Saturday, May 30, 2015

Why Freedom Isn't Free

The quick fix.  You know what I'm talking about right?  Oh, you know....just wanting everything to either "Poof! Disappear and go away!"  or "Magically get better."  It seems like lots of people want that, but they don't want to do the work it takes to get results.  I see it a lot with health, wellness, weight loss, but believe it's affecting us in other areas as well. Relationships, for example. Marriages. Relationships with our kids.  Our friends. Neighbors.  At church.  Anywhere, really.  Our lack of knowing how to work through things is affecting many many areas of our lives.  I see it daily.

What really gets me with this are a few things, really.  The mindset.  Do we think we are entitled to certain things because of who we are?  Is that a part of it?  Why do we think we deserve something we aren't willing to work for?  Chances are our actions have gotten us where we are and we don't like that so we want to snap our fingers and make it all better, or go away.  Why is that?  Why don't we realize our actions or lack of actions have led us to this point? that there are consequences, positive or negative, for what we do or don't do.  You know, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, right?

Or there is the victim mentality.  "I can't because __________."  "It wasn't my fault, it was so and so's fault." Basically saying "I'm not responsible for my own actions." Um ok. Since when is that the case?

What about the "I don't want to be rude/hurt feelings?"  This seems to be really prevalent with food.  "I ate something I shouldn't have because I didn't want to be rude to those serving me."  I understand that, I don't want to be rude either, but at what point are you in charge of your actions, choices, etc? If someone offered you a cigarette, would you feel rude saying no?  What about at the drive through when they ask you to Super Size it?  Is that rude to say no to those folks, too?  I don't think so.  Do you feel hurt when someone tells you "no thank you," and then think the rest of the day about how rude they were to you?  I don't.  So why do we do that with food or other things?

Now, I'm going to talk health/wellness/weight loss here.  I don't understand how people think they can eat like crap for 25 years, then all of a sudden think a pill will make them thin? How does that work?  Or other products on the market for weight loss {wraps, pills, oils, etc}  How does that change anything?  It doesn't.  It might give you short term results, but the sustainability isn't there.  You're not learning how to change your behavior.  You're not learning how to re-train your brain and your habits.  You are taking a quick fix that quite honestly I don't think makes sense.  I have tried so many things out there and none of them worked for me. None of them taught me how to eat, or why to eat that why.  I didn't learn how to exercise effectively.  I didn't learn anything, I just took/used the product, didn't change my behaviors and expected to see change.  I wanted a quick fix. It didn't work.  For sustainable change. you have to learn to change.  Change your mindset.  Change your habits.  Change your situation.  As you likely know for me, that change was a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. {You can read more here.}

The other area I see this a lot in is in freedom from the past. It's hard to work to admit where you've come from, what's happened, what you've done, etc.  And it's harder work to pursue healing for it.  A lot of people don't seem to want to do the work to get results, which just baffles my mind.  Yes, it's hard, I get that!  But it's harder to live in that place of bondage, paralysis, and the pit of the past. Believe me, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt as they say.  Has it been hard?  YES. Has it been worth it?  HECK YES!  Would I go back and change anything?  NO WAY JOSE.  

Freedom isn't free, it's worth fighting for though, friends. You are worth fighting for. So, what's holding YOU back?  Is it you?  Stop it!  Is it what others might think?  Stop giving them that much control over you!  Is it fear? That's False Evidence Appearing Real.  It's also a tactic of the devil to steal, kill and destroy, which is exactly what he's doing if you're not free.   So, if you're ready to do the work, freedom is waiting for you!  But, you do have to do the work.  It's not just going to come.  But, I promise you, it is SO worth it! Let me know if I can help.  God has given me freedom in many areas and I love to help others find freedom as well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why I Can't Stand the Word Busy!

Busy, busy, busy, busy!  We are all so busy, aren't we?  It's like we thrive on how busy we are, how much we can cram into our already full lives, schedules, just to see how busy we can be.  I really can't stand the word busy.  It makes me cringe.  Why?  I'm glad you asked :) There are a few reasons ~

1. For me, we were always busy!  I grew up in a very busy home.  That taught me to always be busy.  In fact, in high school, college and even for a bit after college, I THRIVED on being busy!  How much could I take on?  How much could I do?  Ya know what it led to? Burn out.  Adrenal fatigue.  Exhaustion. Crabbiness.  Lack of self care.  For me, being busy became a coping mechanism to not handle any of my "junk."  This may or may not be the case for you, but it certainly was for me.  When I was busy, I didn't have time to think about past pain, wounds, or things that needed healing in my life, because I was just too busy.  Being too busy denied me the opportunity to heal.

2. I believe we are all in charge of our days, our schedules our lives.  Granted, there are some things that are out of our control, but for the most part, we can say yes or we can say no.  I can hear it now "but my kids to this and this and this and this."  Ok, so, who's in charge of the kids schedules?  You or them? You can tell them no.  You might not want to, but as parents, it's our responsibility to set the boundaries for our kids.  You can say yes or no.  Setting boundaries for kids teaches them to set boundaries for them as adults too.  It's a great teaching opportunity too.

3. Finally, I heard someone in church say busy stands for:



My eyes were open wide when I heard this.  At that time, I took off my "busyness badge," and decided to change my ways. 

I get it.  Our lives are full, we have responsibilities, families, commitments, etc. How we navigate those commitments is huge! What are we saying yes to?  What are we saying no to?WHY are we doing these things? I encourage you to ask WHY before signing up, saying yes, committing.  What is the reason behind it?  Do you have room in your life to add something new in?  Just some food for thought so you are not too busy!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Care Much?

I'm trying to figure out if part of what is going on with me is that I care too much? Am I too sensitive? Take things too personally? Have you ever been told or thought any of those things about yourself? Well, I have. And, right now, I'm trying to figure out what is going on! Maybe you have some insights, friends?

I get upset about things. Good things, meaningful things. Not things that don't matter like someone cutting me off in traffic, or honking at me, or something like that. I get upset when people believe lies. I get upset when they don't know the Word enough to combat the devil with the truth that is sharper than any double edged sword. I get upset when people lie. Stormie Omartian says in her book "The Power of a Praying Parent," something like when you lie, you align yourself with the devil. {On that note, please don't ever lie to me to "make me feel better," or to "not hurt my feelings." Lying hurts more than either of those.} I get upset when people don't take care of themselves by paying attention to what they put in and on their bodies. I get upset when people think they aren't worth it. I get upset when injustice occurs. I get upset when people don't follow through.

As I look at this list, there are a lot of opportunities to be upset, aren't there? Are these things personal? I don't know, sometimes they are. Sometimes they play into my wounds, past hurts, which is why they bother me. The other part of my being upset is we are in a battle and it seems like the devil is winning because we are unequipped and unprepared to handle him. If we don't know the Word, which is truth, how can we know what is a lie? In looking at this list, it seems a lot of these things that upset me are Biblical. We are to know the truth, and it will set us free {John 8;32} The Word is sharper than any double edged sword {Hebrews 4:12}. "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight." {Proverbs 12:22} "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" {1 Corinthians 6:19}  "There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood......"  {Proverbs 6:16-17}  The whole issue of self worth is also Biblical, if you know WHOSE you are, you know that you have a delightful inheritance!  {Psalm 16:6}  The one that might not be Biblically based, is the follow through.  I think that is part of my woundedness.  I also think that it is part of is a lack of discipline, which the Bible does talk about.  We are to run the race with perseverance, right?  If we are disciplined, we can run and persevere, right? When a runner is training for a run, they are disciplined with their training.  So it is with us, we have to be disciplined with how we train in life.

So, what do you think?  Do I care too much? Take things too personally?  What's the deal? I wonder if part of it is I have lived wounded, beaten down and unvictorious for so long that I'm sick of others living there too.  There IS victory in Jesus, friends!  And, YOU are worth it!  You were bought with a cost, so I believe you are worth it, don't you?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day.....Then and Now

Ah, Mother's Day.  Another one has come to a close.  I have such mixed feelings about this day, which I will elaborate on here in a bit, but I found the picture above from Mother's Day 4 years ago and then, the one below, taken today.  Do you see a difference?  I do. The picture from today is more clear, whereas the one above is not as clear.  It's not blurry, but not as clear, I would say.  It's symbolic of life then and now, I think.

The Mother's Day picture from 4 years ago.....I was in a place where I didn't really enjoy my kids. For Mother's Day, I wanted to be left alone.  Honestly, I did.  Chad let me stay Friday night at a local hotel and have all day Saturday to myself.  I got coffee, shopped, had a "Melissa Day."  In fact, the dress in the picture, I bought that just for Mother's Day! As you may be able to tell, I wasn't in a great place then.  I'm not sure if I had been diagnosed with PTSD by that point, or if it was later, but I know that did occur while we were in IL, where the picture was taken.  I wasn't able to enjoy the blessings in my life, including my children.  I was crabby, angry, tired all the time, frustrated and really felt cruddy ~ physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  It makes me sad to think about the place I was in when that picture was taken.  No wonder it's not as clear as the picture from today......BUT GOD!

But God.....intervened, interceded, rescued, healed and delivered that mama in the picture above and transformed her into the mama who is below.  The picture is more clear from today, isn't it?  I am more "real" in the picture below, more comfortable in my own skin today.  I don't feel like I have to be dressed up, in a perfect picture.....I can be me.  And, that is freeing.  Heck, look at what I'm wearing! Yoga pants :)  I will be honest with you, part of me had a bad attitude about today.  It was Mother's Day after all, the kids were supposed to be on their BEST behavior.  This is MY day, after all.  The one I get all year long! They are not supposed to fight, argue, chase each other, provoke one another, or even really speak.  I wanted them to be perfect quiet cherubs all day long. {Where's the mute button?}  RIGHT?  Um, not so much.  They are kids!  {Truth be told, I'm partially writing this so when I read this next year, my expectations are REALISTIC, not pie in the sky, as they started off today.}  Thankfully, I was able to turn it around before dinner time and not let the fact that they are kids ruin the whole day and evening and carry on into tomorrow and the week. {This would have happened in the above picture, by the way.}  I actually felt a huge sigh of relief when they went to bed, because the pressure was off. Isn't that silly?  Where is the pressure coming from?  Myself?  Hallmark?  Society?  I'm not sure, but it's an interesting observation I had at bedtime.

It's always fascinating to be in a place where you can see things as they are now, and how they were back then.  As hard as it was, I'm thankful for the then's, because they enable me to look back and see where God has brought me from.  And, truthfully, I have no desire to go back there whatsoever.  "My chains are gone, I've been set free."  It is amazing love, isn't it?  Happy Mother's Day, mama friends. Let your kids be kids and enjoy the ride, k?  {And this is for me to remember for next year!!!}