You are Worthy

I grew up feeling loved by my Dad, and worthless by my Mom. I became a perfectionist in an attempt to pull some sort of affirmation from my Mom. I lived to make her proud of me. Sadly, it has never come to fruition and all I got from it is frustration and anxiety. I’m old enough to not be a victim or play the blame game for any bad behavior I can exhibit time to time, but it still gets to me after all these years.

My Dad has shown me such unconditional love over the years. No matter how mad I would get at him when I was a young girl, or when my mouth gets ahead of me as an adult, he still loves me. Despite the love I received, and still do, there was always this nagging voice in my mind that told me I would never be good enough or worthy enough. That’s where my perfectionism is rooted. This determination to one day be told I did something worthy of a mother’s love was my focus even when it wasn’t my focus. I felt like I was able to overcome so much of this when I was a stay-at-home Mom for almost 12 years. It was challenging at times, but I loved so much of it and felt like I was a success. I love my sons fiercely and unconditionally. I am always proud of them and their accomplishments. I’m also proud of them when they try and fail, because at least they tried!

When I finished my degree and decided to go back to work, this is when I saw that perfectionism and frustration raise its ugly head once again. When I work so hard and years go by without promotion, it brings me right back to feeling like I’m worthless. Realistically, I know I am not and I know my boss doesn’t feel that way, but it’s rooted so deep inside of me, I struggle to get rid of it. How is it even possible to feel accomplished, confident, and find success, yet still struggle with not being good enough?

This brings me to a turning point for me that still brings me to tears. I was at a Women’s Conference this spring at my church. Going to things like these are so out of my comfort zone as I struggle big time with social anxiety and awkwardness. Anyway, my church always has gifts and giveaways for these meetings and they display these gifts at the front, on the stage. I don’t normally win things, but as I look upon this big vase sitting there shining so brightly, I felt like the Lord told me I was worthy of this vase. Not necessarily this vase, but the meaning behind it was what this vase represented. I was shook. This vase was the Grand Prize. I was sitting there minding my own business when I felt God speak those words to me. As I drove home for the lunch break, I began to tell my husband about this and the emotion of it all brought me to tears. God said I was worthy. The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth said I am worthy. I could barely get these words out. This revelation was slowly pulling on that root of perfectionism and unworthiness that was instilled inside of me as a little girl. After lunch, I went back to the Women’s Conference and needless to say, I did not win the vase, but it was still such a good conference and I won that vase in my heart with those words God spoke to me.

Shortly after this conference was my Anniversary, and very unexpectedly my husband walks into my room with this Vase! I assumed he went out and found a duplicate vase like the one at the Conference, but as the tears streamed down my face, he told me how he reached out to one of our Pastors to find out where she got it. After he explained what the Lord spoke to me at the conference, she let him know who won it and the woman who actually won it was more than happy to give it to him so that I could have it. I was absolutely shocked!

This vase now sits on my dresser in my bedroom as a reminder that I am good enough. I am worthy of God’s love. I am worthy to be healed. I am worthy of promotion. I do work hard and I do believe effort is also necessary. You’re not going to give 50% of yourself at a job and expect to get promoted. Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me, or my husband to love me, or my family etc. In the same way, you don’t have to be perfect to feel worthy of being loved and appreciated. Don’t allow anybody else’s insecurities to tell you different. Sometimes God uses things like vases to speak to you. Listen to Him and understand who you are in Christ. God did not create us to feel worthless. He created us to be loved and to love because we are worthy of love!

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!!

Captain Obvious Lives at My House

facebookSocial media can be a wonderful thing, but it can bring on a variety of behaviors that I used to think were saved for children. This is a huge election year and I know many of you may be surprised, but I have strong opinions about it! I have quite a bit of opinions and I generally like to base my opinions on history and factual evidence. To not sound arrogant, I’ve had to back track on some facts in the past and admit things were, in fact, false. I apologize to anybody who was offended when I wrote that Santa Claus was real, when apparently most people understood that he is not. Okay, sarcasm aside now.

We all have opinions and social media is a great place to say what you are thinking and to repost about informative topics. What I don’t understand is why people delete and/or block you when you post something they don’t agree with. I have all sorts of people who believe almost the opposite of what I believe, and yet in a surprising turn of events, I still call them my friends.

Why must we delete those who disagree with us?

Panic-DeleteI have been deleted often over the years. I generally wonder why, but recently I was deleted because of my race and another one deleted me because I called them out on posting false stuff (As pretty much all of their friends did because it was literally outrageous and this person should have known better!) I have been deleted because they believe the lies my mom is posting and rather than find out the truth, I get deleted. Is this what we have come to as adults? I definitely understand, Adulting is so hard.

I have deleted friends along the way. I went through a point where I had people I just never talked to and let’s be honest, sometimes we have grown so far apart from people, and to try to reconnect is like trying to warm up your bath water with your hot curling iron. You just shouldn’t do it because come on, that’s just stupid! [Don’t do that by the way. You’ll get electrocuted and probably die!] Man it’s so hard to stay on target today with what I am trying to say.

Okay, here’s my point. If you are using your delete button as a  tool to teach somebody a lesson or to try to get at them, you are being manipulative. I don’t like to be manipulated. Nobody likes to be manipulated. Far too many people do little things, aside from social media, that are solely used to manipulate people. If you want something, just ask. If you are too afraid to ask and you think the next best thing is to throw out hints, rethink that. I am guilty myself of this and I need to work on it. My husband could probably tell you too many things that I’ve hinted at because isn’t it so much better if HE is the one who suggests picking up supper rather than me!? Sorry Honey!

I’ve been told to work on my sarcasm too. That’s a tough one for me. I’m pretty sure my kids think that somebody named, “Captain Obvious” lives in our house somewhere because I thank him a lot. I think I can be sarcastic as long as I am not hurting somebody’s feelings. Let’s not go too overboard here, if you’re just a big baby, sarcasm isn’t your enemy, your own arrogance is.

Wow, I believe this is the most all over the place post I have ever written, and I may have offended some people, but to be honest, it was a little fun to write, so it stays. If you don’t like it, then I guess you can delete me. [Please don’t! Seriously, please don’t do it!! I’m so sorry. I’ll go talk to Captain Obvious right now and tell him to move out!]

heart-996157_960_720I love all my friends whether we agree or not on different issues. How boring would this life be if everybody agreed with everybody else. And to those of you frustrated with me and are still there, thanks for sticking around!

 

Liar Liar

desert-279862__180Lies. They are all around us. I read about little lies and completely astounding lies that shock me.

I have a family member that lies in this way. She lies about everybody around her and needless to say, she doesn’t sleep well at night. Her lies were believed for many years, but thankfully, many around her are realizing that things just don’t add up. I have my moments of frustration and tears when I can’t handle the lies any more about me. I can’t handle the lies any more about my family and other loved ones. I want to put an end to it and I have tried. The only thing it got me was cut off from them and more lies topped with more lies.

“I don’t know how you keep things straight any more. Yes, there are those that believe you, and there are those that don’t know you, and therefore don’t know any better than to believe you lie. I get calls and emails and messages telling me how they feel sorry for you because your lies didn’t bring me down. They didn’t stop my living and they didn’t stop my moving on from you. Your lies don’t own me, Jesus does. You think you have taken people from me, but you have only brought me closer to them and my God.”

eye-609987__180It can be a struggle, dealing with the never ending drama that comes with a person like this. I have my moments when I cry out to God wondering why this is happening and wondering how much longer it is going to happen. I believe I am an over comer and am praying for complete repentance for this person one day. I once asked my husband why it still hurts at times when I feel like I am totally over this betrayal. He told me that until this person either passes on, or repents, their behavior is a daily rejection of me. I have to fight lies and rejection!?

“I will continue to try to love like Jesus loves. I will pray for you and forgive you, but you have to change on your own. You have to be the person that God knows you can be. I can honestly say, I don’t really know who you are anymore. I’m not sure I ever knew you; the real you.”

Psalm 101:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence.

If you have a loved one that lies and manipulates, or does worse; they hurt people including you, don’t be like them. Fight through the hurts and fight through the lies. Fight through the pain. Fight for a life free of drama, even if it means that you have to let go of this person. With God, you can do this. I truly believe that God has allowed me to live this life with this family member, so that I can help others. I want to tell you to be strong and to understand that God loves you like you can’t even imagine. His love is unfailing. We try to put God in this little box so that we can understand Him better. When you cried over people and lies and those things that hurt you so deeply you could barely breathe, God was wiping every tear. He sees you. He knows you. He understands you. He made you.

You cannot lie and love at the same time. God is not a liar, the devil is. You cannot hate somebody and love God.

1 John 4:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can[a] he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

I want to be in Your Presence, God. I want to love like You love. Help us oh God!

Love

When you think about love, what do you think about? Your spouse? Your children? Your job? Your parents? God? When I think about love, I think about so many things. Love is a word that I don’t think you can define beyond “God is Love”. How can one define God? We as mere human beings try to put things in little boxes with pretty little bows and when we take it out now and again, we know exactly what we are talking about. If we understood love and how God loves us, I don’t think we could even stand up. When I think about the love that I have for my husband, it sometimes overwhelms me. I think he must not even have a clue how much I love him; how much that loves grows daily. I think about my sons and wonder if they have a clue how much I love them. Love is giving something, but love is also taking something that somebody else is giving. Love is comfortable, yet love can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world to you at a moment.

Look back at your life so far. Think about good memories and even bad memories. Love was always somehow involved. I look back at my childhood at times and wonder how different I would be today if things had been better. I don’t think I would understand God’s love and grace like I do today. I don’t think I would be as strong as I am today. I overcame my childhood. Don’t get me wrong. My childhood wasn’t even near as bad as many children around the world. I have a Dad who loves me and is proud of me. I thank God for him every day. I could have turned to the world to fill that void of a Mother’s love in my life, but I chose to turn to God. I want His love to consume me and not a hatred and bitterness that the enemy can use for his purposes.

Love holds no record of wrongs. That is hard sometimes to forgive and let go. It can be hard for me to have a fight with my husband and not bring up his past mistakes. That is not fighting fair. When we ask forgiveness from God and repent from our sins, He erases them. He doesn’t even remember them! That is love. That is what we need to consume us; mind, body, and spirit.

The world today has perverted love. We use love as an excuse for our sins. We are literally perverting who God is. God help the nations that have perverted Him and have used God as an excuse for our sins. We need to pray for our nations and pray for each other that we can all come to understand who God is and what love truly is. One day every knee will bow down; One day every tongue will confess He Is God! Lord help me to show Your love to others. Open our eyes God!

1 Corinthians 13

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Forgiveness When We Don’t Deserve It

God is Love. I guess that is where He is continually leading me lately; teaching me about love. Love is something I fail daily. God helps us with what love is in 1 Corinthians 13.

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A couple of years ago I felt like I was supposed to write a song to this scripture and I began, but it is one of those songs that I just can’t seem to finish. I can’t find an appropriate ending. I still sing it in my room, and every time it truly makes the words come alive. I find myself in tears at my failures to show love. God shows me love and forgiveness and grace and mercy on a daily basis, yet I still get angry, and envious, etc etc. When my husband and I fight, I bring up old things that he has done and I have supposedly given forgiveness for. I wonder how God can forgive me so quickly when all I have to do is ask. Clearly repentance is turning away from that sin, but seriously, He forgives us and doesn’t even remember it. I find myself fuming at times even after I grant forgiveness. I am such a justice personality. I see things as just or unjust. I see the same thing somewhat in my sons and I hope it doesn’t trip them up at times. First I have to trust God because God is a just God. There are so many promises in His word about justice, so why do I feel the need to control everything!? Perhaps that is where the problem lies. I feel out of control. I feel like I have to punish my husband when we fight because I am feeling out of control, or because I don’t think he was ‘punished’ enough. That is not my job. My job is to love and respect my husband. When I don’t, I am being disobedient to God. When God forgives me, it isn’t because I deserve it. I don’t deserve it; none of us do. God forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. I should forgive my husband perhaps not because he deserves it, but just because I love him and the Love of God that is in me, is now shining through.

I need to remember this daily, probably every hour of every day. It isn’t about what people deserve, it is about the love of God. God loves us not because we deserve it. He loves us because that is who He is. He forgives us not because we deserve it. He forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. When you really think about love, it is truly amazing!

Perfectly Imperfect

I started another semester of my attempt at a college degree and I am taking a rather large workload. This works against my personality in so many ways. You see, I am a bit of a perfectionist. Getting a 100% at the end of the semester is the ultimate reward. I actually get disappointed if I get below an A on an assignment. Now, I don’t have a perfect 4.0 GPA, but it is still pretty high up there. I only say these things because I am trying to show a major flaw in myself….perfectionism.

Did you know perfectionism is most definitely NOT a good thing?! I have had to work on this in myself for probably the last couple of decades since I was even a child. I realize much of my perfectionism comes from trying to please a parent who quite possibly, I will never please, but it is still wrong. How many times have I redone something that my husband or my sons have done because it isn’t the way I would do it; which of course is the perfect way? I stress over coursework because I am afraid I will do bad and people may think I am imperfect. Well, there is another problem with perfectionism. It allows fear to have a foothold in your life. I have become afraid of being imperfect.

This is an ongoing process for me. I have to sit back and realize that I only need to do my best with school. I have a fantastic GPA and I feel like I am learning quite a bit; which is kind of the point! When I redo something that my sons have done, I am telling them that what they did isn’t good enough. I know at times kids don’t do their best, but often enough my boys work hard to clean something and I have to praise them for what they did and thank them. I don’t want them to give up because they think they will never measure up. When I redo something my husband has worked hard on, I am telling him the same thing…what he does just isn’t good enough; YOU aren’t good enough; YOU aren’t as perfect as I am. Sounds a little like pride too doesn’t it?

This is a reminder to myself just as much as it is to possibly help something out there. I can’t get stressed over one question wrong on a test. I don’t need to check and recheck household chores because I saw a speck of lint on my floor. Well, I may recheck my boys’ bathroom because, let’s get real, boys can be a little nasty!

Any comments to add to this? How do you find yourself buckling under the pressure of perfectionism??

No Fear

When each of my sons was just a newborn baby, before we even left the hospital, I prayed a prayer over each of them. I prayed that God would help me give them back to Him. I prayed that He would help me understand that even though He gave them to me, I have to let them grow up and do what they are called to do. My boys are young enough that what they want to do when they grow up has changed pretty consistently over the years. My boys pray over different countries every night that God puts on their hearts. Some of those countries are scary and dangerous places. My motherly instinct is to say scream, “no! No you will not think of that country and you will definitely not be going over there.” I have to remember that my sons are here to bring glory to God in whatever they do. They may grow up and get an office job. They may be missionaries. They could even live in other countries in dangerous areas where they feel called to spread His word.

I love my boys so much I can’t even believe it. I never thought I could ever have this much love in my heart for my husband and my five sons. I can see how parents want to protect their children even beyond their childhood into their adulthood, but that is not what is supposed to happen. God called us to raise our children to become independent of us; to understand right and wrong; to fulfill the call of God on their lives. My boys have seen us just three and a half years ago sell everything we owned to move across the country because we felt that was what God wanted us to do. It wasn’t easy. It was hard to sell my beautiful things I had accumulated over the years. It was hard to hear the negativity from family members and the harsh words. It was hard to see the disappointment in my sons’ eyes when we told them we were selling everything and moving because we knew God wanted us to. It can be difficult, but they saw for themselves how God works. They have seen for themselves how our life is not our own. They have seen the tears and excitement as well as the anger from parents and other friends and family. One day, this may be them. They may feel called to move across the country, or even to a completely different country for that matter.

It is not unloving to let your children go. It is not unloving to let your parents go. So many parents don’t ever want to let their children go into this big scary world. We live in fear of the unknown; in the fear of failure. We have taught our children that fear is bigger than God, rather than God is so much bigger than our fears. Too many of our children are afraid to leave the nest and we are too afraid to push them over the side and let them learn to fly on their own.

I will always remember those prayers over each of my boys in the hospital. I have to remember them because one day I will want to not let them go and God will gently remind me of those prayers. I will always be their Mama and will always be there to help counsel them when they need it. They know that. They also know that God has plans for each one of them and one day in the future, they will work on fulfilling their callings.

Parents, don’t let fear hold your children back, or yourself for that matter. Children, don’t let your parents fear hold you back. Don’t let your own fear hold you back because our God is greater than any fear in this world. He loves us!

Finish Strong and Mature

My baby turned two yesterday. He was my last pregnancy. We feel like our quiver is now full. We love our sons and we celebrate each stage of life with love and laughter. As parents though, how many times have we stated how we want to keep them at a certain stage or age of life? I know we have. I absolutely love those first few weeks of my baby’s life where I can literally hold my baby day and night and just love on my perfect little angel. My husband likes it when they learn to talk a little more and he understands what they truly want!

We love our sons and ultimately we are raising them to be independent, God-fearing men. Though we all love certain stages of our children’s lives, we all know that life is a continuous journey. We grow, mature, and develop into the people that God created us to be.

As children of God, we need to continue to grow spiritually. As a newly saved Christian, we are spiritual babies, but we should never stay babies. The Bible tells us that we cannot survive on milk alone. Just as our babies move from milk to baby food to solid food, that is how our spiritual walk is supposed to be. We are supposed to read and study the Word of God and pray without ceasing. We need to learn our Spiritual Father’s voice just as a newborn baby learns his biological father’s voice.

God celebrates with us. He loves to see our growth and maturity. Just as it would seem silly for our kids to stay the same age and maturity level for the rest of their lives, doesn’t the same apply to our spiritual lives? God wants to see us mature steadily. He calls us to finish the race. That means we have to keep moving forward and never give up. I want to finish the race stronger than when I started. I want to do all that God created me to do and be all He created me to be. This life may be a race, but I am going to enjoy and celebrate each stage of it just as I enjoy and celebrate every step and stage my boys succeed in.