Love & Home

“Home is where the ♥ is” – ?

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
– 1 Peter 4:8

For many, the connection of home & love is immediately apparent.

Home is where we are loved. Cared for.

It’s where there is someone to pick us up when we are down. To bring us chocolate (or whatever your pick-me-up is) when a day has been tough. It’s also the place where people rejoice with us in our good news and life transitions.

Home is where people are supposed to support one another, taking care of one another.

Unfortunately, for many, this is not the reality of home. Many people don’t get to experience that connection of love and home – meaning they don’t get to learn what love really is.

For vast numbers, home is dangerous. Egg shells are walked on, bruises attained, and fear & depression reign.

I know this, because I have been there.

I’ve experienced both. And, I must say, there is so much beauty in a home filled with love.

October is Domestic Violence awareness month. A time to bring awareness and change to the reality for these. It’s a time to discover what we can do – they can’t do it all on their own.

But, our love for them can help make home safe again – covering the sins that have transpired.

Because, everyone deserves to really understand what a love filled home is like.

Visiting Home

She pulled up to the large building – a mostly brick facade that had clearly experienced many add-ons and renovations over the years.  She looked at the clock, 9:25. Five minutes until the start of service. She quickly grabbed her purse and walked through the packed parking lot to the back to the church.

She was greeted at the door by a friendly greeter, and another along the way. At the entrance of the sanctuary, another greeter smiled at her as the crowd found their seats for the beginning of service. She sat near the back at the end of an empty row.

She surveyed the sea of bodies. This church was about three times the size of the one she had grown accustomed to, both in size and number. She took it all in feeling a bit overwhelmed. They were greeted and asked to greet each other – she found one other soul in the hundreds to shake hands with before returning alone to her seat.

The strains of music started for a time of worship.

Alone or not, she was here to spend time with her Abba. She knew very well she could worship Him alone or in a crowded room, so that’s what she did. Letting the world fade away, taken into the presence of the King. His peace flowed over her, and she knew He was with her in the midst of this great crowd.

Then, it was time for the sermon. A guest, as it happened to be this Sunday.

He spoke straight to her heart. The preacher picked a passage she barely knew existed, one that left her with many questions when he finished reading it. Questions he seemed to answer as he went. This adorable older gentleman moved her heart in a way few younger preachers had been able to do in recent times. He spoke with knowledge, truth, and wisdom. Something her heart had been missing for a while.

When that was done, she set out to find a Sunday school class that would suit her. Yet, it seemed as if none was quite right. She felt a little like Goldie Locks reading their descriptions in the bulletin. But, she settled on the young adults class, figuring it would be a good one to try.

It began in a bit of chaos, with the young leader seeming to be a bit on the frazzled side.

But, once he began to speak, he had her full attention. Speaking on perhaps one of the most depressing books of the Bible (yet, one of her favorites), and yet tying it all together with the final words of wisdom. Solomon’s meaning, his great wisdom of loving God & loving others.

The young man before her spoke with such passion, and a little humor, and with wisdom beyond what she had initially judged to be in him. She immediately regretted her initial judgement, noting some great potential for the speaker. She could see his love of Scripture and his love of God pouring out of him. It was an energy that moved through the room, captivating even the most distractible younger ones.

It was in this moment, she felt a bit of home. A bit of like-mindedness with this new group. A group that seemed to share her desire to learn and grow. Who also loved Her Abba and sought relationship with Him and His children.

Though she was clearly the oldest in the room, and that may not be her place to fit and grow in the long run, it was just right for a first Sunday, and she left feeling a little less like Goldie Locks. It may not be the “just right” quite yet, but she knew she had time to find that “just right”.

As she returned to her car, she decided she would return, for one more week, to see what God had the next week. Perhaps, this would be the right place, after all…


This is what came of me stepping into my home church – the church in which I spent most of my growing up years – not as a loved member, but as a visitor. A guest. Someone new to the area looking for a church home. I went without my family and haven’t yet reconnected with old friends that remain, so I decided to go in with new eyes. Would I be greeted? Would I feel welcomed? Would I connect with the congregation, the sermon, a Sunday School group? And, it was an interesting experience. Being so big, it really was as if I was a visitor. Seeing very few familiar faces, and talking to even fewer.

I haven’t found a “just right” place in the body, but technically, it was only my second week back. I’m basically still just visiting home. But, I am finding my way.

And, this (following my move back to the Mid-West) has led to my theme for this years Write 31 Days challenge. I’ll be writing on the theme of Finding Home. Join me this October (beginning tomorrow), I will be writing each day on the topic. It’s quite the challenge 🙂 But, I look forward to sharing it with you.

#WorkitWednesday – Defining Moment

I know it’s the wee hours of Thursday morning, I just didn’t have the chance to write this on yesterday. I was hoping to be able to combine it with the theme of Tuesday @ 10, and I think it works well:

Defining Moment

See, I’ve recently been really ill.

(Aside from getting over a nasty cold) for about the past month, I have been pretty sure my body was falling apart – somedays, I was almost certain death was immanent…

Ok, so it wasn’t quite so drastic, but some drastic things were happening in my body, including pain so bad in my mouth (think: razor blades & fire) I could barely eat. That among other symptoms led to me dropping weight – drastically.

[I’d like to point out here, as miserable as it made me, I did force myself to eat whenever I possibly could].

During this illness, I did what any respectable American with Google would do: I took to the interwebs!

I was pretty sure I found my answer – Candida, yeast. It was a problem before in my life, and looked like it was posing even greater problems now. (For those that don’t know, this is a case where bad bacteria outgrow the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Overgrowth can lead to all sorts of issues – cue my body falling apart from head to toe).

(In case you’re wondering, it is as gross as it all sounds – especially the mouth stuff).

Fear not, dear friends, I did go to the doctor & his verdict was similar:

bad bacteria
&
stress

The scariest part for me is that in the course of 3 weeks I’ve lost almost 10 pounds, and the first 4 lbs of that happened in the span of 5 days.

Now, while this means I have decimated my first two mini goals (minus the date…), it also means my body is losing too quickly, and with it, many important nutrients.

This isn’t the first time I have seen the effect of yeast in my life, but this time, it’s serious to me. It’s an issue that has been exacerbated by other illnesses in my life, and it plays into certain illnesses I get now.

Combating this, getting it and keeping it under control, is going to take some serious lifestyle restructuring.

So, I’m doing it.

Slowly

But, I’m doing it.

I have other big, stressful changes coming up – a move & job hunt halfway across the country – so I know this one will move slowly.

This isn’t an overnight problem with an overnight solution, but I am ready to make these changes. To become the healthiest me I can be. (changes I undoubtedly should have made long ago…)

So, this illness, if nothing else, has jumpstarted the next phase of my life; and inadvertently, the next phase of my weight-loss experience.

Now, I have the motivation to finally keep it up:

I don’t want to be miserable &
I don’t want to die…

#ProHealth


 Keep a look out for further posts on my cross country move, my transition to a more natural, healthy lifestyle, and how I’ve managed to keep it up all at once. After all:
Life is about the journey, not the destination.

Who Am I…I am..

This week’s Tuesday @ 10 prompt is: Who am I? I am... and Five Minute Friday is Learn.

So, here we go…

Just over 9 years ago, I graduated high school, packed up my life, and left Oklahoma to return to the sunny shores of California.

Now, in a little less than a month, I am packing up and making the reverse trip. I don’t know how long I’ll be in Oklahoma, but that’s where my sails are leading right now.

In that nine years, I have learned some very important things about who I am.

And, Who am I?

I am:

Fearless.

Ok, not really. Usually, I am riddled with anxiety. Amazingly, though, I usually tend to do big, crazy things despite the intense anxiety around them.

Because, I am not truly fearless, but I have

Faith.

Faith in a faithful God, and as His word says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1).

So, I live a kind of “Leap and the net will appear” kind of life.

Valuable

It’s taken me 27 years to realize this. And, some days, I fail to remember.

But, honestly, I am valuable. My Abba said so. And, that’s beautiful.

Loved & Blessed

Beyond anything I could ever measure. Family & friends. Opportunities, adventures, experiences.

Once again, my Abba has provided more than I could ever ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).

A [Beautiful] Masterpiece (Ecc 3:11, Eph 2:10)

Completely in progress. His hands are not done shaping the me that I am.

And, who am I?

I am…

Fearless, standing on Faith, of great Value, Loved & Blessed beyond measure.

A beautiful masterpiece.


What truths has God shown you about yourself?

Mini-Goal #1

So Excited to announce that I am only 1 lb away from my 1st mini goal. Once that goal is hit, that will be about 6.5 lbs down since I “started” in December.

Honestly, I could have gotten further, but, I didn’t try as hard, wasn’t so focused, and often found myself extremely stressed. But, believe me, being so close to the hurdle of this first goal is a big encouragement for me to push forward.

As I was talking to my friend (who also happens to have experience personal training & body building, shaping his body into what he wants), we were talking about goals & how I have a hard time deciding on them; and he asked me about my weight.

I hate sharing my weight (which is why I haven’t done so here…)

“I know, you’re not supposed to ask a woman her weight, but, it’s kinda my job,” he said. Then he started guessing. And, his first guess was 25lbs off – in the good direction.

See, I already look smaller than I am. And, this is why setting goals is hard, because, short of Anorexia, the number on the scale will never be as small as I think it should be.

So, he & I talked goals. “How about size 8? Or a 10, 8 might be too intimidating at first.” he asked.

“I was gonna start with getting down to a size 10 and seeing how I feel. And go from there.”

“Ok, go buy a size 10, and that’s your goal.”

Just talking it out with him helped a lot. Size 10. That’s actually been the goal all along, even the first time I was trying to get away from my biggest size.

But, before I go out and buy a size 10 to work towards, I have another goal: photo (1)

That’s a pair of beautiful Daytrip jeans I have owned for about 6 months now – and they barely fit when I got them. But, I fell in love with them. And, now, they definitely fit better, but not quite right.

However, when they do fit properly, they are going to be “those jeans” – the feel good about myself jeans. Every girl’s got to have a pair. You know, the ones that make you feel as good about yourself as a piece of clothing can.

And, to kick start this progress: No More Soda. It’s my addiction of choice, and it’s impeding progress. It’s got to go – completely. Caffeine withdrawal or not. (Look for a guest post over at Laura Noelle’s soon about using Essential Oils to help weight control & soda kicking).

Along with this, I have what I’ll call a Bonus Goal: while these jeans fit, I want to wear them on a date. You know, work on my confidence, while working the great jeans. Anyway, it’s about time to put myself back out there again.

You see, my ultimate goal is to have confidence in myself. Not to be perfect. Not to be “skinny”. But, to be comfy in my own skin.