Let me introduce myself…

Now, I’ve had this blog for about for about 2 years, and was hosted on Blogspot for about 4 years before. So, I’ve been blogging for 6 years…

And, I feel the need to re-introduce myself. So much has happened in the past 6 years, this blog has been through so many seasons & cycles itself.

Back to me – I am passionate about God’s unrelenting, unwarranted, and absolutely unconditional love -His Agape. Making His children Agapetos – the beloved.

But, knowing I am the beloved, and feeling it all the time are two entirely different things.

Sometimes, that not-feeling has come from the huge, 10 year battle with depression that I fought…which is trying to rear it’s ugly head again…Sometimes, it comes from the heart pounding, suffocating anxiety I feel like will be with me forever…Sometimes, it comes from the chronic singleness that has engulfed my life…

Yet, whatever the reason, my lack of feeling does not negate the truth of my being.

I am beloved…

And, in this season of my life, I want to focus on accepting, becoming, and waiting.

  • Accepting: my role as His beloved. Right now, that means being back in a place I never thought I’d find myself again, working in my old schools, and attending a church I left 9 years ago. Right now, it means faith in His perfect plan, His ability to bring beauty from ashes, and His future blessings. Right now, it means simply accepting the present for what it is and turning to Him when the rest get’s overwhelming.
  • Becoming: who I’m meant to be as His beloved. We all have that picture of what we want our lives to be like, and compare when we get there. Mine doesn’t exactly look how I thought, but pretty close. Yet, there are pieces missing…things I thought I’d have or places I’d be. So, I am focusing on becoming that girl – in so far as God leads me there. It also means pushing myself at times, or holding back at times. I am focusing on allowing God to shape me, grow me, stretch me, and sustain me.
  • Waiting: Those who have read my posts before know I am constantly in a waiting phase – and the biggest thing I am waiting for is that Godly man I will one day build a life with. A man I can submit to and serve with. I know I am also waiting on career moves to be opened up. So, I will focus on the wait – the acceptance and becoming that take place in the waiting. The continued faith that God will fulfill and provide for me according to His good will & purpose.

Honestly, it’s not much different than the way the blog has been in the past. Just a little more focused on these aspects of beloved-ness.

Perhaps someone will find this blog, my little slice of the internet, and know they are not alone in their struggle. Maybe, someone will reach out and offer encouragement, not only to me but to readers, as we become and wait. Maybe someone else out there needs to be reminded and encouraged in their own accepting, becoming, or waiting (or all three).

I pray that in the time moving forward (until my next mini-shift), people will be encouraged, people will find community. I pray that God will begin to use me more than ever to reach others like me, or different than me. That my words would touch exactly who they are supposed to, and that in writing them, I too will be changed & challenged.

Thanks for reading! Welcome to my little corner of the world 🙂

Another little word on waiting –

Recently, waiting has been a challenge. I keep hearing from people the same pat Christian answers…and I know they are only trying to help, but, honestly, sometimes I desire more of an understanding and a “this sucks” than anything.

We as believers keep throwing around some of the same phrases, things like: “Wait on God’s timing”, “It’ll happen when you least expect it”, & “focus on becoming the right person.” Honestly, some days, I want to punch anyone who says any of these, even if that first one is actually biblical…And, sometime in the next week or so, I will be writing a post reacting to these semi-myths of Godly waiting.

But, what I want everyone to know is that, just because I get tired of waiting at times (and boy do I grow so weary, especially in the weeks before my birthday…), this doesn’t mean I will give up, compromise, or go my own way. I know, even on the hardest days, God has a plan to use my life for His glory (even if that plan does not include me ever having a husband). And, even on my hardest day, I know a single life serving God is far better than a married life pulled away from Him.

Yet, what I wish people really grasped is that: waiting does not mean doing nothing. Even as a woman.

I can’t wait to share more with all of you as I narrow this focus for this chapter of my life. Thanks so much for reading and joining my journey.

What have you learned over the years about accepting, becoming, and/or waiting? Do you feel God has been brought glory from your life? How about from your relationship story? Do you feel like He used your single time to help you become in the waiting? Has he worked in your heart to accept & be content? Let me know below. I’d love to hear from you!

Redeemer, Provider, Sustainer…Everything

“With [man] it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
– Matt 19:26 & Mark 10:27

Home – a place to be vulnerable.

And, this blog is my home on the web, one of my little corners of the online universe, so please, allow me to be vulnerable.

This passage is often used – and gives a great picture of our limitations that clearly don’t apply to God.

Now, so as not to take this verse out of context: when Jesus speaks here, He speaks of salvation. Something we cannot have on our own, but something we have by the Grace of God: sola gratia.

In this passage, Christ points out one of the biggest barriers to salvation: wealth – a lack of need, a presence of comfort. If you think you’re all set, you don’t need Christ. If you are comfortable where you are, you will be less likely to move.

This is what Paul addresses in Philippians 4:13, another verse often taken from context:

“I can do all [this] through Christ who gives me strength”

I like this version, because the “all things” we often quote, has less to do with being able to do whatever we want, and has more to do with learning how to rely on Christ at all times. Paul has just finished describing that he has lived through wealth and poverty, sickness and health. Good times. Bad times. Yet, because of Christ, he has been able to be content in all situations. Not on his own, but because God made it possible.

This evening, I was looking back over old pictures, and thinking about times in high school & college. Old insecurities began to flood me – magnified by current unrest in my life. I felt the old hatred I had for myself & the depression try to creep in. Negative thoughts about my appearance, personality, choices. That, I’ll just be this way forever…but I refused to give in to those thoughts, because,

Here’s what I know for my own life, by looking at these verses:

Right now, I have about $100 left to my name after this month’s bills, unless I find a job soon. But, even if that is my reality,  history indicates that God will sustain me through it.
Right now, my dream of home is having to shift & change. I don’t have what I thought I’d have by now – single, no apartment or house of my (our) own. But, God is teaching me that home is Him. That, I carry it with me wherever I go.
Right now, I am still in that Chronically Single phase of life. But, so much beauty has been/is being created in this stage of life. He is teaching me more & more each day to make Him my focus.
My life was once a disaster. Depression followed me anywhere. I had no idea how to get out, and at a point, death seemed like it might be an option. But God –God brought me out. He has turned it all to  beauty. And, even though it’s not what I thought I wanted, not the comfort, wealth, and everything I thought I wanted, it’s an amazing life. He has redeemed me to Himself. My future is in Him.

See, it’s about God’s redemption.

Without God, none of it happens. Without God, I have no life. Literally, my life would have been over.

But, even now, in tough times, He is still my provider, my sustainer, my redeemer, my everything.

And, if there was any question, Paul addresses this further in Philippians 4;19

“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”

Do I think this means God will make me rich? Of course not.

But, it means that God will take care of me in His way and His time, I need only be still and rely on Him, knowing He is God.

So, what does this have to do with Home? Honestly, for me, I’m still learning. For you, I’ll let you connect the dots where you need them.

Just remember, He is the redeemer, the provider, the sustainer…He is everything.

He is home.

Faith & Forgiveness

Forgiveness is this week’s Tuesday @ 10 theme…and Keep is this week’s 5 Minute Friday theme.

Both are hitting close to home today.

Back in December I touched on an incident at work, a complaint about me. Well, that complainant did go to corporate, who sent it back to my manager. My manager investigated, and found all the facts and they showed that the woman was embellishing extremely, pretty much bending the truth into a lie…About my work behavior. And, so, my manager emailed the DM letting him know the situation and problem dropped, right?

No. No it wasn’t.

Now, 2 months later, it’s back. The woman’s husband is involved, a man I’ve never met, and apparently I am now being accused of being racist… I did my job. Properly. The evidence & facts are there that support that I was doing my job according to company procedure & policy. On my side, race never even was an issue, I didn’t even imagine that it could have been.

Upon learning this news, I am having a hard time forgiving this woman who I’ve only met twice, and a man I’ve never met.

I am having trouble letting go of my anger at their false accusations, and forgiving them for their words & the fear that accompany them.

And, as I wrote before, I again find myself afraid: for my job, and more, my reputation & my good name.

And what’s worse & even more frustrating, I don’t understand why they feel the need to be doing this.

Which brings me to Keep…

I am having such a hard time turning off the fear; and trusting God to keep me: safe, secure, free from harm.

And, heres why, (let’s be honest):

Job wasn’t spared

Ezekiel’s wife was taken

Jeremiah spent 50 years being persecuted, humiliated, and more

Stephen, Peter, Paul: martyred

even Christ was crucified.

Now, I realize that some of these were restored here in this life, but, after much suffering. Honestly, I don’t really have the stomach for that, and I have been more fair-weather in my relationship with God at times than these.

Yet, I know His promise of hope & restoration is for me, today. So, why am I having such a hard time trusting that He will keep me, that He will come to my aid?

Why is the enemy’s lie of fear so much easier for me?

And, how selfish that my biggest worry is how will look if this goes any further, rather than being concerned of how I can continue to show His love & glory through this?

Because, my current struggle with this fear & unforgiving spirit can’t be bringing much glory to the name of Christ.

But, I’m trying…to let it go. To trust. To forgive.

This is going to take time.

And, perhaps, memorizing these verses for peace and wisdom to keep as much peace as possible:

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge Beloved , but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “vengeance is mine, I will repay” says the lord.
Romans 12:17-19

Amazing Bodies

This second Work it Wednesday really snuck up on me!

Last week I caught a terrible flu that kept me down for the count for several days. And, I think I tried to go back to my regular routine too quickly, so my poor body is exhausted.

But, last Wednesday, I laid in bed after most of the worst had passed, amazed at what our bodies can do.

Even with little help from modern medicine, our bodies find a way to heal themselves. (Which, for those of us with an aversion to doctors, or to spending too much money, or to medicine, is so wonderful).

It’s not that I had no help, but my basics were: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and an expectorant in the smallest possible dose. Which, for me, meant I spent a lot of the last week and a half in more pain than I really needed to. Which is also how I’ve recovered from every surgery I’ve had. As little medicine as possible…

But, we don’t always need what they tell us we need. Our bodies can do so much with simple, natural remedies that take the same amount of time and are way better for us. Why would we do it any other way unless absolutely necessary?

So, anyway, I was home last Wednesday thinking about all of this. Just in awe of how intricate & delicate, yet resilient God made our bodies. And, so well able to work with nature.

How well we are able to lose, gain, maintain weight, depending on our needs (or, in today’s world, our lifestyles). Yet, how perfectly balanced it all is for nutrients we need to get the best out of ourselves. Too much or too few and we throw it all out of whack, gaining or losing too much weight for our bodies to do what needs to be done.

And, as I stepped on the scale this morning for my weigh in, it really hadn’t moved much, but after yesterday’s crazy food day (we all have them), it had inched up a few tenths of a pound.

I could look at this as a failure…pulling me farther from my goal that is set for Valentine’s Day.

Or, I could focus on the fact that my clothes are fitting better for some & much more loosely for others. I can focus on the success that I am beginning to, however slowly, change my body into something I want to see in the mirror.

So, because I am in awe of my amazing body, loving the fact that it works exactly as it should, and knowing I made a few better choices today (and some, not so great ones), I am going to focus on the success. On the good. On the things that will motivate me to keep moving forward.

I will also be grateful for the compliments I’m getting from others who are noticing the changes in me. Those kind words are more motivation to keep moving forward 🙂

And, an extra reminder for me to take care of this amazing body God has trusted me with:

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Focus & Direction

Hello, lovely readers! It has been a little while since my last post… As a matter of fact, this is my first post of 2015.

And, it’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for a Tuesday @ 10 post. Today’s prompt is: FOCUS.

Which, leads beautifully into what I wanted to unfold here in my little corner of the blogosphere.

You see, a while back (almost 3 years now…) I gave myself a little challenge to change myself over the course of that year. I had hit my heaviest weight of my life in November 2011, and I was directionless, feeling lost & lazy.

By the following May, I had found new directions, a job at a gym that I loved, and was making plans to return to school in the fall…So, I wanted to give myself a mini make-over: take a year & shed pounds and simplify life.

I didn’t really blog too much about it, but I did blog the results. I dropped 35 pounds, got rid of some of my stuff, and got my Spiritual routine focused.

Last year, I began a section on my blog about my Adventures in Dating (or, lack thereof). My cousin encouraged me to put myself out there, and to blog about it. And, what an adventure it has been.

So, this year, with both of those experiences behind me, it’s time to re-focus. To share more of my story that I hope will encourage others.

As I wrote in I am #ProHealthI want to get fit, and inspire others along the way. Also, even though I am back to the single side of the dating game, the adventure is truly still continuing.

So, this re-focusing of my blogging will have some great new post series for 2015.

Every Tuesday & Friday that I am possibly able, I plan to continue my participation in Tuesday @ 10 Five Minute Friday. That won’t change. Both of those traditions have been great for me to stay on track to keeping up this blog, even among my busy schedule.

But, this year, I’m going to add:

  •  Work It WednesdayEvery 2nd & 4th Wednesday, I will be posting around my fit journey, and how getting healthy really plays into being part of His Beloved. Inspiration, quotes, struggles, failures, & retrying. I don’t want to go it alone, and I don’t want anyone who needs the encouragement to go it alone, either. So, now I have a place to be accountable, and we have a place to share.
  • Lovely Sunday: Every 1st & 3rd (&5th) Sunday will be Lovely Sunday. The theme of this day is my dating & single adventure, any new developments, what God is teaching me in this precious time that I am on my own. Glimpses of fear & fearlessness. The soundtrack to a broken heart that yearns for connection. The soundtrack for a joyous heart who knows that she is deeply loved & on a crazy adventure called life. Again, so that I don’t have to go the journey alone, and neither does anyone else who feels as if they are.

In between these, I will likely find some odds & ends to blog about, but as 2015 progresses, I feel the need to present something more focused, something I am passionate about, that other people can relate to. Something to bring us into deeper connection as children in His Kingdom.

So, I’ll see you all tomorrow for my first Work It Wednesday 2015 is going to be a Lovely year.