our instincts, and the leading of our Higher Power. (to me this is God and His word.)

We can learn to say yes when it feels right to help someone.  We can learn to say yes to our feelings.  We can learn to identify when we need to take a walk, take a nap, have our back rubbed, or buy ourselves flowers.

We can learn to say yes to work that is right for us.

We can learn to say yes to all that will nurture and nourish us.  We can learn to say yes to the best life and love have to offer.

Today, I will say yes to all that feels good and right.

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I hope this has helped encourage other codependents with these issues, and cleared up the crazy mindset we have to others that just don’t get it.

One other thing that I read recently that has helped me when I’m asked to give a yes or no answer is this:  “Whenever I say ‘yes’ to something, that means I’m saying ‘no’ to something else.”  For example — If I say “yes” to teach that course on Tuesday nights, then I’m saying “no” to my family on Tuesday nights.  This has really caused me to stop and consider what I say “yes” to before I do.  Which actually brings me to another issue I’ve dealt with.  I’ve always felt that I had to give an answer immediately.  I’ve realized that I don’t have to.  Actually, it’s better for everyone involved if I don’t.   It’s okay to take time to think about it, pray about it, consider all options and to provide the answer that will work out best for me and those in my world.  That’s being responsible for myself, my family, & the world that I’m a part of.

By realizing the healthy way to say “No” & “Yes”, has allowed me the freedom to enjoy life, and for others to enjoy it with me without the “craziness” I go through in my head always stressing about what to say or do.  Because I’m starting to learn what Jackie wants, feels & likes is one reason I believe I’m now able to understand this more clearly.  I have never allowed myself to stop and consider what I want, felt, liked….so now I’m working through this, getting a little more clarity each day, and it’s a wonderful journey I’m on.

For those who understand this battle I fight and the journey I’m on, I encourage you to do the same.  You don’t have to be a victim by giving up your wants, likes and needs, by giving everyone else what they want, like and need.  By getting a healthy perspective, and taking responsibility for “YOU”, and allowing everyone else to be responsible for themselves, will give you a freedom like you’ve never had, and your relationships with others will be healthier, stronger, better and more enjoyable than ever before.  I wish you the best in your journey through the recovery of codependency.

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A Dedication To My Daddy….Happy Father’s Day

You always hear that saying: “Daddy’s little girl”, and it just fits, doesn’t it?  No matter how grown up I am, I’ve heard that told to me different times over the years “You’re daddy’s little girl”.  The older I get, the more I am proud to be “daddy’s little girl”.

Dad, I know over the years, you’ve had your good and not-so good times, your ups and downs of life, but you know what?  We all have, we’re human.  But to realize the wrongs we’ve done, and to strive each day to do better, that’s what’s important, and dad you have done just that.  With Father’s Day around the corner, I just wanted to dedicate this BLOG to you to let you know how much I love you and how much I appreciate who you are.  I’d like for you to realize what you’ve taught me, the memories I have of you, and the things I see in me, that I see in you.

First I just want to say “thank you” for bringing laughter into my life.  I’ve had a tendency to be too serious in life, but one of your greatest gifts is to help others laugh, and what joy that has brought to my heart and soul.  You have no idea, how this one gift of yours has meant so much to me throughout my life.  Thank you!

Along with the blessings of laughter you’ve brought to my life, you’ve also taught me many great things.  You taught me to work hard, and to know that life isn’t just handed to me.  You taught me to ask for what I want, knowing the worse thing anyone can say is “no” — but if I don’t ask, I probably won’t receive.  You taught me the importance of providing praise and encouragement to others and how important it makes them feel.  One of the many wonderful memories I have are of you doing this, especially to those who have the least and are usually just passed by every day.  For example, I remember as a young adult, we were in the hospital visiting someone, and as we walked down the hallway, we passed the janitor cleaning up a mess, and you stopped and looked him in the eye and said: “Thank you for cleaning up the mess, you are doing a great job!”  You could just see his eyes glowing after you told him that.  Or the young lady at the restaurant, working really hard, running around, and serving others, and when she got to our table you’d say something like: “I’ve been watching you and you’re doing such a great job serving others, thanks for your service.”  You could see that just made herday, and you could see her serving with her shoulders back and head held high.  WOW dad, that alone speaks volumes of what a wonderful man and human being you are.

Other things you’ve shown me is your dedication to your faith, and how you’ve given of yourself over the years to help and encourage others to find a peace that only God can provide.  The gift of faith, encouragement, and enthusiasm of God’s word, along with the power of prayer, has touched more lives than you’ll ever realize.  I am friends on Facebook with some of those who have been touched by you in so many ways over the years, whether it was you bringing forth God’s word to encourage, motivate, inspire or challenge them, or going to the hospitals to pray with and encourage those who were ill, they have written of their appreciation for you and what you’ve given them. 

The dedication to go forth into all of the world as Christ has commanded, going to India two different times to spread God’s word is something I commend you for doing.  The long exhausting flights, the big change in the time zones, giving up the comforts of home for a third world country that is so poverished, where you touched thousands of lives, and made a difference forever, some for eternity.

And how you’ve shown me your courage and willingness to do whatever it takes through your battle since having a stroke in 2010.  You fought back physically, with a positive mental attitude like I’ve never seen, and when things didn’t get back to how you expected them to get, through your discouragement, through your battle of patience with this new life you’ve been dealt, you again have come through with such greatness.  Just like David who God called: “the man after His own heart”, when writing the Psalm, many times over and over, David begged and pleaded to God, he’d cry out to God and say things like: “God have you left me?”, “God, where are you?”….then as he continued writing, he started claiming God’s promises, trusting in Him….and ending his Psalm with glory and praise to our God Almighty — that my dear daddy — is You!!  Just like David in the Psalm, it’s a process we all must go through in our lives through the battles we fight.  We can’t always stay on top, we may feel down and depressed, but going to God’s word for hope, promises and peace, and surrendering it all to Him, will bring us to the end with a peace and joy to glorify and praise our Almighty God.  You have a tendency to be too hard on yourself, wanting to beat yourself up for being down and depressed, but please realize the man of God’s own heart was there many times, the point is, he didn’t stay there, and neither have you.  You’re amazing and I love you for your fight, strength and courage, and your acceptance of where you are in life and offering it to God to use as you trust in Him.

So what are some of the things I see in me, that I see in you?  First, is that I am too hard on myself just like you are, it’s definitely a challenge for me too.  Second, is our challenge to try and stay balanced, always going full force, giving it all we’ve got, not having an off button, but then crashing — but we both do recognize this and are working towards balance a little more each day.    Our minds also tend to run a mile a minute, day and night — I’ve heard this is a sign of great intelligence 🙂  — It can actually be good with many great thoughts and ideas, but it can also have the tendency to go towards anxiety, worry and fear, which we both tend to battle.  Over the years we have chosen to see things with a positive attitude, encouraging one another to surrender our anxiety, worry and fear to God by claiming His promises, such as 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.”, as well as Psalm 4:8 “In PEACE I will lie down and sleep, for YOU ALONE, O Lord, will keep me safe”.  And we rise each morning claiming Psalm 91, which is known as the Psalm of Safety and also the Soldier’s Psalm, as well as Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, I will REJOICE and be GLAD in it.”  Third, is our love of living in the state of Florida, the bright blue skies, glowing warm sun, the massage on our feet when walking on the sand, and hearing the waves of the ocean, and feeling the breeze blow across our face, and seeing it brush through the palm trees, what a wonderful and beautiful state we have been blessed to live in.   Fourth is our love for knowledge and education, loving to research and learn more all of the time.  Fifth is loving to love others and provide words of encouragement and praise.  Last, and most importantly is our strong faith in a living God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.  The God who loved us so much, even in our deepest sin, that He sent His one and only son to die on the cross, and to resurrect, alive and well, so that we may be with Him again for eternity.  That makes my heart sing, because one of the other things I see in me, that I see in you, is our love to dance, and one day, in eternity, we will be together forever, no more pain or hurts, no more sorrow or worry, no more anxiety or fear,  and no more sadness or tears — I say it’s going to be the biggest, longest party there ever was — worshiping our loving, almighty God, being reunited with family and friends, dancing and rejoicing, filled with laughter, fun and joy!!!  Oh what an amazing time we will have FOREVER 🙂

So my dear daddy-o, the next time you catch yourself being to hard on yourself, please remember this BLOG, and know that you have given so much to so many, with your words of laughter, hope, encouragement and praise over the years, you’ve not only touched our lives at the moment you gave those things, but they remain in our hearts and become part of our memories and who we are forever.

Also, please realize life is a process, and God’s word has all of the answers.  If we will just surrender everything to our Almighty–Living–All-Wise–All-Powerful–Loving God, who is our firm foundation, we will be able to rejoice and praise Him in all curcumstances of life, trusting in Him as He knows what’s best for us, and will provide that for us, if we will surrender and relax in Him.

I thank God He has given me such a wonderful, loving, courageous father who fills my life with laughter.  Please know you are such an AWESOME gift from God, and I thank Him daily for the relationship we have.  Happy Father’s day dad!

Love,

Jackie,

“daddy’s little girl”

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A Dedication To My Wonderful Mother – Happy Mother’s Day!

Wow, I received a beautiful card in the mail a couple of weeks ago from my mom.

Here’s what it said:       “My Beautiful Daughter, I want you to always know that in good and bad times I will love you, and that no matter what you do or how you think or what you say you can depend on my support, guidance, friendship and love every minute of every day.  I love being your mother.”  She then hand wrote: “We both appreciate the person and daughter that you are.  You are such an encourager and caring person.  Words cannot express our love for you.  Continue to be the christian daughter, mother, grandmother, wife & sister you are.  God bless you and Ron!”

To hear these words from my mother meant more than you’ll ever know.  I think all of us, no matter our age, want to hear words of love, encouragement, and support from others, especially our parents, and this card just filled me with such a great feeling I can’t even explain it.

Since Sunday is Mother’s Day, I thought it appropriate to write this blog and to say “thank you, mom for my card, you don’t know how much that meant to me!”  I’d also like to say “thank you” for giving me the best gift you could ever give me.  Over the years I have grown from being a daughter and sister, to also being a wife, mother and grandmother.  And I remember so many times over those years, how you have apologized for things you had done or said that you felt you shouldn’t have or that might not have come out just right, but as humans we all have the tendency to hurt and fail those we love.  I believe that’s just part of being human.  The important thing is that we recognize it and we work at making those changes for the better.

So, the best gift you have given me was your love and your faith in a God who is alive and well — our Creator, Lord and Savior.  Even though you have apologized over the years for raising Jeff and I in a very legalistic church, where man placed laws and regulations on us, that God never expected us to have, the positive side to it all was that we grew up learning that there was a living God, and that He loved us so much He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross and be resurrected for our sins, so that we could be his children and live with Him forever in eternity.  Do you know how powerful that is?  I may have had to seek counseling for a distorted view of the do’s and don’ts that man, not God, put on us over those years, having to work through things like unhealthy guilt and shame, trying to be perfect, never feeling worthy or good enough, but as an adult, seeing those who have never been told about this wonderful God and what He and His son has done for us, makes me appreciate your faith, and appreciate your desire to want me to have this eternal life.

To find the balance from seeing God as a God with a whip ready to correct my errors, to seeing the true God of love and grace has helped me build character and has helped me to be more understanding of those who feel an anger toward God, that I would never have understood had my life been different.

For years after the church split, I couldn’t even read God’s word because I thought it was a bunch of do’s and don’ts, laws and regulations, and I was so tired and exhausted from trying to be perfect, and knowing I kept failing, I couldn’t even stand to open it up.  But after years of christian counseling, 12 step codependency groups, and seeking God’s face, desiring a relationship with Him as a loving God, I have come to a place where God, not man, wants me to be.  He wants me to be “me” – no more or no less.  As His word says in Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,  I know that full well.”  It may have taken me several years to work through all of these issues, but one thing I’ve learned is that our timing is not God’s timing, and going through these trials and tribulations, finding who I truly am, the Jackie God created, and not the distorted view that man placed upon me for the first 22 years of my life, has brought me to a place where I’m patient with others who have a distorted view of God as well, just as He had patience with me for all of those years working through my baggage.  And it’s given me the attitude of appreciation for who He really is and what He really means to me and all of those He created, that I would not have appreciated had I not had to work through all of these things.   Just as a caterpillar has to work hard to get himself out of the cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly and be able to fly freely, so am I.  If we try to help the caterpillar by breaking open the cocoon, instead of allowing it to work hard to open it himself, then we really have done it an injustice, because that work it puts forth, helps build itself up to be strong enough to fly.  So by helping to open the cocoon would cause it to be too weak and unable to fly, not allowing it to become what it was created to be.  And so it is with me mom.  All of the work and effort you’ve seen me put forth over these years, are the efforts for me to get out of my cocoon, and to become the beautiful butterfly to freely fly as God intended.  So, the next time you think you should apologize for this, please stop and remember this blog – for you should be applauded for what you’ve given me, and I can’t thank you enough.  I love you mom!  And as Proverbs 31:28 states: “Her children arise and call her blessed…”.  And as you can see, part of my freedom to fly, is the ability to open God’s word and to be able to read all of the blessings and promises God provides. I can’t get enough of His word, now that man’s distortion is removed, and the clear view of God’s word shines through, I just soak it up.

God bless you mom for who you are and what you’ve given me.  God has blessed me with the most wonderful mother in the world!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Love, your daughter,

Jackie

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