Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Single Way

There are many changes to your life and daily activities when you transition from married to being single. Some of the obvious ones are:

Changing Jobs
Changing Schools
Buying your own vehicle
Finding your New Normal

But recently I have been made aware that I am truly enjoying my singleness.
I can get up and go when I choose to.
I don't have to be 'on call' for someone that is not 'on call' for me.
If I want to have lunch with a friend, the only person I have to check with is my bank account.
I can make so many choices on my own!

Some of my recent triumphs are:
I did my tax return myself for free online and only asked my dad (a retired accountant) a couple of questions. That was a true triumph for me since I had only once before (2004 I believe) filed my taxes alone.

I took a chance and ventured out alone today to drive to work with icy road conditions and said many prayers as I traveled my normal 45 minute commute. I made it to work without sliding off the road!

I stood up to someone yesterday who offended me and they actually backed off and apologized. I usually just grumble quietly and let them make me angry.

I am not a feminist and I do believe God has a plan for single people as well as married people in his Kingdom.

But I am thoroughly celebrating every triumph I have and being thankful because I know it is not through my strength that these things occur, they occur because God is blessing me and sending me a way to make them happen.

What ways can you celebrate your triumphs? I look forward to seeing your comments and please keep sharing the blog with anyone you think it will benefit.

If you are in danger, please call 911 immediately. If you need guidance on getting out, call the Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Overflowing Heart

My weekend started on Friday night (2/13) and my beautiful daughter texted me asking if I would be home Friday night after work and I told her I would meet her at the house.

She had left me a gift bag on my bed and as I opened it, I received a valentine's pattern scarf, a charm bracelet with 2 charms of Snoopy (I have always liked that dog!).  Then I saw a card in the bag, I opened the card and realized it was a baby announcement.  Yep, My daughter and her husband are expecting baby #2 this October. 

I am so happy for them and got to spend a little time with my daughter and grandson on Friday Night. 

My Saturday started with phone calls and even a little time on the phone with my son and his children.  I spent Saturday busy with errands and a team meeting for PartyLite.  We took over a corner of a local restaurant and got to see the Summer Catalog and received a new summer votive for every live phone call we made during that 1 1/2 hours we were there. It's fun to just call your customers and say thank you!

My last stop on Saturday was to visit a friend whose son had a birthday party.  So I went to her house, picked her up for a little adult time and we relaxed away from the noise of family so we both could wind down from the day.  I was so blessed spending time with her and relaxing.

No, I did not have your typical Valentine's Day.  I have made a new normal for myself choosing to spend my day/holidays with people that inspire me and make my heart full.

If we walk in love everyday then we don't need a day on the calendar to make us spend time with a loved on.

Be a blessing and I highly suggest that you attend church with other like-minded Christians so you are continually sharpening your sword for the Kingdom.   See you at church today!

If you need assistance/guidance on getting out of an abusive home life, please call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for assistance.  There are those that would help you when you are ready to leave.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Be Joyful

Do you choose to be joyful?

Daily, hourly even sometimes we have to choose to be happy no matter what. Life gets hard, situations that we face are not often cut and dried.  But I know there is always something to be thankful for.

I heard someone say the other day that some so-called Christians don't take their faith seriously and that they need to buckle down and be serious about their salvation. This person was really angry because someone got tickled over what a toddler did/said during service.

This made me very sad because I do not believe that God who sent his Son to save us would want us living this life with a sad face or always appearing dour, sour-faced or afraid to smile during services.

I am by no-means saying that the minister should be a comedian, but there is a place for laughter and good-natured fellowship everywhere.

Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We are to be joyful to attend the assembly of saints and encourage others to attend.  I mean really if we are living this life and looking forward to an eternity in heaven don't you think you better worship and participate now?  Heaven is going to be filled with rejoicing and worship constantly and that should be a joyful time for us all. 

I love going to church and being with my kingdom family. We are all from different places but we have a common goal and traveling this journey together is what makes it so special. 

Take care of yourself and be safe. Seek assistance locally by calling 1-800-799-7233 or call 911 for immediate situations.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Privacy Needed

Have you ever lived somewhere for a time where you were completely uncomfortable?

I have had many ups and downs and over many years I have lived places and had roommates and living situations that were difficult on everyone involved. I am at peace with where I live and work these days but it has not always been that way.

Whether you are the owner or the renter, you both need to have boundaries and the renter should be respected.  No one enjoys it when their possessions/belongings are rifled through and re-arranged.

The owner would be upset if the renter treated them the way a lot of renters are treated.

What if the homeowners association committee showed up to check out your home unannounced and gave their opinions on what you ate, wore, disciplined your child or how you acted in the privacy of the home? 

Think about it.. are you treating family members this way? Or those you are trying to help out?

I am not referring to issues of safety, I am referring to basic privacy issues and boundaries that people would have if they were living alone.  Everyone deserves respect and unless there is a real cause to 'mother them' then you should live and let live. This may require biting your tongue and not giving an opinion on everything you hear them say.

Above all, pray through every situation in every way to stay peaceable and respectful. Show the love of Jesus in everything you do being sure to choose not to criticize the other person.

Criticizing others is not loving them and in fact in many situations, your criticism is a hurtful thing to them and their mindset. Speaking love and being gentle gets more progression than yelling and pushing your way around.

Be sure to stay safe and take care of yourself and your kids first and foremost. If you are in danger call 1-800-799-7233 for assistance or call 911 for urgent situations.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Music: Then & Now

First off, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert in music, but I do know what I like and I find it interesting to look back to the music types I grew up listening to vs. the music I choose to have around me today in 2015.

I grew up listening to either country music on 650 WSM or learning hymns at church.  In all honesty, until I entered MJJHS (7th grade), I didn't even realize that there was other music.  I knew that Nashville, TN was known as Music City and the Grand Old Opry was recorded/seen just 20 minutes from the house every weekend.

So imagine me at the age of 13 being exposed to all different types of music, bands and sounds that I had never heard of.  I can name off radio stations from back then but cannot specifically name a song that defines my Junior High Years.  I do remember asking my dad if I could listen to another station on my radio in my room and then I would spend a lot of time with a cassette tape recording my favorites as they came on the radio.  I seem to recall soft rock and a late night radio call in show called Pillow Talk on 106. (forgive my memory, I don't live there anymore)

Now, high school It was all about Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses and all those types of music.  I was rebelling against anything my parents liked in those days and it was crazy. Our Senior Prom (I did not attend) theme song was "Shot through the Heart" and most of the Bon Jovi songs I can still quote. It would take 21 years for me actually get to a Bon Jovi concert.. And I loved every moment of it. I think it was 2010 with an old friend from high school.

Early in my HS days there was a female artist that became very popular with her brand of contemporary Christian music.  Her name is Amy Grant.  I begged to go see her in concert and had to convince my parents that it was ok music to listen to and not crazy rock & roll.  This would be the first time I would hear Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Phillips, Craig & Dean and even Petra and Stryper. We went to concerts at Koinonia on Saturday nights and it was a great activity for Christian youth in a safe environment.

Then I would go off to college and my first husband was all about rock music and despised country music. So while we were in Panama, as a new mom, the only songs I knew by heart were from the Plunkett's Bible studies and I would just sing them to sleep with amazing grace and other church hymns from memory.  I did a lot of humming if I couldn't find the words (this was before google and the internet to find the words). I actually remember asking my parents to send me a song book from church so I would have something with the words in it. :) I still have those songbooks.

So, over the years, I have listened to nearly everything out there (except for rap and head-banging heavy metal).  When I was dating one guy, I learned all about alternative rock and the music and concerts were a lot of fun too.  Then my second husband listened to a little of everything but I was on the road toward listening to praise/worship music all the time so all of us were pretty agreeable as far as music went.

Somewhere around 2005 or so, I found a Christian radio station and pretty much have stayed loyal to them around the clock all year long. Well, I have to be honest, from Thanksgiving -New Years, I have to have cd's in the car and alternative Christian radio choices because I refuse to listen to Christmas music for 8 weeks of my life.  I simply cannot take it. 

As I have grown up, I have changed a lot but somethings have not changed.. I knew all along where my heart/soul belonged and that Christian music, Gospel Music, Hymns all speak to me in a way that no other music can reach my heart or bring me to tears while I am driving. 

I may not be able to carry a tune any more (or maybe I never could) but I do love music and they way it makes me feel.  Positive music will give you peace and I pray each of you have peace everyday.

If you are in danger, seek help through friends, co-workers or the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Standing Up for Yourself

Some people are born with the ability to stand up for themselves and not let others walk all over them emotionally, verbally, physically and other ways.

Others seem to be the 'forever doormat' because they despise confrontation or don't want to disagree with the other person.  This is very difficult when the person is your spouse or a close family member.

Years ago, I started to recognize the ways I was being treated, manipulated, and verbally abused by supposed friends, co-workers and my spouse. Thankfully 95% of those people referred to are no longer in my life because either God removed them from my circle of contacts or God delivered me to a better place and for that I am eternally thankful.

Standing up for yourself does not require using bad language, loud tone of voice or even being 'nasty' to a person verbally.  It simply requires that you take a stand for what you will allow around you and what you will not allow to happen to you.

Back in the early 90's a co-worker told me that if someone angers you then they control you. I learned that lesson and had to work hard to get over my first husband (and anything he did or said) getting to me with every phone call or contact. Last week, I heard that quote again and funny enough, the person that quoted it to me, was causing pain herself.

Asking someone to help you do something requires a willing and teachable spirit but don't let the coach/teacher cross the line into abusive language. Giving ideas and showing you how to do something with encouraging words and offering assistance is fine, but once you push them into a position of fear with you, you have lost all credibility with that person. You have lost their trust.

Never ever push someone while they are down. They know they messed up and usually they know how to recover. If they ask for assistance, then give it to them, but don't push your opinions or ways of doing things on them, you will lose them.

When I was a Girl Scout leader, I loved teaching the girls new things and I was blessed with crafty co-leaders who could even teach the craft-challenged (that's me) how to make or create things with simple supplies.  The girls got a kick out of watching 'Sarge' learn how to tie a lanyard, learn line-dancing or even some of those more difficult knots. 

I choose to teach with a smile on my face and I always learn something from my team as well. Tonight is our workshop and we always laugh and learn along the way.

I hope this message showed you both sides of teaching/coaching and what ways may help you reach your 'students'. Kindness goes much further than beating on someone when they are down. Yelling gets you no where.

If you are in danger, seek help! 1-800-799-7233 Is the Domestic Violence Hotline and no one is immune to violence either at home, school or the workplace.  Take Care of yourself and Stand Up!

Flooded by Emotions, yet Thankful

Yesterday, I decided to give in and go to the doctor.  I hate going to the doctor because I often feel very exposed and vulnerable in a doctor's office.  There are only 2 doctors in my life I can think of who truly sat and listened to me and what mattered to me.  Yesterday I returned to see one of them because I needed a doctor's care.

I was nervous about what they would say and prayed that all things would work out with my insurance and all those issues.  I realized yesterday that my insurance card was in my previous last name and hoped that would not pose a problem in being treated and receiving prescriptions.

Once I checked in at the front desk, they called me back up and I had to explain that technically I was not a new patient and that I had been seen by this doctor 4-5 years ago under a different name but that I really needed to be seen.  They took my information and I sat down to fill out all the paperwork.

They called me back up to the desk because I had a balance due. I had no idea that any money was owed to this doctor's office for services given back 4-5 years ago.  I almost went into panic mode.  I told them I had to check my finances to see if I could pay the bill so that I could be seen without having to reschedule my appointment.  I did some quick calculations, said a thankful prayer for provision and told them that I could pay the balance due. 

By this time I had tears in my eyes. Tears of frustration and embarrassment over a bill that I thought was long ago paid by my now ex husband.  This brought back a flood of emotions that I usually have tucked away and no one sees.   I was so thankful they allowed me to pay the bill, spoke quietly to me, that I had the money to pay the bill and how kind they were to me.  I simply said to them thank you and said, "You know, the divorce has been final a while but it never ceases to amaze me how many things come back around to remind me of the pain." 

So then I waited my turn to see the doctor and even though it had been 4-5 years, they pulled up all my records and everyone in that office (and the lab across the hall) were super nice and kind to me.  The doctor even said to me how glad he was that I was back in the area and chose him (again) for my medical care.

I now have medication that I needed and treatment for other issues. I am so very thankful for that doctor, his staff and everyone I came in contact with yesterday.  They may never know how much their kindness and smile helped me through a rough emotional time.

I am also thankful that God has blessed me with the courage to stand up for myself and the eyes to see that every good and perfect thing comes from him. I truly felt like God had reached down and hugged me in the midst of all that yesterday. To the human eye, I may appear alone, but I know I am not alone because God is with me every day and every night in every situation.

If you are in a dangerous home situation, please seek a way out. Save this number in your phone (call it pizza joe's or something other than domestic violence so the abuser doesn't see it)  1-800-799-7233. Each of us have a purpose, we must find the courage to seek it and develop it and use it for the Kingdom of God.