Monthly Archives: March 2013

5-Year Plan

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As I robotically meander through the kitchen with a partially-wet paper towel stuck to my barefoot, I have to reflect on how much my life has changed. Not only because I’m an ecstatically-happy married woman and mother of two, but also because of where I’ve been and what God has held my hand through. Those who knew me in the past have got to be wondering, “What’s going on with her?” And let’s be clear, “my past” was no more than 5 years ago.
I literally quit drinking a 12-pack or more a night 4 years ago this month. I was in such a horribly dark, ugly place with no one to talk to, I thought, and even worse, didn’t care so much that I didn’t have anyone. I simply didn’t care anymore. I got up, went to work, stopped off at the liquor store or my favorite gas station on the way home, gave them my cash (so my husband wouldn’t see exactly how much was disappearing from his hardearned paycheck) and made the trek home, sometimes cracking one open on the way. (It was literally a 3 minute trip home.)
I would proceed to clean house, cook, gab on the phone, even read, while drinking. I would start dinner, only to finally eat it hours later, after the 12-or 18-pack was gone.
A lot of the friends I had disappeared and I have yet to hear from them since I stopped. After all, what do you do if you don’t get together and go out to the “hottest clubs”? It’s a heart-breaking thing to lose people you truly love because you no longer participate in certain activities. I remember letting one “true friend” in, the one I thought would understand as she had been there herself, then sadly returned after counseling. She said, almost mechanically, “I had no idea that it was a problem for you.” Her almost-numb reaction surprised me but I’m a grrrreat hider! I think we all are, if you want my honest opinion. We all have things we keep tucked way down so no one, not even the people who are supposed to know us best, knows. I didn’t hear from this friend again for years and to this day we still don’t speak unless we are face to face, which isn’t often. This one act, cut me to the core and I felt so alone. I didn’t have anybody I could turn to. My parents had no idea my alcohol consumption was as bad as it was, and my husband (God bless my dear, sweet, prayin-man-of-a-husband), even though he saw what I tried so desperately to hide, feelings as well as aluminum cans, he was at a loss as well. I don’t think it was any coincidence however, that hordes of helpers didn’t show up miraculously floating on clouds to smack the cans out of my quivering hands. Be it the work of God or the enemy, it was an issue I had to tackle, not we, as a collaborative group, needed to face.
Today I pray for those who know as well as those who may not know yet what keeps them from being the individual God wants them to be.
Oh, and that paper towel? It “unstuck” itself the second I decided to lift my foot to remove it, so I had to bend over to get it.

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Kiss a Chicken

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Some days, you just gotta kiss a chicken. There are days when you overthink things. Today is one of them for me. “Why did he say that? What did she mean by that look? Where did that idea come from? Where will I be in five years? Do I look ok in orange…some can pull it off…geez, I hope I’m not one of the people who can’t and have been looking washed-out for years…”
Maybe it’s just me. I tend to overanalyze things to a fault. I can still hear my dad saying, “You think too much.” I remember thinking (Maybe dad was right.) “Aren’t there worse things than having a daughter who thinks?” The issue, I believe/think (I’m trying…), is that overthinkers tend to be worriers. What if? Why? How? and so on and so forth. I have really worked on not worrying and instead of saying, “I’m not worried, I’m concerned.” like some people I know, who shall remain nameless (Mom), I truly attempt to give it to God instead of hang on to the anxiety for fun.
Truth is, I have been described as “fly by the seat of my pants,” “easy-going,” and “chill.” That last one was from a friend of mine’s daughter. I’ve tried using it in conversation as an adjective, but I just sound like an elderly woman who needs to continue using it as a verb.
Christians have so many rules and regulations and goals for themselves, which is a good thing, to an extent. Then the situation can go the other way where you feel like you no longer know how to communicate correctly or the way God would want you to, so you stay at home in your flannel PJs for fear of affecting someone’s eternal salvation negatively.
Maybe I’m the only one who’s given the topic that much thought and that would be right on target for the overthinking brain. However, something tells me there is indeed someone out there who just needs to chill (see?)or accept that, in the words of a famous Jamaican, every little thing’s gonna be alright. Keep your overthinkin’ mind in check by reminding yourself that God’s got this, no matter what it is…and you can go out and find a chicken to kiss…for absolutely no reason at all. =)

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Chronicchristian's Blog

Have you ever been dealing with something that you just couldn’t quite put your finger on? You think to yourself, surely someone else has been through this, or surely there’s a book on this subject I need to read, or maybe, just maybe, I need to pray about it and let God deal with it?

 

 I had an odd revelation such as this the other day and it involves resentment. I was able to put this title to it after weeks of battling it. Resentment. Sure doesn’t sound pretty. I realized, however, that I didn’t know who it was or what it was that I was resentful toward. Just for time’s sake alone, I think I’ll direct this toward the enemy of our souls.

 

We’re always dealing with some issue in this life. After all, that’s what life is: a WHOLE expansive lot of issues. Maybe a death…

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Just When…

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Have you ever been dealing with something that you just couldn’t quite put your finger on? You think to yourself, surely someone else has been through this, or surely there’s a book on this subject I need to read, or maybe, just maybe, I need to pray about it and let God deal with it?

 

 I had an odd revelation such as this the other day and it involves resentment. I was able to put this title to it after weeks of battling it. Resentment. Sure doesn’t sound pretty. I realized, however, that I didn’t know who it was or what it was that I was resentful toward. Just for time’s sake alone, I think I’ll direct this toward the enemy of our souls.

 

We’re always dealing with some issue in this life. After all, that’s what life is: a WHOLE expansive lot of issues. Maybe a death in the family here, a broken whatever there (dishwasher, car, LEG, etc.), a sick child. The list can continue forever. Literally. However, when these things happen in a short span of time, resentment and anger can take hold of your arm like a mad grandma and make you feel disgusted by it all. Isn’t it strange when we need to have the best attitude, we demonstrate the worst? After all, we’re CHRISTIANS, right?? We’re supposed to have it all together! Faith, hope, and love throughout every situation!! I gotta tell you, even as I type that, my whole body kind of collapsed and my brain (and face) said, “Blah, blah, blah.” (It’s ok, God knows me. He knows what I think before I think it, so I can share these kinds of feelings.)

 

I’m angry that these things have happened! To me! And my family! Have you ever uttered the phrase, “Just when…?” As in, “JUST when we were getting our bills paid!” “JUST when we were on the right track!!” “JUST when I was feeling GREAT!”

 

This is no coinky-dink, my cherished brothers and sisters! God’s timing is perfect. And what I’ve found is that the enemy’s isn’t bad either. (I heard a gasp somewhere out there…a compliment?? To the devil?? Ok, maybe the gasp was in my own mind.) It’s not often that I throw any sort of complimentary statement the enemy’s way, but this one is the truth. He stalks about, pacing, unhappy, looking around to see who he can devour and destroy with his ways. (1 Peter 5:8) God warns us to stay alert and self-controlled. This maaaaaay have been the point where I lost it in the past few weeks. Self control. Let’s just leave it at “I’m workin’ on it.” I’m thinkin’ resentment and anger just might creep in if we don’t remain in control of ourselves and our minds.

 

I thank God for his patience, understanding, love, and crazy-awesome mercy today. I don’t know why He does it, but He continues to love me throughout every one of my issues and crises. Life continues as well—it continues to come our way and it’s up to us how we handle it and who we look to in order to help us handle it.

Miss You, Tobe

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Let the glory of the Lord rise among us. This is the song I’ve had in my head each morning this week upon awakening. Also upon awakening, I check to see if my beloved kitty cat of 7 years has miraculously returned from the grave to lay in her usual spot on the couch. I see a dark mass on the floor in the wee hours and mentally kick myself for wondering if it’s her. It’s been three weeks and I am just now to where I can even mention it and that is not without tears. See I met Tobey, a girl kitty cat, mind you (named before we’d thoroughly checked anatomy), one afternoon after she’d been bathed, clipped, and scrubbed at the vet’s office. This was a trip my husband had made after the decision to adopt the feline that kept showing up under his truck at his workplace. Once my cans of tuna and can opener started disappearing, I no longer questioned why she continued making this appearance. She was a scraggly thing and I never once thought we needed a cat in the house…litterbox: ick. hairballs: gross. hair, period: no more black outfits. Then I held her as the vet tech passed her to me that day. She literally put her head on my shoulder, thanking me. Love at first hairwad.

From then on, she was the center of our lives. “Tobey jumped so high! Tobey did a flip!! Tobey killed a mouse…noooo, wait, the mouse must’ve had a heart attack.” Tobey wasn’t a killer in any way shape or form. We determined that she must have sniffed him, tried to give him a hug, which consequently resulted in heart failure for the rodent. We laughed at the times she’d fall asleep on the couch, then fall off the back when she forgot where she was. She literally fell out of a window one spring afternoon because she pushed the screen out. My husband and I looked at each other as parents would, first concerned and then surprised, immediately springing into action to rescue, then laughing uproariously at the wide-eyed critter awoken from a sound sleep.

Our God takes us to new times, new places in our lives, and new experiences. Our “center” has changed, as it does when God blesses a couple with a child, resulting in a family. Tobey is so greatly missed, but the experience of knowing her was one of the greatest blessings of them all. We thank God for the time we got to spend with her as her beautifully sweet personality remains a constant in our minds.

Exposed

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Exposed. That word makes me very uncomfortable and yet relieved at the same time. I think of crimes being exposed, or politicians admitting guilt or public indecency involving a trench coat. It almost gives me that feeling of, “Uh-oh, I ate the last of the Girl Scout cookies…I was gonna save some for my hubby! Oops!” You know the one I’m talking about? That feeling that just makes you feel, well, icky?

Then if we truly look at the idea of being exposed, it goes so much deeper than that. I had emotions that I’d never dealt with before I was an adult. To go so many years without having said anything to anyone or spoke them out loud or even admitted to myself they existed…I tear up just thinking about some of it. The enemy of our souls wants us to keep that stuff in the dark. Feelings of remorse, guilt, shame, ugliness, meanness, cruel thoughts, hurtful words, the list continues for miles upon miles. I had a lot of fears surrounding childbirth and raising children. I saw the struggle some had with both and the complications that could ensue. I saw how awful children could behave (and in public!! Gasp!) and wondered if I could ever handle those situations. What if I couldn’t even have kids? That was a biggie for quite a while as my husband and I first decided we had been wrong; children were indeed a gift from the Most-High God and we wanted that gift desperately! Years later, we wondered why we didn’t deserve that gift, or if we had made the Almighty God upset that we hadn’t realized how precious kids were in the first place. Those feelings can overtake you if you let them…wondering what you did wrong, realizing you were wrong, then dealing with that fact. That nasty blame game we play is one in which no one wins and it’s not any fun playing!

God exposed my feelings and showed me what exactly I was dealing with and not only that, but how to overcome it! Once I started dealing with the issues, instead of trying to run from them, or soak them in booze (see earlier post–“Brutally Honest”) God and I were a united front. And if God is on our side, WHO can be against us? I pray today that you are brave enough or maybe curious enough, to ask God to expose your fears and thoughts because I’ve learned that it is through this act that we gain freedom from chains we weren’t even aware of.

Overcome

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Overcome. This word comes to mind as I think about how we, as human beings, suffer loss. Have you ever sat in the middle of a funeral and felt overcome by what you felt? Like you couldn’t catch your breath or maybe you put your hand to your chest to make sure you were really there. The hurt of your heart was so great you thought you might not make it through it. We have suffered some very real hurts this past year and as I look back, I wonder how I ever would have made it through without Jesus.

If you think this to be an odd statement, then you don’t know Jesus as He wants you to know Him. You see, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all one. They are one, but separate entities. (“My thoughts are higher than your thoughts” comes to mind when I try to wrap my brain around this one.) God has designed a beautifully intricate system here. I’ve gotten to a place where I don’t try to grasp it, I just accept it. The Holy Spirit is the one I’ve been working on getting to know better these days. Jesus said back when He was on the earth that when He left, a Comforter and Helper would be sent. When’s the last time you looked to the Holy Spirit for help and comfort? I don’t know what your background is, but mine wasn’t one that looked upon the Holy Spirit as a day-to-day guide. I simply didn’t know too much about Him. And I say “Him” because the Holy Spirit is a person—He is God. Don’t give up trying to understand here as I have before. Just accept that God is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is God. In God’s plan, we have a constant help with us here on this planet through the Holy Spirit. Some of us just don’t know it yet. But once we figure out that it’s up to us to get the relationship ball rollin’, there’s no end to what we can accomplish. May the grace of God and His Spirit be a constant comfort to you today and this week, whatever you may be going through.
In Memory of Gillie—we thank God for the time we got to share with you in this lifetime.