Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wounds

We all have wounds.

Some have healed long ago and you don't even think about them any longer. Some of us have raw open bleeding wounds that just won't heal for some reason or another. And then we have those wounds that are scabbed over, but we keep picking at them cause they itch and we cause them to re-open.

I am referring to all types of wounds (wounded hearts, souls, feelings, etc).  Some wounds are pushed down and away and it takes you 20 years to truly heal from them. Other wounds really perplex us and we honestly do not know how to treat them or how to start the healing process.

I have no medical training other than Red Cross First Aid/CPR that I received every other year while I was a GS leader, but I know a few things about open wounds. 

1) The wound must be cleaned.
2) The wound must be treated with some type of medicine usually.
3) The wound must be covered so that it is not re-infected.
4) The injured person usually has to stop certain activities depending on severity of injury.

I always hated being the one to tell an 8 year old that she had to sit down for a few hours at a campout after she busted her knee open on a hike when she fell. The girl usually was very upset at first but my girls usually rallied around her and made her feel part of the events even if she couldn't play the game or get to the campfire as easily as they could. 

In the case of my wounded heart after my divorce was final, I had a big dinner with friends to celebrate the new chapter of my life (that was cleaning).

I cut off contact with the ex-spouse to clear my head and chose to spend lots of time in study and asked for lots of guidance from my Godly friends that had been divorced (that was my medicine).

I continue to enjoy being single and cherish every moment with my grandkids and stay thankful that God brought me to the other side of that bad marriage and saw fit to bless me with great family and friends to support me. (that is my covering).

I have chosen to turn down dates and 'match ups' from friends and acquaintances because I am fearful of another bad relationship. (this is preventing future wounds).

I am still healing even today through lots of other relationships in the business world, my personal life and my family.  Sometimes I take a break and hide from the world so that I can be sure I am on the right track with God. Never Fear, I will be back to fight another day!! I have come too far to give up now.

Call 911 for immediate danger situations! - Call 1-800-799-7233 for Domestic Hotline and get help from trained counselors!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Waiting and Watching

I have never been a patient person. I want to see the newest products right away and I usually have mental countdowns to big events in my life going on. Over the past 2 1/2 years I have learned a lot about waiting and patience both in my life, my divorce, my job(s) and my business.

I have heard the phrase "rejoice in the hallway while you are waiting for the door to open" and this is very true. Because scripture tells us to rejoice in every little thing so that we may rejoice even more with the larger things in our lives. Our life is a journey and everyone has overcome something in their lives whether it is a bad marriage, an addiction, a long-time friendship that changed seemingly overnight and many other examples I am sure you can think of as well. We can choose to learn from every event in our lives or we can choose to complain about it for the rest of our lives.  Which do you think God would have us do?

I choose learning and study and lots of quiet time because that is when I can hear a "still, small voice".

If all you focus on is a big event coming in the summer, then how are you rejoicing in the day you have right now?  Sometimes, we have tunnel vision about our goals and this can be a good thing and a bad thing all at the same time. There is nothing wrong with goals as long as GOD is in the center of the goal and He is major point of focus. When we put a sports team, a family vacation or even a business goal ahead of our faith, we just might lose it all.

So, today while you are waiting and watching, remember to pray and thank God for everything you have because there are SO many on this Earth with a fraction of what we take for granted.

If you are in immediate danger call 911. If you need help getting out of a violent situation, call 1−800−799−7233.

Friday, March 21, 2014

To Teach or not to Teach

If you have been blessed with a teaching position (no matter what the capacity or venue), you are held accountable even more so than those who are not directed to teach.

We go to conferences and look forward to learning from those assigned to teach at those events. But when those people are at dinner or at home or out shopping with their children, do you think they ever tire of being 'on call' to teach?  I believe everyone needs a break at times. Everyone needs to refuel themselves before they can pour into another classroom.

We need to seek God in everything we do. Most especially in our teaching avenues.  Just because you have been tasked with a job to lead a class, does not give you the right to teach them at every turn.  Just because you meet someone that is not familiar with your beliefs does not mean you are to immediately hand them tracts and try to save them by force.  In fact, studies show that this tactic will most likely send them running from you and your class.

Our teaching and our testimony must always be in step with the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Every person I know has a testimony. Some will give their testimony too early and it will fall flat because they did not seek God before they shared it.  Some will give it too late and again it will not be nearly as effective.  But seek God and pray continually when the right time is for you to share your story and it will Glorify God as it supposed to.  If you are giving your testimony to get attention in your group of friends, then you are sorely mistaken and your testimony was given for the wrong reasons.

2 Timothy 2:15-16 is a favorite passage of mine and has always reminded me to study.
      Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly  dividing the word of truth.
       But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

The more we study, the more we will learn and that will never be taken away from us. 

If you are in immediate danger call 911. If you need help getting out of a violent situation, call 1−800−799−7233.





Monday, March 17, 2014

Loving from afar

I know now that many people watched me chase and beg my husband to straighten up and come home and he never did. I say that with tears on my face cause I can see it playing in my head like a hallmark movie now that years have passed. I am slowly seeing just what I did trying to hold on to my marriage when x2 had already checked out.

So I sat on the front porch at night and prayed him home and just wanted him safe and I worshipped my husband instead of my Lord.

I also called a few Christian friends out of state during the years in White Bluff and asked for them to just talk me through what to do and listen.  All three of them listened and all three of them told me to pray.  L in Ohio, C in Illinois and T in Oklahoma I will always be thankful for your listening ears during those very difficult times.

I thought that  x2 was the only one that would love me anymore and didn't see God in the equation. I perceived myself as trash and leftovers... that no one would want.

Then one night when he had disappeared again my daughter (about 21 years old) looked at me crying and upset because I didn't know where he was and simply said, "Mom you can leave him and you will be okay without him. You don't need him if he is putting you through this".  I remember looking at her and wondering if I truly heard what my daughter had said.  I answered her by saying, "I don't know how to go on without him". This conversation happened in February/March of 2011 as best as I can recall. 

Admitting that the marriage was in shambles to my pastor was difficult to do and caused many arguments at home because it embarrassed my husband at the time to not be seen in the right light. I didn't stay in contact with a lot of people during these rough times and it took many months/years for me to admit just what all had happened until recently. 

I was wrong to put my ex-husband on a pedestal that he did not deserve. I was wrong to avoid my friends and fall off the face of the earth. I was ashamed that my husband was constantly cheating on me with many co-workers and even my best friend over the course of our marriage. 

My divorce was final August 1, 2013 and most days I feel freedom to do what I want. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my Lord and Savior walked every step, wept with me and stayed up with me when I couldn't sleep.  

Please remember to reach for the LORD before you reach for a spouse or even a friend.  Because the LORD will not let you down, forsake you or forget to call you back. I know how hard the journey is to leave an abusive spouse and I am still standing by the grace of God. 

You are not alone and people are caring about you even if you don't see it or realize it. I found out last year just who was praying me through the bad years and I never asked them to pray for me. But I know that God put it on their heart.  Thank you all who loved me from afar!

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. The domestic violence Hotline is 1−800−799−7233. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Busy Body?

Are you a busybody?
Do you know what the word means?
One google definition says: "a meddling or prying person".

At the initial question, I figure most folks envision Mrs. Kravitz from the TV show "Bewitched" who was always watching Samantha and Darren and the entire neighborhood doing things she didn't understand or know about.

Now that I have most of you either searching "Mrs. Kravitz" or giggling from the tv childhood memories, I will delve a bit deeper.

The Bible says in Luke 6:42
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
When you spend your day making mental lists of what your co-workers do wrong, or how many times they go on break, you are being a busybody.  
When you spend your drive time to work and back looking for misspelled words on billboards and church signs then make fun of them, you are fault-finding.
When you drive around your neighborhood and gripe about your neighbor's landscaping or vehicles in their yards or downed trees that they have yet to clean up, you are being nosey into other men's matters.  
Bottom Line - If it is Not your household and does not warrant a call to 911 Emergency, Leave it alone, do not talk about it, (this is gossip!!) and do not waste your time wondering what someone is building. It does not affect you. You will have SO much more peace in your mind and body and soul if you stop concerning yourself with what other's are doing.
Please if you are in danger - call 911 or seek assistance through the hotline. 1-800-799-7233

Our Body is a Temple

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  (KJV)
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Sometime in 2013 I pretty much quit watching most network television programs.  I became ill and disgusted after watching popular shows on weeknights that were full of sexual content, sexual oriented jokes and other degrading references. I also quit watching the news about 18 months ago because I had enough negativity in my personal life without inviting other people's problems into my mind.  

This is a conscious choice I made for myself and myself only. I do not expect others to understand it or even agree with my decision but I wanted to share it with you and my reason behind it.

When you go through an abusive marriage, bad relationships and very negative things in your life, you come to believe all the lies that your spouse, former friends and even old bosses had told you constantly about yourself.

When you watch the news every day (or 4 times a day) you hear 4 different news report about the same rape or murder case and nothing has really changed and by the end of the day's reports the murderer or rapist is at nearly star status because we have heard his or her name every hour on the hour. It is disgusting how names like Jeffrey Dahmer are better known than the soldiers and sailors who die fighting for our country every day.  

We as adults are 100% responsible for what we choose to listen to and or watch on television. If you choose to watch tv programs that glorify a highly casual sexual lifestyle or awkward single scientists who are fascinated with sex, you are filling your head, mind, thoughts and time with things that are not appropriate for a Christian.  You may think it is harmless but the Bible commands us to focus on God and his word and last time I checked if we are not focused on the Word, then we are usually focusing on something that goes against the Word. 

This also goes for the music we listen to, the jokes we laugh at or tell and everything that we allow to be said in our presence.  You can choose to walk away from those telling off color or inappropriate jokes and not participate or you can choose to laugh at the joke even though it makes you inwardly uncomfortable. 

Whatever you put in your body, is what your heart, mind, soul and mouth will eventually share with others.  Please be aware and pray daily to have your eyes opened to the evil around us. 

Choose to be safe in everything you do.
1-800-799-7233 is the domestic violence hotline. Please seek help YOU are not alone!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friendly Fire

Friendly fire is usually a phrase we hear on a news station describing how U.S. soldiers or sailors got injured.  However, in every day life we encounter friendly fire from our friends and even family sometimes too.

For example, recently I was speaking with a respected and close friend and asked them to be honest with me. Somehow the conversation turned and I was told that I appear un-plugged and disheveled at times and these comments have circled in my head all week long.  I still am not exactly sure what my friend meant by using these specific words and then she made other comments that were unrelated to the question I asked.

Yes, I asked her to be totally honest, but I was not expecting the friendly fire to come from the direction it did.  Her answers and comments that night have made me re-evaluate many things I typically do without thinking.  I have asked others if I offended them and they say I have not offended them. So, I am choosing to pray for wisdom and still deciding how to proceed.   I truly hope I have not offended anyone and will continue to seek the root of her comments.

I usually do not have to walk on eggshells around this friend so to say I am puzzled is an understatement for sure. This is one of those friends I can have a bad day and be grumpy as all get out and she will still let me hang out in her living room till I get over my own funk. I think the world of her and hope this little speed bump can be leveled out because I don't want to imagine my life without her.

The reason I bring all this up is because sometimes we as women say things off the cuff and abruptly that truly hurt the other person and never know we have hurt them in any shape or form. I still do not know if I will approach this particular subject with this friend again. I will continue to pray about the situation and I hope it is just my over-analytical mind over-thinking her comments that night at dinner.

Choose prayerfully who you share your life secrets with because once they are told, they cannot be erased from the other's mind.  I learned this the hard way with many people in the past 2-3 years and the end of my second marriage. Constantly pray for wisdom and seek wise counsel from those you are close to and choose who you allow into your inner circle.

Be careful my friends and have a great weekend! Remember - Call 911 if you are in immediate danger and the Domestic Violence Hotline is 1−800−799−7233.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

View from the Fish Bowl

I consider the life I grew up in a fish bowl.  If you have ever been in a leadership position with a church, community, work or organization, then you know first hand that you are immediately put into a place of being watched when you take on a leadership position. Every single thing you do, say or avoid saying becomes scrutinized when you have that position of leadership. It is not easy to be the one in charge and you are held doubly accountable as well.

I am the oldest of three daughters and my dad has been a minister since 1965. I am very proud of the work my father has done over the years. Growing up with your father as the minister is not easy at all. I felt I had to be 'perfect' at home and at church and be a certain way for certain people. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in with the other kids my age at the churches we attended.  I always felt separate from them because of who my dad was.  I did my best to make the choices expected of me, but I failed miserably at being the person I wanted to be.

I don't regret any of my upbringing and we were blessed in our home by the churches and many families we came in contact with over the years. I have many extended family friends because of the churches my father was a part of during my life.  My dad is one of the kindest and friendliest men you will ever meet and I have never seen him see a stranger. He is so very kind to everyone he meets every day. Dad worked 40 years for the State of Tennessee during the week and was a minister on Sunday and Wednesday to the church he was working with at the time. He truly gave his life to those churches over the years.

I have often regretted that I did not live up to my parent's expectations but I truly did the best I knew how at the time. I did the best to raise my children the best way I could think of.

Please be kind to those in leadership in your church because you don't know what kind of pressure they are under. Keep your pastor and his family in your prayers for direction and leadership and wisdom.

#Pray #kindness #love #leadership

Monday, March 10, 2014

Traffic

We all have traffic in our lives. We have traffic on the roads we travel to go to work or school or run our errands. We have mental traffic in the thoughts that come to mind. We also have people traffic in the people we deal with on a daily basis like co-workers, family, friends and acquaintances or business contacts.

Just like traffic on the interstates and highways, we must choose which lane to drive in and whether to be aggressive or passive in our daily lives. We can be aggressive and constantly change lanes and yell at the other drivers or we can take a peaceful attitude and relax about what is going on around us to keep ourselves safe on the highways. I used to get really upset and frustrated when I got into traffic jams on the highway but I finally realized about 3 years ago that all that fuming and griping and complaining and changing lanes did NOT get me to my destination any faster and all it really did was upset me for the day and make my blood pressure go up.

All of these things hold true in every traffic we face. Another example is how you deal with people. You can get upset and angry because someone doesn't speak to you or you can smile and go your way in peace and not look back. I have co-workers that I speak to daily and have really gotten to know. I also have co-workers that drive me up the wall every day and I have to work really hard to ignore them and not let them steal my joy of being thankful for my job and staying in a peaceful state of mind.

Last but not least is the mental traffic in our heads. The memories that come to mind when a song plays at a restaurant that takes you back to 1985 when life was fun and carefree and your whole life revolved around your grades in school, who you were going to the game or concert with and all you can do is smile cause you still love those people and are thankful they are in your life. 

Bottom Line - Please don't let the traffic steal your joy and please no matter what, Stay in a peaceful state of mind as much as possible.

I hope you all have a great Monday and stay safe! The hotline to get assistance is 1−800−799−7233.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Reflection

I hate looking in the mirror because I dislike the way I look. Sometimes you must force yourself to look in the mirror and see your reflection.  On the physical side, I dislike my teeth (even though I had braces, my teeth are not 100% straight), and I dislike my hair and my eyeglasses.  All of these things can be changed in some way.

I know when I take the time to take care of myself, I can make myself look pretty good and then I 'feel' like I can take on the world.  But, if I don't start every day, every trip and every business venture with asking for God's guidance and help along the way, I might as well stay home.

There are plenty of self-help books out there that will tell you stand in front of the mirror and tell your reflection 10 times a day that you are capable, wonderful, beautiful and able to do anything you set your mind to.  (I know they exist and I have a few on my bookshelf right now). Yes, It seems very silly at first to be talking to your reflection but I have to say that these self-affirmations do make you feel better and when you say something enough times your mind will start to believe it.

I have a confession to make, I am not good at everything I try to do. I have made horrible mistakes in my life and I have tons of areas in my faith that I must work on daily to be a better servant in the Kingdom of God. I don't always say the right thing, I don't always help those who need it and I don't always pray when I should.

I do have a list of things I have accomplished in my 43 years on this little planet and these things are accomplishments I am pretty proud of. I reflect on them when I feel like a failure or when I get scared of a big leap happening in my business and my life in general. I know without a shadow of a doubt to trust God's timing in everything and can tell you today that I know God has a plan that I cannot ever imagine. I trust God's plan because he knows everything and I know very little. 

So, the next time you look in a mirror - Smile at yourself and remember that God created you for a purpose and since you are still here breathing and living, why not ask God to show you his perfect purpose for you and to guide you to it?  You are Precious and You are Loved and You are wonderfully made.

Take heart and help those around you every day in some way. If you are in immediate danger, Please call 911 and if you need assistance or to find a shelter, please call 1−800−799−7233

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Hero

Over the weekend my mom said I reminded her of her mother. We called her Mama Mac and she passed March 6, 2006 and I miss her so much. I am dedicating this article to her.

She worked for 35 years in the pencil plant in Lewisburg, TN running a machine that packaged pencils. When she retired, she spent a lot of her time with her friends from church or work and they liked to go shopping in Huntsville or Columbia quite often. When I had Kourtney and Brian, she was always ready to jump in her car and drive here to help out if someone was sick.

One of the memories that make me smile are her doing some ironing (she said it relaxed her) and helping Brian with his spelling homework. She could spell any word Brian asked her about. Mama Mac only had an 8th grade education and had worked at the Shoe Factory before she worked at the pencil factory. I always said she could run circles around me and mom no matter what we had going on.

One March, she also joined us at a GS Troop meeting. We were working on the Her Story Try-It for Brownie Girl Scouts and I had asked the moms, aunts and grandmothers to join us and share their memories with us.  I still have the photo with her and my troop of Girl Scouts who patiently listened to Mama Mac tell them about living on a farm with all her brothers and sisters and having to catch and kill the chicken before having dinner that day.  Every one of my scouts that day gave her a hug and we made sure Mama Mac got the badge too.

In 2005, my family and I were looking to move into a rental house for the first time after living our lives in apartments for many years.  We had found a house that reminded me of Mama Mac's house in Lewisburg.  So when we asked her if she wanted to see it, she jumped in the car and said, "Let's go!"  I made a picture of her that day in the living room and treasure that photo to this day.

I wish I could introduce her to her great-great-grandchildren but somehow I know she is watching over them.  Treasure those around you and tell them everyday how much they mean to you.

Take care of yourselves! If you are in immediate danger call 911.