Tag Archives: Love

Um, hi?

changeSo… apparently I have not written since Nov. of 2014. The December one doesn’t count because I was just sharing a video. It’s September of 2015. Um, yeah… I just don’t know.

Now that I have that taken care of… I thought I’d pop in and document a little of what God has been doing. Because, of course, He IS doing stuff. All.The.Time. I love this about Him, I really do. Sometimes the stuff is hard and that’s what He’s been doing over the past 10 months. This could also explain the 10 months of quiet. And possibly the additional weight, because I tend to eat when things are hard. That could be a post all its’ own. But now I hear Krispy Kream will be opening two locations in Houston, so there’s that.

Anyway, I started a 24 week class called Faithwalking 201. Every other Monday the group met together and every week we “met” with our assigned coach via google. If you have ever been in any kind of 12 Step program, the coach is exactly like a sponsor. My Alanon sponsor moved a few years ago and I haven’t asked anyone else, so having a coach was great for me. In fact, accountability has never proven to be a poor choice for me. Plus, my coach was awesome!

There were several things I learned, and I am still learning, about why I do the things I do.  Having been through LOTS of study and counseling of who I am both in the Christian realm and through Alanon,  I had my doubts about participating in Faithwalking (FW). (I mean, really… in my head I kept saying, “I already dealt with all that stuff!”)  I have to say, though, FW201 helped me figure out how all my “character flaws” (Alanon)/ “vows” (FW) are related: I have never felt good enough. Ever. Well, since elementary school. Gah! Yes, I know in my mind all the things God says about me. I have memorized verses that talk about his love towards me, how I’m forgiven, how I’m cleansed through Jesus, etc. I have two amazing parents who not only taught me these things, but showed me by how they lived their lives. I’ve completed bible studies on the subject. I’ve even counseled others. But here’s the thing – when I was little I internalized something (a lie) and told myself I wasn’t good enough. Several events happened, which reinforced the lie, so it parked in my heart. And from then on I tried coping with that lie by being a people pleaser, perfectionist, and ridiculously competitive. It was an attempt to try and feel good enough. I made good grades, excelled at the extra-curricular activities I was in, could pretty much get along with anyone, did well at work, kept my spaces clean/tidy, etc. These things, in and of themselves, are not bad. But it is the reason I did these things (to “earn” value) that ended up being unhealthy for me.

Because I was trying to earn my value, I allowed bad behavior in relationships because I honestly felt I wasn’t good enough for the relationship anyway, so… yeah. Also, following the rules was imperative in my world and I’ve pretty much done that all my life. (OK, so maybe a “few” things I haven’t followed the rules on. Or more. But mainly… you get the point. Let’s not dwell on that right now. Ha.) I have also judged others based on their lack of rule following.  I have also expected things to go “right” if I did follow the rules.  As you and I both know, life is not fair and “following the rules” does not guarantee the conclusion you want. Unfortunately. Hard lesson.

As a competitive, people pleasing perfectionist (that’s a mouthful), I have hurt people. Sometimes it sounded like putting someone else down to briefly feel better about myself. At times it looked like agreeing, even when I did not agree, because I did not think my opinion held value. Sometimes it looked like “one – upping” on a project or activity.  It also took the form of being angry while playing sports or games or pretty much anything where there is a known winner and loser. Even if I didn’t show it outwardly (which I did quite often), it was in my heart. Activities that were meant to be fun were not. In fact, I would not try something unless I thought I would be good at it -and by good at it, I mean win or be the best.  And I have expected things from others that they are not able to give.

These coping mechanisms (people pleasing, perfectionism & being competitive) have not served me well over the past 47 years. But here is the GREAT news… as Dr. Phil says… you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. For years I could not (or would not) acknowledge my people pleasing, perfectionism or the fact I felt the need to compete with every.single.person.on.the.planet did harm to anyone but myself. Inside I knew I didn’t like those traits about myself, but never realized those things could be changed.

Knowing the reason I started all that craziness, brings so much hope. Hope, because that means I can change. I can encourage and applaud those better than me without feeling less. In fact, doing that for others has actually increased my self-esteem. I can let go of the competition, knowing we are all created equally. I can let cars in front of me instead of having to be first. I can play games and have fun even if I lose. I no longer need to avoid social situations because I don’t feel good enough or pretty enough or smart enough… or any of the enoughs. I am enough because God says I am. I can share my opinion and even survive conflict (gasp) without my whole world crumbling. Obviously, these are all things in progress, so don’t read this thinking I’ve gotten it all together because I haven’t. Not even close. I’m sure my kids would agree. 😉

Acknowledging and changing are two very distant cousins…but they are related. More hope, just in case you needed it. :) Because here’s the truth: we ALL have SOMETHING. Some lie we have internalized and along with that lie, another lie which tells us that’s just who we are. That people can either “take us as we are or get out of our lives”. This is not true. God is in the business of changing us so we are able to serve him and honor him with our lives. He is willing to bring up all the yuck to get to the good stuff…if we will let him.

Isn’t it so great to know a God who loves you enough to show you your faults? Not to shame or guilt you, but so you can be FREE? Seriously, that is some kind of love.  I was just telling my kids a few nights ago that I have rules for them BECAUSE I love them. It’s the same way in friendships. I confront because I love, not because I don’t. It’s almost always difficult to be on the receiving end, but it can also change your life for the better if you allow it.

Once you start learning to live without the lie you’ve believed for years, replacing it with something true is vital.  Now when the lie runs through my head I remind myself of my 3 new truths: I am strong, I am courageous, and I am adored by the One that matters. These are true for you, too.

OH…and just in case I don’t write again for awhile (because obviously this post is long enough for several posts – hope you had some caffeine)…

Happy Halloween
Happy Thanksgiving
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Just kidding.

Maybe. :)

The Love of God

The Love of God
By: Rich Mullins

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God

Now I’ve seen no band of angels
But I’ve heard the soldiers’ songs
Love hangs over them like a banner
Love within them leads them on
To the battle on the journey
And it’s never gonna stop
Ever widening their mercies
And the fury of His love

Oh the love of God
And oh the love of God
The love of God

Joy and sorrow are this ocean
And in their every ebb and flow
Now the Lord a door has opened
That all Hell could never close
Here I’m tested and made worthy
Tossed about but lifted up
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God

Even with Messy Hair

IMG_2312It’s the day most kids dread (even though they wake up early and excited), along with some parents (although I have seen posts about the excited parents who now have a quiet house). The day that ends the long summer nights of late night movies and fishing and games and whispers in the dark.  Nights filled with only plans of fun the following day. No regard for schedules or lunches or stacks of papers.  Or best of all…no plans. Sleeping until noon, without a care in the world.

The first day of school.

It’s the day that begins the alarm setting. The schedules. The lunches. The early bedtimes. The *extra* prayers for safety and wisdom. The dreaded homework hour. There’s really no stress quite as great.  It’s the time many families recommit to eating more meals together.  Eating healthier, or in my case, actually cooking. Like with pots and pans and other stuff.  Hmm… I wonder if I still have those? Fortunately, tonight is “build your own sandwich” night. Crisis averted.

It’s also the time parents try their best to keep up with the laundry, because wearing dirty clothes in the summer is acceptable (well, in our house anyway), but wearing them to school is not. Unless it’s the end of the year and well… there’s lots of grace at that time from everyone. Thankfully. Because sometimes kids show up with un-brushed hair and teeth and breakfast on shirts. Or so I’ve heard. 😉

Funny how one day can make such huge changes in so many lives.  It’s kind of like a do-over from all the things that didn’t go well in the previous year.  The anticipation that things can be great. The hope. The newness of it all.

It reminds me of my journey as a Christian.

There’s something about being granted a do-over. An opportunity to admit what didn’t work. That just maybe I was…ahem…wrong. An opportunity to forgive or be forgiven. Forgiving myself and moving on is one of the most difficult things for me right now. Maybe because I’ve royally messed up lots lately. I’m blaming it on pre-menopause, except I’m really not old enough for that. Right?? Don’t even.

Forgiving others comes unusually easy for me, for the most part. Forgiving myself? Not so much. I allow others to be human, just not myself. My mistake will replay like a horror movie over and over and over…and over. Ugh. I have to remind myself of my Father who absolutely ADORES me… mistakes and all. Even when I lose my temper or act like an adolescent wanting her way. When my hair is not brushed, my clothes are dirty, and my teeth are not clean. He still looks at me with love and compassion. Sees past ALL of it.

I’m so thankful for a God who loves me, regardless.

A God that sees beyond the messiness.