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!

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!

 

My Champions

I consider myself a strong woman. I like to get things done and I like to keep my word. I don’t have time for dramatic people when I have five sons to raise with my husband. I see women of all ages being and becoming strong women and a strength to their families. Women have come a long way in the world with equality and through women’s rights. I love the fact that I am allowed to dream big and follow those dreams in the United States. Women are blessed in this nation and all this nonsense about how women are so oppressed, is just that; nonsense.

I’ve talked some before about how this new feminist movement doesn’t want equality; they want to be above men and stomp on them to keep them down. I consider myself a strong and opinionated woman who submits to my husband. I am definitely not a perfect wife, but I believe if you took my husband aside and asked him, he would honestly tell you I submit.

My husband never allows me to do things. He excitedly pushes me to pursue things. If I even make a tiny comment about a hope, or a dream, or even something churning around in my head, he immediately believes I can do it. He does everything he can do to make a way for me. That my friends, is not oppression. There are so many men in this nation who are champions for their women; whether it be sisters, mothers, grandmothers, friends, or even workmates they believe in. As always, there are going to be those that take that word submission and turn it into something it was not meant to be, but this is definitely not the majority.

My Dad is the same way. My Dad always believed in me and my dreams. I remember how excited he was at my big dreams when I was younger. He would have done anything to help me pursue my dreams and I think he still would today. My brother believes in me and encourages me to strive for greater things. My brother and I are so different, yet we believe in each other and want the best for the other.

Today, I just wanted to celebrate those men in my life who are my champions. They stand up for me. They believe in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. They choose to see the good in me even when the bad and annoying is flaring up in their faces. I know I can thank many women who have been there for me and fought for me as well, but today I want to acknowledge the men in my life who helped me believe I could shoot for the stars.

So thank you to the love of my life, Chuck, who believes in me probably more than I believe in myself. Thank you to the man who gave me a weird sense of humor and this overly logical and numbers oriented mind, and who told me every day of my childhood that he loved me, my Dad. Last, but never least, my brother, Jesse. You have been a pain off and on, as I’m sure I have never been to you…..well, maybe once or twice! You always believe in me and think I should strive for even greater things.

Women, we stand together and believe in each other. If you don’t, you should be the voice that encourages other women. So many times, we thank those women who helped us and believe us along the way, but I also think it is important to acknowledge those men who have believed in us and encouraged us.

Today, let somebody know how much you appreciate them who has been your champion.

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!

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.

He Says This, She Hears That…

I have been with my husband for 17 years and even after 17 years, I still have trouble hearing what he is saying. He has trouble hearing what I am saying. God made us so unique that we even communicate differently. He may come home after work one day and say something about how disorganized and messy it is by my front door. What I hear is what in the world do I do at home all day with the kids? Why couldn’t I get off my butt and clean up by the front door? How lazy am I?! He said, pretty much what he said. It was a statement. My school age boys came home from school that day and threw all their stuff into such a mess that my husband, who really doesn’t notice many things, actually noticed.

So automatically, I become defensive and let him know how hard I work all day and that he has the luxury of actually completing his work outside the home without a two year old destructinator walking behind with his massive little arms of destruction. [At least in my mind!] I get upset because that sentence he spoke when he walked into the door sounded like literal fighting words. You want to fight and compare jobs!? You get paid with money and compliments while I get paid with grey hair, no daily showers, and stained clothes that don’t fit in any sort of appealing manner any more. At this point, my husband is clueless to what I am so upset about, but if I want a fight, he will not roll over and take it.

This is a terrible cycle unless both a husband and wife can understand that we are not communicating the same way. Instead of assuming that my husband has turned into a mean-spirited, thankless, no good…..you catch my drift, I can believe that he is the wonderful man that I married who was possibly not intending to hurt my feelings. He never intended to hurt me or make me feel worthless. He was actually taking note that our sons had disrespected their Mother by coming in and making a huge mess where I had kept things previously neat and tidy. He was being a loving husband and Father.

Next time your spouse says something that makes you immediately put your boxing gloves on, take a moment and remember what kind of a man or woman you married. They love you just as much as you love them and perhaps you didn’t hear what their words were trying to say.

Now excuse me while I go look for that box of hair color……

Today

Today. Today is a day I want to take a moment and just be thankful. I am a blessed woman. I have five amazing and healthy sons who love me. I have an amazing husband who loves me and sticks with me no matter how terrible I can be. I want today to be the start of a lifetime of remembering to be thankful. I want all those around me to see me as a loving, caring, considerate, and happy woman. I don’t need to have any more “poor me” moments in my life. I don’t care what has happened in your lifetime, you always have something to be thankful for. We must stop looking at what we don’t have and look at all the things we do have. I want to be passionate about being happy. So today, let us stop and just be thankful. Thank you God for all that You have blessed me with. He has given me life. Life may be hard at times, but you have the choice to be happy or miserable. I choose to be happy!! 

 

Social Media Venting

I love social media. I am a stay at home mother and I currently homeschool one of my sons. I tell my husband that social media is one of my outlets to the outside world. The problem I have with social media, is the passive-aggressive attitude that many people take with it. I have multiple friends on different social media outlets that post all their private issues right there, for all to see. I am always bothered, when I see a spouse posting negative things about their husband or wife. Now I am the first to say I mess up, but I don’t like to grab my phone and frantically type out all my husband’s flaws on my facebook app after we fight. 

One of the problems with this is that eventually you may get over the fight and hopefully resolve it, but that isn’t the case for the many people who read about the issue. I have one friend who constantly writes posts after an argument. She gets over the frustration within a few days, but I find myself being irritated with her husband because of what she posts. I find that my opinion of him is swayed unfairly. It is also very manipulative. My husband should not be afraid to disagree with me because I may post something on the internet within moments of an argument. 

We need to love our spouses enough to keep our garbage off the internet. We get over things, but once that junk is out there, we can’t take it back. Now I understand we all have the right to say what we want on our social media pages, but do you really want people out there to constantly think negatively about your spouse? How about if roles are reversed and your spouse is constantly posting negative things about you? Maybe you show up to a party where each person has read everything that your husband posted about your latest fight and they can’t get past it. What would that feel like?

This may seem simple and harmless, but I love my husband enough to keep our garbage off the internet. If somebody has a poor opinion of him, I won’t like that, but I will sleep better at night knowing that it isn’t because of me. You can post what you want, but remember, once it is out there, you cannot take it back. Sharing with one close friend is much different than sharing with tens, hundreds, and even thousands of people via the internet.

 

Will This Love Last?

I remember being concerned before I got married; concerned that I could be in a long term relationship. I knew my fiance was the man I was supposed to marry, and wanted to marry, but I had never been in a relationship for more than 6 months previously. I was so nervous. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I couldn’t be with a man for more than 6 months? I am not even sure I ever admitted this to my husband! What if I fell out of love?

The problem is, that the world has taught us that when we marry that other person, if it is the right one, things will be perfect. If we marry our true soulmate, things won’t be difficult and we will agree about everything. Well, world, you are stupid and your version of love is wrong and unattainable! I have been married now for 16 years and obviously, from the title of my blog, we have five sons. I have fought with, argued with, screamed at, cried to, and slammed doors on my husband. He has pretty much returned each of those things to me as well. Love isn’t this perfect bubble that can never be broken. Love is being broken and humble, and standing with your spouse, who is also broken and humble; standing together through everything. 

I am truly awed by what love is. Love isn’t what I thought it was; it is nothing like it. My husband is my best friend. We have been through many trials throughout our 16 years of marriage; perhaps not as many as some, but our fair share. I am in awe of the love I have for him, and that he has for me. When we got married, we vowed to love each other through anything. We say love, but behind that word is so many others that we don’t say. We vowed to trust each other, to stay committed to each other, to love each other, to be faithful to each other sexually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. 

I may not always be the best at letting my husband know how full my heart is with love for him, but it is there. I don’t ever have to worry about that concern about my marriage lasting, because my love for him grows every day. My committment to him grows every day. I love him; I can’t help it. When we have bad days and we fight, I still love him; I am still committed to him. That is what love is. I will never give up on him and he will never give up on me. We are truly one; just as God intended.

So to my husband, I love you. I can honestly say I love you more now than I even did then. You truly make me a better person. I will stand by you no matter what happens in this lifetime, because that is what love is. Love it nothing like I imagined, but everything I could ever wish for. I love you My Honey!!

Hope

I have a great life. I love it. I get to be home with my boys. I get to attempt to be a good cook and most of the time my family eats it; my husband always eats it. What a good husband! I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve. That is the kind of God I serve; I deserve not even close to what He gives me. 

The one thing I have never had, is a house. A house to call my own. A house to decorate and fill up with children. A place to make memories. We have had 7 places to live since the conception of my firstborn. We have wonderful memories in each of those places; don’t get me wrong, but it was always temporary. I am a woman who needs security. I think most women do if they are honest with themselves. Even though we have moved often in the past, my husband has bent over backwards to help me feel more secure. 

Over the years there have been multiple times we were going to buy our house. Something always happened where it just never happened. We want to save up money and 5 kids later, we still rent. I love to daydream and hope one day I will have my house. I realized these last few years however, that the hope I once had, has all but left. I want to hope, and I know there is a sliver still there. I was texting my husband the other day and I told him, “I am afraid to hope”. No. I am actually afraid to fail, to be let down, to once again feel that disappointment.

That sure doesn’t say much about me and my faith. I have put all my faith in man and my circumstances; not God. My God is my provider. He is Jehovah Jireh. God gives us hope. If we don’t have hope, we aren’t believing who God is. 

So today, looking forward I will have hope. I will have faith. I know that God is faithful and He loves me. God knows the future; we don’t. I don’t need to worry or lose hope because He has always taken care of us; no matter where we live. One day, hopefully in the near future, God will reveal to us what He wants us to do, where He wants us to live, when He wants us to do things etc. 

Don’t forget who God is. Don’t make the same mistake I have made. Always believe; always hope; always dream; always love; always have faith, because that is how God made us to be.