Band aids and Kisses

bandage-1235337__340My five year old is still at the stage where a kiss and and band aid will help pretty much any ailment. Currently, one of his arms and both legs are covered in his new PJ Masks band aids. They are covering bruises and red marks I’m not sure I can even see.

I’ve explained to my sons many times before, that band aids are a temporary fix. If you are bleeding, they are amazing, but nothing heals a wound better than keeping it uncovered. The same goes for adults. We make attempts to cover up wounds and offenses with temporary fixes. We don’t want to deal with issues so we pretend things are fine until one day, we realize we have gaping wounds that are completely infected and spreading to other areas.

Sounds a little gross right? We all do it. Somebody offends us and we tuck it away. Somebody says something hurtful about you, and you cover it up with toughness and determination, possibly with a little revenge tossed in to show them they messed with the wrong person. A close family member or friend does something truly horrible, and we ignore the pain and try to pretend it didn’t happen. We don’t want to confront, cause trouble, have somebody not like us, or stir up any additional issues that may come up. We would rather take our chances on the wounds naturally healing than to deal with it.

It’s time to deal with things. It’s time to allow healing to happen so that we can be the sons and daughters of God that we are supposed to be. My gaping wound was with my mother, but it had spread like a disease to infect all relationships with women. I didn’t trust them and would rather not deal with them at all. I believed all women lied and manipulated. I had to deal with the root of the issue. I had to forgive my mother for her severe inadequacies. I had to dig in deep and clean out all the disease of unforgiveness and bitterness that begins to build up. I had to learn how to clean this wound, and move on to other wounds and get them cleaned up. I had to confront my mother, which ultimately led to her cutting me and my family out of her life. It started another battle of unkindness and lies and hatred toward me that can still take my breath away. It has made me be a better mother to my children. It has helped me be a better wife to my husband. I’ve cleaned this wound and allowed God’s love to heal it. I have scars that remind me of all I have overcome in my life, but I will continue to learn and grow and never be ashamed for the battles I’ve overcome.

Don’t cover your wounds up any more. Let’s do what we have to in order to finish this race together and to do what God has called us to do.

Advertisements

My Impossibles

I caught myself the other day saying something was impossible. I realized it after I spoke. I serve the God of the impossible. Can I really say something is impossible? possible-953169__340

I am a realist. I can’t help myself. Things are black and white. There has to be a reason for everything. Stuff can’t just happen for no reason right?

When I was a kid, I was in choir classes. I loved singing back then as much as I do now. The voice is such an incredible instrument. I love singing. I wonder if my choir teacher back in the day would have thought it would be possible for this little girl to ever grow up and sing in front of people week after week. This little girl that one of my teachers had to ask to not wear skirts so you couldn’t see my knees shake so bad during performances. She probably would have told someone that me singing in front of people in the future was impossible! I still get a little nervous when I lead worship. I want things to go well and I want to take people into the Throne Room of Heaven and worship like they never have before, but I don’t get nervous about how I sing, or how I sound. Of course I want to sound good, but it doesn’t keep me up at night.

When I read the Word of God, I see example after example of God doing the impossible. He IS the God of the impossible.

open-book-981405__180There was the burning bush, and parting the sea, and healing all sorts of disease. He made food multiply! That seems impossible!!!

I need to change what I say. I want to believe for the impossible. I want to speak out and declare that God’s word does not return void. I’ve received promises that feel impossible. I don’t know how it’s going to happen. I don’t know how I am going to pay for things, or network with the right people. My mind thinks and rethinks and tries to make seemingly impossible things, seem possible. That’s not my job to do. If I have a promise (from God), my job is to walk the right path and the right way I am supposed to walk and not worry about it. The enemy wants to confuse us and to make us give up on things because they seem impossible to us. Don’t give up!

Expectations Can Ruin Everything

depression-2912404_1280Expectations can be a four letter word in my book. I think unrealistic expectations can be a huge downfall to many relationships. Between lack of communication and expectations, that can be a recipe for disaster. One thing I know I have with my husband is excellent communication. We are so different that we literally have to communicate.

Expectations on the other hand, are unfair and often times, unwise.

CandTI can’t say that I’ve gotten rid of all my expectations of my husband, but after 20 years of marriage, I have come to the realization that I’ve put too many unfair expectations on him. I used to leave the house and when I returned, if he didn’t have things cleaned, I would be so angry and hurt. You see, my first love language is Acts of Service. So when I see that my husband has done the dishes, I truly feel like he loves me. His love language is Quality Time so if we haven’t had any time together for a while, he feels a little unloved.

We definitely aren’t the perfect couple and we have a long way to go, but when I see couples struggling with these two areas, it makes me want to do something about it; so here I am writing this blog. I hope my readers and followers see my heart in this. I have had many failures as a Mom and Wife, but at some point in our lives, we need to become the voice that others want and need to hear.

We put expectations on ourself, but we know what those expectations are. When we put an expectation on our spouse, we generally do not communicate this expectation to them, so they are almost always set up to fail. Sadly, it took me many years to realize this. If you expect something from your spouse, communicate it to them in a loving way. I was literally setting my husband up to let me down. That wasn’t fair to him at all. He’s a wonderful husband and although there are things I would like for him to do different, we talk about it….out loud, and not just in my head.

If you would like to take this love language test, click on this link here to take it. This test is for couples, but if you are single, you can still take a test from their website. 

I want to give my husband quality time because I know he feels extra loved through it. He also wants to do things for me that show me how much he loves me. I do realize that his love language is much easier too. Just being with him makes him feel loved. He has to work for me to feel that way!! LOL

So couples, communicate with each other and let your spouse know what’s in your mind as an expectation. Talk it out and learn to love each other on a deeper level because of it.

Love Yourself

Ipod 310Growing up, I always struggled with who I was. Part of it was having a Narcissist as a mother, but that’s not what I am talking about here. I’m talking about that deep gnawing in you that tells you how you’re not good enough. As children, our parents help shape us, but as we grow into teenagers and try to figure out who we are, we go through stages of awkwardness and insecurity and frustration. We see somebody in school that we think is pretty cool, and we try to be like that person. We change who we are over and over until we get to the place where we are confident enough to be ourself. Sometimes that confidence comes quickly, sometimes it can take years or even decades to achieve.

Honestly, I was in my 30s before I began to figure out who I was. That was due to escaping from the grip of the narcissistic mother, but still, even though my confidence was delayed, I still finally reached it. It’s not something that comes overnight. It took time and being honest about how I saw myself and how others saw me. Now, I can look back and see the process I went through and how long it took.

What I’m concerned about now is how one’s confidence seems to bring out such insecurity in others. Just because somebody has reached a level of confidence, does not mean they are done learning and growing. It only means they have reached a level of comfort in knowing who they are. I think this is what many teenagers struggled with then and continue to struggle with today. Some young people find their confidence early and it brings out the insecurities in others. Even adults struggle with the confidence they see in others. Why can’t we be excited for each other? Why is confidence so threatening to people?

heart-3215210_1280

Matthew 22:39 …”love your neighbor as yourself”

If we understand who we are in Christ, as Christians, we need to be confident in that. God demands that we love one another as we love ourself. If we don’t love ourself, how can we love others? We need to love ourself and if you struggle with that, figure out why. I need to love myself. You need to love yourself.

I know it may be easier to say than to do, but like everything else in this life, begin with baby steps. Wake up every day and find something about yourself that you like. Maybe you like how your eyes look. It’s okay to feel pretty or handsome. Maybe you handed the homeless man on the corner some money to help him out. When we live a Christ-like life, it’s easier to love yourself. Don’t look at loving yourself and confidence as arrogance. It’s two different things. It’s a matter of the heart.

Make today a new day. Learn to love yourself and others in a whole new way.

Today is the Day

Today is Easter. Today I decided to start my New Year’s resolution. It’s never too late. My shins are sore and I am coughing so much but I did it. I went out and ran a little and walked a little and ran a little bit more. I keep thinking that I need to lose some weight before I try to start running again. Look at what I’ve done then in these last 3 1/2 months….NOTHING!

running-1705716_1280I get hard on myself and I keep procrastinating and end up not doing anything and then I end up only feeling worse about myself. I think we all have things in our lives that we want to do and we end up having so many reasons why we aren’t doing it. Stop doing that to yourself. Today I went outside and started running. Today, you can start doing what you have always wanted to do. My goal is to run a 5k faster than I did when I used to run before. I am a slow runner. I am not trying to be negative about myself, but I have never been known as Speedy! I have always been able to run long distances; just not fast. I decided to give myself a hashtag today, #tiredofbeingthefatfriend; I’m gonna replace that from now on with #fitwithmyfriends.

What have you been putting off? Stop it! Now is the time. watch-1267418_1280

Have you always wanted to start a business? Have you wanted to compete in something? Have you always wanted to write a book? (ahem, Husband of mine!) 

Don’t let negativity and/or procrastination hold you back. Now, if you think you are going to be the next big worship leader or singer and you don’t have the gift of singing, don’t be surprised and don’t be angry. I wish I could dance. I’ve always wished I could dance but I have absolutely no gifting to do it. I’ll dance for Jesus on my own and He loves it, but that’s because I’m His Favorite one and He loves me so much. We have to be realistic with our goals, but yet allowing ourselves to dream big.

Running a 5k was a goal for me before and I did it. I was so excited to run the whole thing and be in better shape. I want to be healthier and more fit again. I have had such a difficult time with my weight after my last 2 pregnancies, but today was the day I put my running shoes on and took those first steps. Today is the day for you too. Allow yourself to fly! Dream big and don’t give up.

Successful Mothering?

emoticon-1611977_1280One of the saddest times I have as a parent is when I ask my sons to say something nice about their brothers and it takes FOREVER! Seriously, how hard can it be to think about something good!? I have an extreme dislike for Obama and I can give him a compliment. He said he was going to fundamentally transform this nation and he kept to his promise. That is definitely a positive characteristic of his personality!

Parenting in this PC culture we have these days is so difficult. How many times have I held my tongue when I wanted to ask my kids what planet they learned something?! Most of my creativity comes from making up statements that aren’t too mean while still getting my point across. Why can I ask myself why in the world I did something so stupid, but I can’t ask anybody else that?

As I have a wide array of ages with my sons, I can see where I’ve failed in the older ones and attempt to chart a different course with my younger ones and hope I don’t turn too far in the other direction. I hear sarcasm come out of my oldest one and I have to explain that his youngest brothers don’t always understand sarcasm. I love me a sarcastic joke and he does too. I almost bought him a shirt the other day that said, “National Sarcastic Society; like we need your support!” That shirt still has me laughing, but probably not a good shirt for a High School student.

I can see the flaws in my sons as I’m sure they see all my flaws, but people still need words of affirmation, including my sons.

I love to build them up, but I also try to be realistic as I don’t want to add to this generation of snowflakes.

I am so confident in so many aspects of my life, but I still like to hear when others believe I am doing well. I am trying to teach my kids this. They can be so frustrated with their brothers, but they should always be able to remember the goodness in each other. They should always see the good before the bad. I am working so hard on this lately and I feel like I am failing at times, but I won’t give up.

When my husband wrestles with our sons he has taught them a motto, “Never give up!” I love that motto. Of course, it was the cutest when one of my younger ones thought it was, “Never GET up!” Life with children is truly a great blessing!

Moving on though, we should never give up trying to see the good in people before any flaws. I would love my sons to be able to have kindness and goodness rolling off their tongues as quick as their insults to each other. I’d like to think this would make me feel like I was a success as a Mother, but then I think if they could just aim their pee into the inside of the toilet bowl, that would make me feel successful too. Everybody’s desires are different!!

Shutting Down the South

icicles-700420_1280We had a snow/ice storm here in North Carolina. No school and quite a few people working from home if it is possible for them. We get quite a bit of teasing from Northerners, which I was once one of as most of my readers know. I grew up in North Dakota and snow is something I am very familiar with. Cities in the South just don’t have the equipment necessary to deal with the snow and ice like they do in the Northern part of the US.

We can look at life like these Southern snow and ice storms and giggle and tease those who seem to “shut down” when something they aren’t used to gets thrown their way. Something may seem easy to you, but it can be terribly difficult for somebody else. Are we compassionate and empathetic toward those who have difficulty, or do we tell them how ridiculous we think they are? I can’t say I am always compassionate when I should be. Truth be told, I find myself more cynical than compassionate in too many situations.

ice-branches-232781_1280How can I grow in love and compassion for people who seem to ‘shut down’ at the slightest bit of chill in their lives? I do have love and compassion for people, but I find that when people constantly put themselves in the same situation over and over again, it can be very difficult for me to tap into that compassionate side of me. Every time it snows in the South, it is guaranteed that memes and jokes will show up everywhere about it. I can laugh and joke about it with the rest of them, but I do see how the South just hasn’t been equipped for this stuff.

Some people are not as well equipped for different seasons of their life and what they don’t need is anyone reminding them how much they don’t know or haven’t learned yet.

I’m not saying we can’t ever joke with people or have a little fun with close friends, but if you have just met somebody and don’t know what their life is like, walk in compassion first. I need this post probably more than anybody out there because sometimes I feel like I see life so different than other people. My first reaction may be for someone to ‘suck it up’ before I think that maybe they could use a hug.

Lord please help me to grow in Your love and Your compassion. I want people to see You in me before AND after I open my mouth! Help me be a light that guides people to You.