Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I tried - not getting involved (Politics)

Okay, did I really try not getting involved.  Probably not. I like to challenge/compete with people. Read this summer's post to get a taste.

However, politics would frequently cross my mind.
Doing dishes, crossed my mind
Praying with my children, crossed my mind
Watching a comedy, crossed my mind
Reading, crossed my mind
Talking to friends, crossed my mind
Running on the trail, crossed my mind
Sweeping, crossed
Folding laundry....

As a person who likes to write; I have a voice, and I wanted to share my thoughts.

But then, not just the topics, but the questions WHAT do I write and HOW do I write this post kept popping in my head.
Do I talk/write to Christians?
Do I talk/write (and apologize) to non-Christians?
Do I talk/write to the topics?
Do I talk/write not wanting to crush toes?
Do I talk/write with every force of nature I can muster?

I decided, it would be best (for me) to write from my heart.

A few statements before we dive into this post:
I am writing this to all parties, all beliefs, all people.
I am writing this out of a place of love.
I am writing this from my knowledge, experiences and insight (which can be small at times).
I am writing this hoping to not stir up debates or upset people but to share my voice.
I am writing this with the idea that maybe something I say can spark your  own curiosity to do your own research.
I am writing this knowing that I am not perfect at anything.
I am writing this knowing that someone challenged me a long time ago and set my intellect into motion.
I am writing this knowing that I have lots to learn, from others.
I am writing this for me, so my head can stop swirling around politics and I can refocus on what truly matters.

Where to begin.

**** Heavy sigh ***

I have been reading several blogs, articles, commentaries, and even my peers own personal thoughts the last several weeks.    There are times that I agree, smile and share.  There are times that I post questions hoping to shine light on both sides of the story.  There are times that I read my Christian friends comments and cringe.  There are times that I read my non-Christian friends comments and sing praise.

Let me get one thing out there.  I am not voting. What a relief to share that.
I. Am. Not. Voting.

Honestly, I have never voted in my life.  Before, when I was younger, I didn't vote because I did not care.  I didn't vote because I was lazy.  I didn't vote because I saw no purpose in it.  As I got older, some of those excuses transformed into supported reasons.

Now, here's the condition to me not voting.  I also don't complain.  I tend to be of the nature that can see the glass as just half.  That's it.  It's half.  Why does it have to be half full or half empty.  Why can't we be content with just half.  I like to see multiple points of views on topics.  I like to have my mind challenged to ignite growth.  I like to hear people discuss ideas, not each other.    So, even though I don't vote, I don't complain - for no matter who is in office, there is no perfect world.  There will always be positives and negatives to every thing.  EVERY. THING.    The government is just half.  Just like I see good in both main candidates; I also see some room for growth.

Some people reading this might be thinking "You are the problem.  Megan, you are part of the problem.  You my dear, are non-american.  How disrespectful are you?!?"  Whatever you may be thinking, if you truly have a question about why I don't vote, please ask, I am not afraid to share.

Am I not American?  No, I am.  I was born here.  I work here.  I pay taxes here. Do I say the pledge - nope, I use that brief moment to pray for my day, my students, and my country.  I pledge allegiance to my God, HIS kingdom.  For this world is not my home.

Am I really that disrespectful? How do I not support such a great country, How DARE me?   Nothing I do is hurting anyone.  Well, some feelings might be hurt by my boldness in my statements.  But I can only pray that the hurt people feel can be reflected and mediated on, allowing for God to present Himself.   I still respect my authorities.  I pay my taxes, abide by the law of the lands, and love people.

Am I really part of the problem?  Do we even know what the PROBLEM really is?    If I am the biggest problem that anyone has, I would honestly say, that is probably a success.

To me, the problem is not in the government.  
The problem starts from the church.  
It's you.  
It's me.   

Even typing that, I felt a little worried about the feedback I am going to get from this post.  But, I need to say it.  
That's right.  WE the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect.........perfect what....we live in a broken world, and WE are the problem.

I catch myself occasionally asking my 4.5 year old "are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"   And here we are, a young country, that has lots to learn.  We had some major growth spurts and some obvious set backs in maturity.  But compared to the world, America, we are still babies - we must walk before we can run, if not, stumbling will occur.

When you post on social media, are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?

Problem: Abortion.   Solution: Love people.
Problem: Foster Care.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Death penalty.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Drugs.   Solution: Love people.
Problem: Marriage license.  Solution: Love people
Problem: Boarder, extremist groups, terror.   Solution: Love people.
Problem: Violence towards cops.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Violence towards blacks.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Education funds.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Healthcare cost.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Unemployment. Solution: Love people.

I challenge you to read Romans 13.   You can find it here, and even change it to a translation that best suites you.  This chapter has helped my husband develop his own personal thoughts and opinions on the election, but also have been a pivotal piece in my own mindset.

We, the church, to form a more perfect union, his kingdom on earth, his will be done.....

We are to love Hillary Clinton, for she is the daughter of the king.
We are to love Donald Trump, for he is a son of a king.
We are to love the unborn babies.
We are to love the murders.
We are to love the multi-cultures
We are to love the drug addicts
We are to love the gays
We are to love the blacks
We are to love the whites
We are to love the cops
We are to love the teachers
We are to love the students
We are to love each other.

If you are not a Christian, you don't have to full-fill the law by loving people.
But I sure hope, if you are not a Christian, you have been filled by a Christian's love.

How are you loving people?  I challenge your mind set, your heart, your belief.  Dig into His word, ask tough questions.  What truly matters?


So, I tried not getting involved with politics; I will do my best for this to be the last post, comment, or even rhetoric response.   If you want to talk to me; please let's get coffee, or e-mail/message me.

For now - the next two weeks - I will pray.

And in case you don't know.  You are loved.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I tried - and did whole30 (modified)

30 Days!

30 Days without sugar, grains, and dairy.

Day 6 I wrote a post about why and how I was doing everything.  Catch up with it here. 

Numbers, I tend to communicate better with them and pictures speak a thousand words.   Let's go back on a journey.

Early June 2015 - about 36/37 weeks pregnant with our second.  
I went into the hospital at around 240 pounds.  

July 20ish 2015 - Soren was around a month old.   I was 220 pounds.  

End of September 2015 - My second 5k, my first post second baby.  193 pounds!
A big shout out to my sister - running and keeping me accountable for months. 

I ran, counted calories, ran some more.   
One of my favorite runners =]
Second week of June 2016 - wearing the same race shirt as above picture. 

Back in March/April I hit a plateau around 170-175 while I was training for my half marathon.
Over summer, when I STOPPED counting calories I started to gain more.  I was back up to 181!

September 14, 2016 when I started my "whole30" I was at 176. 

These were the men and women who held me accountable.
Even if they weren't able to contact me, it gave me a name to focus on, a person to pray about instead of for myself.  This was key to my success.  I can't stand letting people down.  

October 15, 2016 - My lowest weight I have been in some time.  I have lost about 66 pounds.  Although that doesn't seem very significant, to a short person, it is.  

During the past 30 days I encountered several parties, luncheons, and even baked treats for my friends.  I passed up donuts, peach cobbler, cupcakes, chili dogs, pizza, cookies, cake, pizza, ice cream, dessert, bread, cream and sugar in my coffee several times, and did I mention pizza.

And it was worth it!

Although I am totally happy with my physical weight loss, I am more pleased with what I learned about myself.  I am fully capable of saying no thank you when a treat is offered.  I am able to pass up and make better alternative choices when it comes to food.  I am able to be disciplined in my actions.

Was it hard - at times.  The hardest part was when I wasn't being watched.  My husband was gone about 5 nights of this entire event, and there were so many times that I knew there were goodies in the house.  Although tempted, I did not partake.

Could I have lost more - probably.  This was a modified whole30.  I still ate peanut butter and raisins.  And if I would have been more careful about those food I probably would have seen a greater loss in weight.  But I am more than pleased!

Today was my first day after.  Did I splurge, maybe.  Do I regret it, a little.  Will it happen again, possibly.  Am I human, totally.

I debated back and forth what I would do on today.  Would I go crazy and eat all the foods I have not been able to have.  Would I continue my journey without sugar, grains or dairy.  Would I do a little bit of both.

While reading on how to transition back into the "real world" from whole30 I read that we shouldn't make cheat days; that by making a cheat day we are telling our brain we already gave up and that we HAVE to eat unhealthy to make it worth our cheat day.  That really clicked with me.  I know I can say no.  So, just do it.

Today though, was different.  My family, including my dad were going to an amusement park about 2 hours away.  Because of this trip I was able to experience and test out a few things.

1) I was nauseous.   I did not have breakfast and we tend to get treats for the road before we go anywhere.  I packed some fruit for me, thinking it would be sufficient, but when my husband wanted to share gas-station breakfast-pizza with me, I didn't say no.  I had, after the boys, about 2/3 of a really greasy toxic delicious pizza.     With my pizza I did have an apple.  =]

2) I was gittery.  I am not for sure if was the amount of coffee or the few packets of sweetener and a couple of containers of cream I doctored my coffee with, but boy when we got to our destination I was literally shaking.  

3) I felt gross, until I drank water.  But even now, hours later I still feel bloated and heavy.  Maybe I am just tired....

4) I was surprised.  The foods I wasn't use to eating weren't that good anymore (except for the cookie).  I tried a strawberry lemonade - SO much sugar - blah!  Body needed water.  I tried a little bit of cheese on nachos, felt weird and almost foreign.  So for lunch as the boys snacked I ate another apple, a bite of banana, and a few bites of potato/nachos.

5) I was comfortable.   After we left, our boys were "starving."  Honestly, they were hangry.  Our oldest wanted mcdonalds, which we never get.  I had the option of ice-cream to cheeseburgers, but passed because I wasn't hungry and new I didn't NEED anything.   I tried one of the boys chicken nuggets (still gross, like before whole30).  

6) I was happy.  I like healthy food.  When we got home the boys ate, again; they ARE boys.   I had left over sweet potato, broccoli and tilapia.  I was happy with it.

7) I can still have what I want.  I made cookies on Thursday.  I took most of them to work but kept a few back for friends and the trip.  So, today, after the boys were in bed, I had 2 cookies.  In total today I think I had about 5 cookies.  Do I regret those cookies - not in the slightest.


Where do I go from here?

My goal after I had Soren was to get down to 150.  I would still be considered over weight.  But shoot, I think I was at my goal weight when I was 12.  We all know how hard that will be.    I have 14 more pounds to go.  My new goal date - January 1, 2017!    I would LOVE to START out the new year as a new me.    14 pounds in 11 weeks.  Totally manageable.  Am I always going to do whole30?  Maybe a modified version that is less strict or okay with certain foods at certain times (Pizza is pretty hard to pass up).

If you personally now me, please continue to hold me accountable.  If you see me at school, church, come over to my house or hang out somewhere, please ask me about my journey.  I don't like letting people down, so please reassure me that we are on the same team.
Saying 'no' to food more often, is saying 'yes' to me being the best me. 

Uninvited - Reminders

These are the reminders, that when we are feeling the most unloved, we can refer back to and feel God's love.

Week 1 - Chapters 1, 2, and 3: 
[I am one of] "God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved...."  Colossians 3:12b

Chapter 1 - We are Chosen by God

Chapter 2 - Three Questions you must consider:  Is God good?  Is God good to me?  Is God good at being God?  "Things of this world all eventually reveal what incapable anchors they really are."

Chapter 3 - Live Loved, one must simply live like we are loved, for we are.  "Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won't find yourself begging others for scraps of love."

Week 2 - Chapters 4 and 5:
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Chapter 4 - "Proximity and activity don't always equal connectivity." "The more fully we invite God in, the less we feel uninvited by others"

Chapter 5 - God will fill us where we are not just full, but over flowing.

Week 3 - Chapters 6, 7 and 8:
"The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

Chapter 6  - We have an enemy, and it's not each other; fight for her, even if your relationship isn't working.

Chapter 7 - Grace or Bitterness; our hearts only have enough room for one.

Chapter 8 - "Relationships don't come in packages of perfection, relationships come in packages of potential."  "No amount of outside achievements fixes inside hurt."   For we have to have acknowledge people without joining them.

Week 4 - Chapters 9, 10, 11:
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty and, that he may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6

Chapter 9 - We are set aside, not apart.  Rejection offers three gifts from God, when we allow it.  Gift of being made less, being lonely, and of silence.

Chapter 10 - "There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful."    We should not be threatened by others, but rejoice in their success - there is more than one pie in life =]

Chapter 11 - We must praise, seek, look to, call to, experience, fear, learn from, honor, draw near to, and take refuge in God.

Week 5 - Chapter 12, 13, and 14:
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my hear and my portion forever."  Psalm 73:26

Chapter 12 - The enemy is fighting against us by wanting us to crave, lust after and be boastful.  While Jesus promises to fill us when are in need.    Testing God is what the enemy wants.  Trusting God is what the kingdom needs.

Chapter 13 - When we focus on the mess we tend to miss the miracles.

Chapter 14 - Rejection is the opportunity to change.  The in-between is the highway to change. Inviting God into our lives is the vehicle we use to travel the in-between.

Week 6 - Chapter 15 and 16 
"We are troubled on every side, yet no distresssed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsakend; cast down, but not destroyed."   2 Corinthians 4;8-9

Chapter 15 - Like and olive tree we have to face both good and bad winds in order to be balanced, replacing rejection with redepemtion is a process and will take time, God will press us but not crush us.  Don't run away, but rise above!

Chapter 16 - If you look for rejection, you will find it.  Do not let other people fix you, we can only be fixed by Jesus and  his unconditional love.

Check out the playlist post.

How can I pray for you?

Uninvited Playlist

Throughout the weeks of reading the book, "Uninvited" by Lysa TerKeurst I would have songs play through my head.


For those of you who know me. I am a far cry from a musician.   My husband, now, HE is the musically gifted one.

Honestly, without google, I wouldn't have been able to look up the lyrics going through my head.  I can't remember song titles or artists to save my life.  And the noise that I hear in my head, seems to never be the same noise that comes out of my mouth, even in a hum.  =]  

If you click here you will be able to go to youtube and listen to all of them.  Let me know what songs you like to listen to, that life you and bring you closer to God?

Here's my playlist for Uninvited:

Good Good Father - Chris Tomlin
Drops in the Ocean - Hawk Nelson
Live Like You're Loved - Hawk Nelson
God of Justice - Tim Hughes
Losing - Tenth Avenue North
Forever - Chris Tomlin
Lose My Soul - TobyMac
Make a Joyful Noise - David Crowder Band
I need thee every hour - mormon tabernacle choir
Your Grace Finds Me - Matt Redman
Overcomer - Mandisa
Never Once - Matt Redman
Who Am I - Casting Crowns
Everything Glorious - David Crowder Band
Lead me to the corss - Hillsong United
Here I am to worship -Hillsong Worship/Tm Hughes
How Great is Our God - Christ Tomlin
Mighty to Save - Hillsong United
come Alive (dry bones) - Lauren Diagle

Friday, October 14, 2016

I tried - being everyone else's fixer [Chapter 16]

As you read, feel free to listen to:  Mighty To Save and Lead Me to the Cross by Hillsong United

Growing up, I realized in high school, that I had a problem.  I liked to fix people.  The  boys I tended to date weren't up to my standard - because I COULD fix them (or save them, help them, show them who's right), I was going to make them become my standard.  My goodness, when I look back at me now...

how embarrassing. 

I did care for my boyfriends, for the most part they weren't like bad guys.  But how selfish, arrogant, ignorant, and just flat out immature of me to think I could fix someone else.

I was so broken.

Chapter 16 - What I Thought Would Fix Me Didn't

I really was broken, and the more that I found cracks in myself the more I wanted to fix other people.  You know, because THEY were the one with the problem.  Right?


Finally when I was shattered by a group of people who loved me deeply, is when I realized (and it took longer than I want to admit) that the only person I should be fixing, is well, myself. The only way to fix myself was through Jesus.

Through Jesus I had better standards to hold myself accounted for.  I had a more pure perspective that I am loved unconditionally, regardless of my past brokenness and sin.  I had to believe and take ownership in calling myself a Christian.

I no longer am a fixer but an avenue to being fixed.  I have a passion for people.  I want people to love other people.  I want people to love themselves.  I want people to think like Jesus (and use common sense).  I want people to learn from my mistakes and know they are not alone.  Because of my passion, I still listen to those who need to talk, I still encourage those who are down, I still take food to people, check on people, write cards to people. But now I do it because of Jesus.

I no longer look at people as needing me to fix them.  
I look at people as needing me to love them. 

I can't believe who I was 5, 10, 15 years ago.   If you knew me before Jesus transformed me.  I am really sorry.  I am sorry for the hurtful things I have said or did or didn't do.

Because I love you, please stop being in the intolerable waiting period.  You know how terrifying it is to stand on a train track and know that you won't survive once hit - your anxiety heightens as you wait for the train; every little sound makes you jump in fear.   Don't be waiting for the next rejection, the next worry, anxiety attack.  Anticipating fear is letting the enemy win and not being filled by God's love, mercy, grace and peace.  

Because I love you, please don't let others try to fix you.  Don't let things, items, events, situations try to fix you.  Be filled by God's love, mercy grace and peace.

If you look for rejection, you will find it.  

"Rejection never has the final say.  Rejection may be a delay or distraction or even a devastation for a season.  But it's never a final destination.  I'm destined for a love that can't ever be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken.  With You, Jesus, I'm forever safe.  I'm forever accepted.  I'm forever held.  Completely loved and  always invited in." Page 209 Uninvited Lysa Terkuerst


Here we are, at the end of this "Uninvited" journey.  I hope that those of you reading my blog were entertained, pulled in, loved on.   I want you to realize that you are not alone in life.  If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask.

You are loved.
You are not alone.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I tried - to run away [Chapter 15]

Chapter 15 - I Want to Run Away

So.  Here's the deal, I am a very blunt person.  And this chapter, well, it was 'eh.    I felt like I was re-reading chapter 14.    Chapter 14 was talking about the in-between stage of rejection and redemption while chapter 15 is talking about why we shouldn't run away.  So do people run-away before, during, or after the in-between?  Maybe I just felt like this chapter was out of place.

I also have a hard time using emotions to justify choices.  Facts, information, data, and numbers are how I tend to make my observations and decisions.  So, when faced with rejection I don't run away, I take confrontation and want to see it be turned into a transformation.    Does that sound cocky?  I mean this in the best way that I can,  my emotions don't tend to get in my way.  

I am not perfect.

Chapter 15 does talk about how countless people in the Bible run away and how Jesus never does. Instead of running away we are to, like 14, turn to God.  He is the only one that can fix the situation, or how we perceive the situation.  

Maybe, instead of running away we should run towards Him?!   Our identity is supposed to be in Christ.  So when we allow a situation to define us, and lose our identity, we are  running in the wrong direction.   

Everyone in this world is fighting a battle - some might appear to be bigger than others.  These battles were never meant to label us, they were meant to teach us, help us learn.   

Olive Tree Truths:
1) To be a successful person we have to have both difficult times and times of peace.  Like the olive tree, that needs dry hot winds from the east and rainy life bearing winds from the west.     We can not grow and change without both the challenging and calm winds. 

2) Olives are gross if ate straight from the branch.  It takes times, is a process, like a science to transform them into something edible.  And as we go through the process of rejection to healing, it will take time.  It is the only way for us to overcome bitterness and no longer have a pit. 

3) Olive oil is made from being pressed - not crushed.   God will never crush us, but He will press us to be stronger, He will press us to extract what needs to leave.

I tried to run away - but it only brought more hurt and confusion.  Don't run away, rise above.

Listen to:  Who Am I by Casting Crowns

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I tried - making it through the in between [Chapter 14]

Time heals all wounds.
There are worse things in life.
It can't be that bad.
Just keep living life.
Look for the good.
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Chapter 14 - Moving Through the Desperate In-Between

Rejection.  It happens and far too often.  Sometimes it is perceived, made up, projected, forced, snatched, necessary, protection - but rejection happens.

So what do you do when you are just there.


In-between what happened to you and what happens next. 
In-between what happened in the past and what is the future.
In-between what happened with you and what can happen with your voice in the  choice. 
In-between, acknowledging that rejection happened but not being passed it. 

That place where you seem to just be asking on loop, "what do I do now?"

The in-between is not an easy place to be, I have been there.  I was there a few months after a bad break up.  I was there for several months while healing from a group shut-out.  I was there for a few years after my husbands and I's struggles.  No matter how long I was in the in-between, I always made it to the other side.  

If allowed
If accepted
the in-between can be the best part of the rejection.  This time is of crucial choice making.  The quicker we embrace the in-between the quicker we tend to heal. We should not run from rejection but embrace it; it has something to offer and empower us with.       

We have an enemy (see chapter 12) and he wants us to be in pain and suffering.  He wants us to feel the absence of healing.  If we wait around in the in-between he will slowly win the battles.  

Our views become more warped.
Our pride seeps in, getting in the way.
Our anger gets a tighter grip on us. 

Page 174 states: We think we are freeing ourselves from the pain when, in reality, what numbs us imprisons us.  If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us.  It slowly kills the potential for our hearts to fully feel, fully connect, fully love again.  It allows the rejection of a person to steal the best potential from every other relationship we desperately want and need.  

I am not asking you to stop feeling pain; pain is a reminder that something is about to be transformed. 

When a butterfly morphs out of it's cocoon, do you think it needs extra strength, that it needs to struggle and push through until it's new beautiful wings are freed?

Rejection is the opportunity to change.  

The in-between is the highway to the change.  

Inviting God into our lives is the vehicle we use to travel the in-between.

We need God's closeness.  And the only way to get close to anything is by making a move.

Move - pray
Move - read scripture
Move - journal
Move - sit, process, be filled with peace

Move closer to God. 

Ask him to be your neighbor.
Ask him to be that comfort.
Ask him to give you more strength than you need.
Ask him.

As you are moving closer to God, HE is moving you closer to the other-side of the in-between.

"Never Once" by Matt Redman - listen here


Today, and odd day.  So many strong women in my life are needing prayer.  They have questions, they are over whelmed, they are sick physically, they are drained emotionally, and they need you.  You know their names, and you know their hearts even better.  Just be with them and let them be filled with your love and help them move to the other side of the in-between.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I tried - messes [Chapter 13]

Do you have children?  Have you been around children - almost any age will do?  Have you ever put down your electronic and watch them make the messes you so wish they wouldn't.   The smile in their eyes, the smile ON their face.


When did we loose that passion to enjoy everything around us?  When did we outgrow messes (not counting the messy bun - rock that as long as we can).  When did we stop having simple joy in our hearts?

I want to enjoy the messes again. 

Chapter 13 - Miracles in the Mess

Now, this chapter title alone caught my attention.  Messes.  Eww.  My OCD alarms are out of control.  How can we possibly enjoy messes, let alone find miracles in them?  I spend a majority of my time home sweeping and re-sweeping - for I missed a spot, or Gideon just came in from outside; bringing in all the dirt our backyard holds.  Or I will be playing with the boys and reminded them to pick up after themselves or  I now showing Soren (often) how to put the books back on the shelf when he's done "reading."

Kids like to make messes, but they are enjoying  life.  

When our focus is on the mess we might miss the miracle.  

As a teacher I want  application.  Here's some data, but what do we do with it.  I want to change things, be more efficient, find the best way to achieve our goals.  So when Lysa wrote, "Inspiration and information without personal application will never amount to transformation" on page 165 I was thrilled.    

"Resisting God's promises will make us forget God's presence." was one of my favorite lines from this chapter on page 166.  When we focus on the mess, the to-do list, the "sigh" moments, the times that we get upset over spilled milk (seriously, why do we cry when we can clean it up).  We are missing out on God and pushing him away.

The more that we pause, the more that we rest, the more that we look for those smiling moments is when we start to see God appear and intervene.

Information - Have I sought out God's truth regarding the situation
Application - Have I applied God's truth without compromise to the situation
Transformation - Do I now own this truth as a personal revelation from God to use in future situations like this. 

The next time your life seems to be a mess; like the pile of unfolded laundry screaming at you.  Sit, BE STILL, and take God's information, apply it, and be transformed by it.  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I tried - to fight the enemy [Chapter 12]

I am a fighter.  I am loyal to a fault. By nature, words are my choice weapon.  I was the child who would back-talk their parents.  I was the peer who was sly on what to say and when  to say.    My dad always thought I'd be a lawyer; I had so much passion, drive, I was quick witted and quick tempered. I was committed and would stand my ground, even if I knew I was wrong.  I would not back down.  I wanted to fight for the lack of justice in the my life and later in the world.

So, I became a teacher.

Chapter 12: The Enemy's Plan Against You

This chapter has been sprinkled throughout the book.  That when we accept rejection, perceived or snatched, we are a pawn in the Enemies plan or game.  When we fight with friends and loved ones, another piece of the kingdom is torn down.    When we allow for hurt to take up residence in our heart for far too long, the lack of the eviction notice makes the enemy smile.  

"The Devil is vicious but is not victorious."  Page 151

The enemy wants us to focus our needs, wants, and desires to be filled by worldly things.  If we are not being filled up by God's love, mercy, kindness, and grace we are being filled by worldliness.    The further we are from God the less our relationship with him can grow and the closer the enemy gets to winning.    

The devil comes after us by wanting us to feel empty, he wants us to crave other physical pleasures, from sex to food to drugs to money and status.  If we are craving something other than  God, the enemy is after us.     JESUS PROMISES that we are filled by God.  He provides, protects and plans. 

The devil wants us to feel deprived so that we will desire the world around us.  That through our fleshly desires we will be lacking rejection. Mark 8:36 states, what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?  JESUS PROMISES that we can live sacred or secret lives.  If we are living secret lives, we are being ate alive from the inside.  

The devil wants us to use tools from the world to make our rejections feel more like success.  It was interesting to see the different emotions people felt while on social-media.  JESUS PROMISES that when He is with us, we have nothing to fear.   He wants us to praise Him, to glorify Him, to honor Him.  

Testing God is what the enemy wants.  
Trusting God is what the kingdom needs. 

Are you a fighter?
What or who are you fighting for?
How do you start your day?
What has your focus most of the day?

I tried to fight the enemy, but  I am weak. 
Live loved so the enemy doesn't stand a chance.  

If you are in the middle of the battle - listen to Mandisa's "Overcomer" and remember how strong you are! If you need prayer, please ask.  

God - the enemy is strong.  The closer we get to you, the more we are going to feel pull from outside forces.  Be with those who are going through spiritual battles all over this globe.  You hold each of us in the palm of your hand.  Thank you for the gift you have given me; and please be with me that I can love others and build your kingdom here.  


I tried - to remember all 10 things [Chapter 11]

I wan't going to start out this blog with some wordy introduction or story.  But then I realized; let's get real.

This week was REAL.

It was real surprising
It was real inspiring
It was real tiring
It was real overwhelming
It was real crying
It was real laughing
It was real in teaching moments, mom moments, failure moments, even alone moments - but in a good way.

I was able to meet with a wonderful woman and talk about a future ministry opportunity that I was honored to be asked to help with.   Let the praying begin!  Then we got Max, an adorable PUPPY - he lasted 3 days - I had a huge melt down/anxiety attack.  I got to see joy in the faces of two of my students who have been working extremely hard.  I got to hug a student who asked me to pray for her grandpa.  I got to rejoice with a student who's little brother was just born.  I got to get "real" and break down some walls with some students. I got to read books with both of my boys.  I got to sing, play, and eat dinner with my kiddos' friends - listening to 4 and 5 year old conversations is, well, enlightening.   It's been a real week.  It's been a solid week of panic and peace, rejoice and rejection.

----->  Let's go <-----

Chapter 11: Ten Things You Must Remember When Rejected

Yes, 10 things. This chapter might be the most lengthy one.  After glancing over it, I literally wrote in my journal "let's go"   like this was something I need to attack.  But it was a quick read, with lots of things to remember; for real.  

"Together is a great way to press through something you're afraid could make you feel a bit undone." Page 127, although not one of Lysa TerKuerst reminders, it's a good reminder for me, and I think for you dear reader.  We are not doing this alone.  

When panic replaces peace is when we let our rejections consume us. 

1. One rejection is not a projection of future failures.   We must take God's promises and speak them into ourselves.  Replace the negative and turn it into a positive.    I am thankful for this reminder as I felt like a major failure to my children and rejected because I wasn't wonder woman and puppy trainer.   One must pick super-hero power; puppy patience was not it.  

2. Rejection doesn't label you, it enables you to adjust and move on.   This is a great reminder that I remember first hearing about a few years ago.  Where is your identity? If we look towards God to find who we are, rejection will not consume us.  Rejection is realistically a normal part of life; it's how we use it that determines our label.  

3. This could be an invitation to live in expectation of something else.  As I mention I live a pretty full life.  But it needs to be filled with God appointments.  These appointments can be by serving people, connecting and encouraging others, or just time alone to reflect and grow.   Being rejected an invitation to a party might be an attention grabber to expect something else.    We must wait and trust.  
4. There is usually some element of protection wrapped in every rejection.  This goes back to chapter nine; that we are not being set apart/outcast-ed but we are being set aside for something else/different.   God knows.  He knows.  He knows how to protect and provide for us.  So, let's let him do his job.  

5. It's good to ask the "what" questions but less helpful to ask "why."  "What" questions are allowing us opportunities to grow; while "why" questions are more about our own personal control.  The why questions allow for pride and insecurity to whisper subtle lies that we begin to believe.  

6. Don't hash, bash, or trash, on the internet.  Remember the internet never forgets.   People need to learn to heal privately, not with the rest of media.  This does not mean you have to be alone through whatever the situation is; you need to make sure to keep a few close friends that will be there for you no matter what and call you out when you are being a bit much.    What pains me is when I see people bashing, trashing other people and they claim to be Christians.  Remember, everyone is watching.  Let them see Jesus.

7. There's much more to you than the part was rejected.    Not much to add to this statement.  We are worth  more than a single moment in time.  Look at the big picture.    Just like in the second reminder - look to Jesus to find your identity and speak truth into yourself.

8. What one person sees you as a liability, another might see you as a wonderful asset.  We can do the same thing for two different groups of people; but its all about perception and how others view us.   If you are mature in how you use your God given gifts, then you will be placed in the role He created for you.  Just remember the difference between be conceited, confident, and clueless.  Your gifts can always be used for positive or negative.

9. This is a short term set back, not a permanent condition.    Pottery comes in two forms.  There is the fired, hard, very fragile.  Then there is the soft, can be molded, comforting.    Is this rejection going to linger around, continue to form cracks, and eventually break you?  Or are you going to be more like clay and allow us to be molded and grow from this opportunity?

10. Don't let this heart break destroy you.  Let this breaking actually be the making of you.  Let God use it in Good ways to make you stronger and take you further.     This goes along with number nine.  This rejection should not destroy and consume you.  God doesn't pull back, but he pulls you closer.   I would not be the person I am today if it was not the rejection, pain, suffering, and moments of total isolation that I have faced to make me stronger.

Lots of great reminders.  If you are like me, remembering all 10 of these things is a lot.  That's why this is titled "I tried to remember all 10 things" - for it's not easy.

Let's start with a foundation, umbrella of all of these.

Are you loved?  Yes.
Yes you are.  Remember that.

Listen to Matt Redman's "Your Grace Finds Me"..... sing....remember.... "So I'm breathing in Your grace, and breathing out Your praise, I'm breathing in Your grace, forever I'll be." 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I tried - not being threaten [Chapter 10]

If I told you that I have never been threatened by another female, I would be the biggest liar.  From coworkers, sister, even friends, to strangers, to past girlfriends my husband had, even the stranger at the gym, or the unknown name applying for the same position – we have all be threatened before.  

Chapter 10 – Her Success Does Not Threaten Mine

This might have been one of the better chapters for my hyper-competitive self.  It offered a lot of reflection.

When we reject ourselves we are minimizing God and maximizing our weakness and our weakest spot.  The enemy wants us to be torn apart, so we are weak.  The enemy wants us to fight against each other, making his job easy.  The enemy wants us to look at others in envy, and not build them up in praise.  

Our thoughts lead to our words, and even the most effective filter doesn’t catch everything.  Our words, thoughts, and actions are the best display of our soul and it’s purity or lack thereof.  

Let’s talk about pie.  Do you believe that the there is only one pie and if someone takes a slice, it is gone forever. It was TAKEN from you?  Or do you believe that you are sitting in a bakery where there is abundant amounts of pies; where like the Baker, God has plenty to give – more than enough for everyone.  His Love is abundant love – it can fill us up (you know, like good pie)!  

Once we switch from the one slice of pie mind-set to the sitting in a bakery mind-set; is when we can stop living in fear of others and we can start processing life out of abundant love. 

So how do we start living abundant lives?  We serve others pie.   If we know we live in a bakery with lots of pie, let’s serve it to others.  Oh what a happy place that would be.  Like Oprah on her episode of favorite things; Pie for you, Pie for you, Pie for me and you and you.   And can you imagine if we served pie without calories!  OH Glory to him.   

When we are serving others pie we are blessing them.     While praying and asking for help to bless and serve others we can ask God to:
1) To bless them.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)
2) To see them succeed (Philippians 2:4)
3) To remember that we are all on the same team (Luke 10:2)

When we serve others, bless them, rejoice in their success, and play for the same team is when we can stop living in fear, stop feeling threaten and truly help build the kingdom. 

"There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful."

As I Pray for these women around the world reading this today.  I pray that we can all be humble and remember how beautiful we are.  That we do not have to be threaten in our looks, achievements, relationships; any status we put on ourselves should be one from God - we are loved, perfect and wonderfully made.  I ask that I can be a better server of your pie.  God, I personally ask for permission to be reminded to make myself less than  others.  God, you are so good, and I thank you for all that you have done.  

**Tunes to Play**  I need the every hour - Mormon tabernacle choir. 

I Tried – Receiving Rejection [Chapter 9]

I have had three life changing rejections, events, situations that truly altered the way that I am today.  From a past boyfriend, to a failing marriage, to a group of friends removing themselves from being around me.   One of the first things I would do was cry out “God, why me!?”  

Chapter 9 – Why Does Rejection Hurt So Much?  

When we are rejected, why is that we question God’s goodness?   Do we think we are so humble that we can request ideas and make suggestions to the almighty creator?  Like, really….who do we think we are? 

I found it really fascinating that on page 105 she talked about a study that showed that emotional pain is received by our brain as actual physical pain.   That when patients were given Tylenol the hurt from a broken heart was numbed. 

(A little off subject, but I am curious if this is why drugs are so “needed” by many; used to mask actual emotional/hurt…. Because without God, they miss the opportunity to receive from rejection)

Even in those deep moments when we start pleading with God and asking “why me?” and starting to really think that we just simply aren’t good enough, God is at work.   He is working his almighty plan even when we feel passed over. 

You aren’t set aside; you are set apart, page 108.     Once we humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:6) is when God can truly show us what he has been working on this entire time. 

Lysa states on page 110 that rejection offers gifts that God can work in our lives, if we allow it.  They are gifts of humility.

1) The GIFT of being made less.   Just stop, right there – I don’t care for less, unless we are talking about my current weight – than less is great.  Or maybe messes or poopy diapers.  But I really can’t stand feeling less than others, looked over, left out, less than.   BUT when we come humble to God and receive the gift of being made less, something wonderful happens……. Wait for it…… we receive him MORE.  Less of us = more of God.  Who doesn’t want more God?  By sitting on the bench during this game, called our life, allows God to make the correct play.  We can see what God has been working on.  

2) The GIFT of being lonely.  Now, honestly, even as an introvert there is lonely and then there is LONELYY.  I enjoy my alone time.   I get to sit, reflect, be still, go slow, and enjoy nature, and have time with God.  I look forward to being an "antique" one day so I can have more ‘self care’ time.  But when we are rejected, the last thing people want, even some introverts, is to be left alone.  We were made for community, to be around people, to serve, help and love people.   BUT when we come humble to God and receive the gift of being lonely we are able to recognize Jesus.  It’s like a mirror.  When we recognize and acknowledge our loneliness its like looking loneliness in the mirror, instead of seeing ourselves sad and broken, we can see Jesus and all his love and glory. 

3) The GIFT of silence. For us to LISTEN we have to be SILENT.    As humans we listen with the intent to speak.  We don’t really listen.  This is the gift that might be most commonly over looked.  Like at that birthday when you got clothes, although a necessity, a gift often over looked by kids - unless you don't have clothes.  BUT when we come humble to God and receive the gift of being silent is when we can hear God’s plan for us.  Hear God’s reminder “you are loved.”  “You are mine.”  "You are a necessity."

Do these gifts sound wonderful to receive?  We can only receive these gifts from rejection when we humble ourselves and we have to be humble through FORGIVENESS.  Page 115 makes an excellent point.

God made us For Giving
God made you For Giving
God made me For Giving

Being humbly rejected is the perfect opportunity to allow us to forgive one another; for we are forgiven.  Let us Rejoice in these gifts given by God. 

Rejection is not being set aside, but being set apart.  God has a plan, his plan includes protecting and loving us.  What if what we were wanting to happen was taken because God was stopping a burden from entering our lives? 

Looking back at my weakest moments, crying out to God “why me”  was me being a bratty kid at my birthday; I was not wanting to receive God’s gifts' those necessities.  I was not wanting to be set apart.   Through my three biggest rejections, I can now say, God had a greater plan and I am thankful for that.

The hurt from the boyfriend – God protected me, allowing me to grow.  I now have a story to be transparent about while connecting with other women in similar situations.  I was set aside, for bigger stories.  

The hurt from a failing marriage – was a plan for God to move our family into ministry.  Seven years ago we were trying to mend a marriage; now we are planning for my husband to graduate a Christian College and look for a full-time position in a church – we were set aside, not looked over.
The hurt from a group of friends – they were not only protecting themselves, but my heart had to be transplanted and shattered to allow God in and repair me.  I was not being replaced, I was being used in his great plan.

I tried receiving rejection – and even if it took time, even  if I wasn’t humble at first, God always had a great plan.

I think I should sit the bench more.