Know thyself…..

11 02 2015

” The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates

No question here, for those that follow Heavenly Father, He is a distinct individual. His distinctiveness is shown throughout the whole bible in the form of what he abhors (sin) and what he finds good (love). He sets himself apart from us through his distinctiveness. As we become closer to him, though prayer and time with His Holy Spirit, we develop our own distinctiveness but with His worldview.

The defining of himself, is how he sets boundaries.  He is the example. As we walk this journey with him, we learn through Him the importance of defining our own distinctiveness.

Distinctiveness. Boundaries. Knowing thyself.

So what do I really know about me?  What have I taken the time to ponder and reflect on about me?

Have I engaged myself and examined my behavior? Do we as individuals take the time to do this any more?

Ponder. Contemplate. Think……

At this point in my life, I learned a few things.

I place a high value on communication in my relationships.

For years, my thoughts and ideas were synonymous with my parents.  In order to survive my house, they had to be. I had no idea of  “self” but through them. Research shows that children of abusive parents barely have any idea what boundaries are because those parents never knew them or taught them.  Those same children have a hard time also expressing an independent thought. Experiencing a double edge sword; they have no idea how to positively, effectively communicate in the midst of being unable to set up their own boundaries.

Through recent experiences, I learned people who have a difficult time communicating and placing the art of  it on a low list of  priorities are not people I wish to engage.  Harsh. Yes. But, relationships are built and strengthened with shared experiences. Just like our relationship with Him is through prayer and shared Holy moments. The Holy Spirit does not live in church alone. He is everywhere.  Taking the time to dwell with our friends bonds us together whether it is positive or negative. We need people to walk the trenches with us. We need others to teach us. How else do we see Heavenly Father? Communication goes a long way in creating boundaries and setting limits. Communication teaches us. Molds us. Defines us. Gives us Distinction.

Conflict avoidance is not a part of my genetic makeup.

This goes hand in hand with communication. People have come and gone in my life who avoid their responsibility in conflict resolution.  It is a part of my genetic markup to resolve conflict. Ask Heavenly Father. It is in His book!

Conflict is a part of every day life. We are all different and will inevitably have conflict that needs resolving. Avoiding it, hurts all parties involved and goes against the very nature of Heavenly Father.  It is His wish and desire that we embrace our differences, get in the trenches and work out our conflicts. We do have them  even with Him!!!

Have you ever prayed in earnest for something and heard, “No.” ?

 

Heavenly Father gave us a plan  for conflict resolution (MATT 18:15-20).  As we been a knee and pray each day, we are expected to take the time to discuss (with Love and Truth) any concerns we have with our brother or sister in Christ. Typically those that avoid conflict in one area of their lives, avoid it in all areas.

Sit back and observe those that do……

You can see conflict avoidance in the parent /child relationship, with their spouse and in their work environment. Not in my house. Not with my spouse. Not with my children. Not with my family.

This is another boundary for our family and my friendships. If we befriend someone who has a hard time telling their children no, we will not continue that friendship. “No”, sets limits. Heavenly Father sets limits. MATT 5:37 states,”Let your Yes be Yes and let your No be No; Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Set limits. Say No.  

Honest Vulnerability entangled in Loving truth.

Honesty. Vulnerability. Loving Truth. Each one has its own distinctive quality. Honesty is synonymous with morality, integrity and righteousness. Heavenly Father loves us and allows us the opportunity to repent of our sins and seek forgiveness. He allows others the same. He is honest with us as we embrace His Holy Spirit. He honestly deals with our transgressions whether we are ready to hear it or not. Is this not what friendships should do too?

Vulnerability refers to a child like faith. It says, ” I will allow you to hurt me, to show you His light.” Take a leap of faith with someone.

Loving Truth gives us the tool to say. ” I love you but this behavior is not acceptable for our family/ for our friendship/ for my work environment.”  Be loving in your truth,  no matter what it entails.  Be receptive to the words from Him whether from him or through others. Be willing to teach and  to be will to be taught. This is the foundation for boundaries.

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Define yourself though His Spirit and Word.  Take a leap of faith.  Learn about you, through Him. Allow others to help you learn. Be receptive. 

Know thyself…...

These are things I have learned about me. The execution is not always glamorous, but growth inevitably occurs.

What have you learned about you?

Blessings,

~m

 

 

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Womb Woes

6 02 2015

Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe….

3 beautiful children.

Shane, Larkin and Darbylynne are gifts from my Heavenly Father for me to nurture and love.

Then why am I so determined to have another baby? Why can’t I be at peace where I am? What gives…

We recently discovered we are pregnant again. Not even 24 hours into this beautiful moment and I am spotting.  Last fall we miscarried twins.

Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe……

Admittedly, with each failed pregnancy a little bit of my hope dies… I feel a loss and sadness words just can’t adequately express. So why do I keep pressing on?

Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe….

I stopped praying for anymore children this past year. After 14 failed pregnancies including and ectopic pregnancy, stillborn and some other freak anomalies…I just stopped. I think the reason was two-fold. One, the look on my doctors face. It was a look I had never seen before. I look of pity, sadness and bewilderment.  Two, I just don’t know the next step; uncomfortably numb would be the perfect label of my current status.

My doctor was always in my corner. Until last year. It hurt to see her face as I walked away.

Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe…..

My soul aches for another.  My husband and I feel incomplete. My friend Lori, who is the epitome of wisdom in times like these, reminded me that this is my journey and I need to walk it which ever way it lays out.   She is truly a gem that Lori. Always supportive and never critical.  I just wish I understood why my journey has to look like this. I wish I understood the soul aching drive to not give up. Why on earth would  I elect to keep on going? Am I stubborn? Hard headed? Well, yes, have you not spent any time with me? But I suspect there is more here than that…..is this a test of faith?

Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe…

I wish I could  just say, “I’m done” and that be it!  But I can’t. Both my husband and I have tried to elect surgery and each time we receive and resounding, “No!” .

I spotted with my daughter Darbylynne. I had a cycle for two months. I was a bit overwhelmed and shocked I even became pregnant with her after losing my son Brendan.  He was stillborn at 7 months. We did conceive again though midterm through my hubbys deployment. She transformed our marriage and our family. Transformed it into His family. His Light in the darkness.

Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe…..

I suspected something was up this last week. Heartburn, tiredness beyond compare. You know,  the tiredness that shuts you down immediately.  Lights out before bed time!  Of course my chest was sore too and then there was my cat Mae Mae. She loves my belly when I am pregnant. Her claim was the final tip that sunk the iceberg. I took three tests. The last one was positive.

So instead of hiding the news, I told some of our friends.  I asked them for prayer too. We need prayer. Too many losses; for us not to ask would be a travesty.  We also decided to tell the kids again.

So often I have heard from friends to wait. We believe we need to celebrate the life inside us each and every time. We shortchange its value in our family, if we don’t tell them.

Hope… this is what it is about. Prayer begets hope and hope is a waxing right now. Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe?

The only difference between now and the other times is I am talking to the baby. Telling to it about its brothers and sister. Corny. Definitely. Time is precious though. There is worry in my heart over whether or not this one will make it. I don’t want that to be the only feelings it gets from me.

So to combat worry, I talk to the baby.  At the very least, the baby will feel the love we have for him or her.   They will know that Shane would love to have read and snuggle with him or her.  Making him or her aware of how much Larkin can’t wait to wrestle and play cars and take them on a bike ride warms my heart.   Letting them know how Darby eagerly awaits to practice her mommy skills on them too, just brings me joy. It is all I have right now. Other than prayer.

So we will celebrate the life inside and the lives we are committed to today.

Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe… this is my prayer for today. 

Blessings,

~m

 





30 Day Challenge

5 02 2015

We are back here again. Sighs…

Glued to the Television. Sickness claimed our lives for a few weeks, and as usual we became accustomed to sitting in front of the Tele- wasting time. No more. No more!!!

We are over all the sickness now. We should be able to get right off the couch and carry on, but it is never that easy.  We all have some form of ADHD in our house and TV is ADDICTING!! When we are done with our daily routine of schools work and chores the first thing we want to do plop and play! No more! NO MORE!

I played with this idea a few years ago when we started homeschooling. I actually took the TV to Goodwill and gave it away. My children were traumatized and crying as the volunteer timidly backed away from the rear of the car. I felt like a horrible mother.   Things will be a bit different this time.  I don’t feel horrible. I won’t be giving this one away. We are going to leave it right in front of us. We are going to break this habit and find some more positives ones, like reading, playing games and getting outside. There are just too many other things we would be doing instead of sitting in front of a box watching other people’s lives go by; fictitious people at that.

I am the first to admit I have very little discipline, especially in regard to this particular vice. Most of this is about me, but some of  it is also about teaching my children how to discipline themselves. If my hubby and I don’t model how to do this, who will teach them? I want them to be able to recognize when they need to pull back if they are too involved in an activity.  I want them to not only recognize they need to limit themselves but I want them to have the confidence to do it as well.

Panic. Deep breath.

Anxiety is starting to creep in. I feel pretty jittery just thinking about cutting the cord to the TV.  I love my Downton Abby, Once Upon a Time, Modern Family and Supernatural. I have watched Law & Order SUV for 15 years too.  Deep Breath.  I can do this… I CAN DO THIS! I can show them that it does not need to run their lives!!!

I am not sure they will get all that from one 30 day challenge, but I am going to try. After all Rome wasn’t built-in a day and neither are life lessons.

~m

 





Columbia: Our home.

13 08 2014

We love the military life.  One of the downfalls of this lifestyle the moving.  PCSing, which is short for Permanent Change of Station, brings about many challenges.  So often we find ourselves alone in our new surroundings because we move all over the world.  Family is typically too far to help and it is in our best interest to make friends quickly.  Friendships usually come last because we are so busy.  I know many families come and go to Fort Jackson so I thought I would help out a bit by sharing some of the places we have utilized at one time or another.  Maybe this will help you explore the area we currently call home. Here are my top 5.

1.) The all important Hair cut.  I know you are itching to get one too. I bet you have not had one since your last duty station either.   I bet you are ready to cut it yourself!  DON’T DO IT!  The list of what we have to do is HUGE when we move.  I know you have been busy girlfriend.  I know how you feel…… So here is a big heads up!  Go see Chrissy Lupina at Salon Bella.  It is right outside the main gate on Forest Drive; 10 minutes on a bad day of traffic.  Seven years ago, another military spouse passed her name along and I have not looked back since!  I know a hairstylist is an extremely personal thing.  I know we have all kinds of crazy emotions when it comes to a stylist.  Chrissy will not only give a 20% discount for being military, she will also not do anything crazy unless you tell her to.  She is cautious and a great girl to talk to.  Her daughter works there too and if you want wild and crazy hair… like my daughter.. she will help with something crazy!  Remember the movie Steel Magnolias?  Well stepping into her parlor with all the ladies feels a bit like that.  She loves you, dotes on you, and if you need to bring your kids, she will gladly allow them in the salon!  Can I get an amen?!?

My hubby was deployed twice in between assignments at Jackson and we home school as well.  So when I  head to the salon, my whole crew comes in tow. Debbie also trims eyebrows and other things. I like her tool! Enjoy!!

Here is Link to her website: http://salonbellasalon.com

2.) Dentists.  Not our favorite place to go, but a necessity nonetheless.  We always have trouble finding a good one when we move.  So I have two recommendations for you.  One for the children, and one for you. Forest Drive Dental, who is our new dentist for our kids, can do both mom and kids if you prefer.  Dr. Dover is once again located right outside the main gate down Forest Drive, located directly across from Shandon Baptist Church, so you can check that out too.  Many people are patients of a few of the larger dentists in the area  and we have tried some of them.  Not only is Dr. Drover cheaper than many others, but she does believe in utilizing alternate therapies.  My younger son Larkin needed 10 cavities filled and it cost me about $250 less than any other dentist.  She also did not do the 3 “recommended” root canals on baby teeth!  Dr. Staci Gaffos is another great dentist located of I-77 and Two Notch Road.  I prefer him because of his patient staff.  They are willing to jump through the hoops I needed in order to get my bit splints.  I grind my teeth and they help with that process.  Tricare will pay for them, you just have to know the process and have people dedicated to make that happen.  He does!  His number is 803-788-360. Call an make an appointment today.

 

3.) Therapy.  With the state of our military and the expectations as well as burdens placed on families, this is a must.  Lake Psychological Services is just another hop, skip, and jump out of the main gate again..  Take I-77 to Two Notch, which is the gateway to the North east of Columbia.  It is a half mile off the freeway.  If you are having problems in your marriage, this is a way you can get your spouse in without their command knowing.  Take them into the session with you.  She also runs a Bioneurofeedback clinic.  It is an alternative therapy to medicine for depression, mild autism, ADHD, epilepsy and anxiety.  The Neurofeedback clinic is not covered under Tricare, but it is worth every bit of the out-of-pocket expense.  Coupled with talk therapy, which is covered under Tricare, great strides can be made in these treatments.  I am living proof of its benefits as are both of my boys. There are plenty of therapists in her office besides Dr. Lake.  My hubby, who is the active duty spouse, has seen Wendy Davis as well.  They also have a psychiatrist on staff.  Many a military spouse have received help from this office.  I have yet to hear anything negative.  Call Sam, who is the office manager, he will walk you through the authorization process.

The link to their office is as follows: http:://lakepsych.com

 

4.) Chances are if you are heading to a therapy office, you should pop in the EFMP office on Fort Jackson too.  It is located right off Strom Thurman Boulevard on post.  Mrs. Cheryl Jackson is a godsend.  In charge of the Exceptional Family Member Program, she will do every thing in her power to obtain the services you need for yourself and/or your family members.  My family and I have benefited immensely from the love of her and her supporting staff.  Go to the Fort Jackson main website page and scroll on the tab marked Garrison, then scroll on the “Exceptional Family Member” link.  Once you get there, they will have a EFMP resource link on the left corner.  In the guide contains links to all the support organizations in Columbia.  The EFMP Resource guide was the brain child of another former military spouse.  She understood what it was like to move from installation to installation and not have any idea what was offered in lieu of support services for families with special needs.

Here is the Fort Jackson website: http:://fortjacksonmwr.com

 

5.) This last little tidbit is for those who have little ones at home.  Head over to Northeast United Methodist Church in north-east Columbia.   The drive will take about 20 minutes from Fort Jackson.  One of our ministries of our home church is a military MOPS chapter that meets twice a month.  Mothers of Preschoolers is a national support group for mothers with young ones.  Grab your little ones and head on over.  There is a large group of military spouses there willing to guide you in pretty much any aspect of motherhood.  Plus you get two hours of alone time from the kiddos!  The other two weeks a month the church has a mother focused bible study.  There is child care for this as well; it is the same day and time as MOPS (just the alternating weeks).  Lastly, on the first Friday of each month (during school months), the church has a First Friday movie night for kids.  It is two hours alone with hubby, or by yourself too.  The cost $2 per child with a $5 family cap.  Head right down the road to Sandhills Mall and enjoy some window shopping, desert or even a quick dinner.

Here is the link to the churches website: http:://www.neumc.com

Get your engines started and enjoy exploring Columbia. There are a few other aspects I will be writing about additionally in some following blogs. Public schooling, private schooling and homeschooling are big concerns for military families.  Many families in the military prefer to home school and I will discuss that too. Many businesses offer discounts to military families and I can let you know what we have found. Churches will be the next focus. Columbia has pretty much any denomination for being a small southern city.

Blessings!

Michele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Possession

7 08 2014

Possession is nine tenths of the law.
We have all heard this at one time or another pertaining to various objects or things we own, especially in disputes over them. How does this apply to our children though? Sitting here in car pool line for VBS , I just can’t let go of something my dear friend Lori said in an earlier conversation.

“Nobody has the right to be around your children. You decide who has the privilege. You are the gate keeper to that access.”

I never took that honor seriously until I started homeschooling. Who we associate with, who we spend time with, sends a silent but unequivocal heavy message to our children.

Heavenly Father commands us to love our neighbor. Jesus asks Peter three separate times if Peter loves Him. Each successive time Peter confirms His love for Jesus, He commands him to tend to His flock. ” Feed My Lambs”, ” Shepard My Sheep”, and “Feed my sheep” (Tyler 2010) Jesus expects us to love one another. Heavenly Father expects us to accept people where they are at too. Ponder those words for a moment. How do you model loving your neighbor to your children? What type of boundaries do you set for loving them? What do those boundaries look like?

I am noticing a disturbing trend over the years. Parents do not seem to be modeling any boundaries for there children. There seems to be a Laissez-Faire attitude towards parenting. Children don’t just pick things up, they need guidance and nurturing.

Our neighborhood has provided many opportunities to love our neighbors with boundaries. Homeschooling placed this at the forefront of our discussions many nights at the dinner table. We live In a lower middle class area, with high crime. Break ins occur frequently. Theft of Christmas and Halloween decorations occur yearly! Neighbors do not take care of their homes like they should and this just encourages those with bad intentions even more.

Access to playing with our children for some of my neighbors is strictly monitored. Some are no longer permitted access any more either. It has to be this way, as Heavenly Father placed it on my heart. Sexual predators are everywhere. Many parents here don’t give a thought about knowing the neighborhood children at all. Many parents do not take the time to even introduce themselves to other parents either. I am not that parent.

Over the past few years, several of my closest friends have dealt with some sort of sexual abuse in their neighborhood or home.
The last 24 hours, I have been on my knees praying for a sweet friend and her daughter. Her daughter refuses talk about what happened to her. All the signs are there. She had been sexually abused somewhere in her short life. Her anger runs deep. She hides her suffering quite well.

This has to be acknowledge and nurtured…..No matter how painful, because any type of abuse, especially sexual is generational. Generational. It will repeat itself. Parenting mindfully is a lot of work. Memories of my own deep dark secret crept up during this time. I never told anyone about my sexual abuse. I shoved it down and hid it. Unlike so many children, I walked away and did not allow it to define me. A neighbor, someone trusted by my parents, inappropriately touched me. These incidents, coupled with a recent one involving a neighborhood child and my daughter reset all our family boundaries.

A little girl in our neighborhood inappropriately touched our daughter. Thankfully I walked in on it. After a long conversation with her mother, my gut screamed denial on the all ready over worked and over burdened neighbor. But my first concern is Darbylynne. Not pleasing her mother or saving her child. Cold hearted as this sounds, I will not allow this happen to her.

Sexual abuse scars the soul. Those scars heal very, very slowly. No longer do I trust people so freely. I have no problem accepting people where the are at, but they will not have access to my children until I know they are safe to be around. We will meet the parents of our neighborhood children, or we will not play with them. Getting to know a bit about them is paramount before my kids are allowed in their home, or even having their kids in ours. I used to feel sorry for those less fortunate than myself and go overboard in my classroom and in my neighborhood to help others. I would sacrifice to help others, I still help when am able but I will not sacrifice my self or my children. There are healthy ways to help others.

It is not a right to be in our lives though. It is a privilege.

I urge you to step outside your four walls and be an active participant in your neighborhood. Your children need you. They need to see you care about their friends. They need you to model how to love your neighbors with healthy boundaries.

Blessing,
M

Zan Tyler, Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential (Anderson, IN: Apologia Press, 2010), 45





Mindfully spending time…

21 07 2014

image

 

Recently our family ticker has focused on the theme of mindful parenting. For myself, it started a year ago with Heavenly Fathers insistence I become more mindful of who and what I spend my time on. For those of you who are unaware, homeschooling is not all about eating bons-bons throughout the day.  It can be a logistical nightmare if you do not learn how to effectively juggle.  You learn, and I might add very quickly, to juggle housework, schooling, spouse time, and the ever important personal  time to prohibit crazy mom syndrome from appearing,  all while juggling activities for  each childs’ individual needs.  It is not an easy feat.  Through this process, I became extremely  mindful about what we did as a family and as a school.   These lessons came crashing down pretty hard on my hubby all at once when Larkin needed him the other night.

Homeschooling is still new to him as he was on his 4th deployment when we experienced our first year. He missed so many things. During this past week off work, our son Larkin, who is shown in the above picture, broke out into another rash.  So often I submit my tired body to the cause of motherhood and whenever nurturing is needed, I jump in head first. Natural instincts kick in during times of stress. This time was different. My son requested his father’s presence until the medicine kicked in for the hives. He wanted Jeff to sleep with him and snuggle with him. This was new territory for both of us.

My hubby and I were never ones for co-sleeping with our children. I changed when we had Darbylynne.  It went into over drive when Jeff deployed.   I needed her with me because I missed him immensely. She was still small and I was lonely.  Additionally, the kids and I started weekly slumber parties.  Sometimes we would read or play games. Sometimes we would invent stories and often times we would pray together.   Now we are constantly asked if they can sleep with us. We even take turns snuggling with them and sleeping with them  in our bed or theirs.

After Jeff and Larkin’s boys night,  my hubby realized  how much the boys needed him. He felt it in his heart.  Keep in mind, I have been praying for this realization for Jeff for two years. I have told him repeatedly how much they need him.  He never felt it until now. It never really sunk in how much they loved him and looked up to him until Larkin expressed a need to be with him.  Over the last few days and series of conversations, this realization has evolved into the idea that what we give our children and what they need are two very different things. Sound familiar?

Three years ago we were paying for the best local private school in the area. I was volunteering and doing all the right things for our children; things that we perceived they needed in order to be successful in this world. The one thing we were not doing though, was spending quality time with them. Rushing from activity to activity was keeping us busy, and we were not mindful of what they really needed, which was our time.  By our actions we were telling our children that the things we do were more important than time we spent with them. Homeschooling forced us to be more mindful of whom we associated with; it forced us to examine what morals we wanted installed in their character. It forced us to reexamine every aspect of our parenting. Character become one of two focal points in our homeschooling education program; mindfulness of Heavenly Father was the other.

We are asked to spend time with Heavenly Father daily and weekly in prayer. We are asked to cultivate a relationship with him. Relationships take effort and time.  Doing things for our children is not the same as spending time with them.  It is in spending time with them, we learn about their personalities and we are able to guide them through their lives. Children need guidance from their parents. They need to be shown how to be Christian men and women in a fallen world and that takes effort and mindfulness on the parents part.

So many parents do the right things and forget to spend time. Society suffers because of this. Prison population is on the rise. Gang membership is on the rise. Teen pregnancy is on the rise as well.   So many parents do not have balance within their own lives to even notice the children they have given birth too. They are too worried about paying the bills and doing their job to even realize the gems they have right in front of them. They leave it to the schools, the neighborhood and the church to raise their children. Trickle down economics does not equate with raising children.

I am not boasting that our family way is the best way to accomplish mindful parenting and I certainly not saying that our way is the correct way. But what I want to challenge you to consider  are you spending enough down time outside TV, play dates, schoolwork, doctors appointments, activities and life in general with your children?  My husband had a great father, but he has no memories of spending quality time with him. He has no memories of sharing intimate thoughts or emotions with him either. He was expected to understand what manhood is without intimate guidance from his father, as was I when it came to motherhood.

I do not want this for my children. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I do not know them intimately, know their quirks, their fears or even what makes them laugh. Heavenly Father expects us to be transparent in our relationship with him as well as intimate too. You can’t be intimate with your children if you do not spend time with them, just like you can’t be intimate with Heavenly Father if you do not make time for Him either.

I really close friend of mine is about to lose  her father in law. In talking  with her yesterday and sharing her story with my hubby, all three of us came to some pretty deep conclusions. Our hearts ache for this situation.  This  man, who will be leaving  this world, knew  he fell short with his children. He was given the gift of more time with a  dilapidating disease.  He did nothing with it though. He never moved into a more intimate relationship with either of his sons.  So as his sons go to see him off, he leaves this world knowing he failed them and this causes baggage. Baggage that could potentially keep him from a beautiful life with Heavenly Father; his soul is in pain when it should be a beautiful time to rejoice. My soul grieves for all the loved ones involved here. I am not sure about you, but when I go see my Heavenly Father I would prefer to not leave behind any unfinished business.

My prayer for you today is you become more mindful of your time and who you are spending it with. I pray you find balance in your own life not only as a parent but also with your spouse.  I pray you are more mindful with how you spend time with your children. Lastly,  I pray they become the focus of your life after Heavenly Father.

Be at peace,

~m

 





For whom do I speak?

16 07 2014

Matthew 10:20

For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

I have messed things up. I have hurt people’s feelings. I have spoken with my heart though and relationships are messy. I have loved others as I am called to, even when it makes no sense for the outside looking in. I have made mistakes. I am a sinner.

Living transparently with His guidance is tough. It is not cut out for the faint hearted. But nothing ever worth its salt is ever easy and if we rely on Him He will get us through it. He says so in Psalms 91.

Unfortunately, too many of us hide behind our fears. Heavenly Father wants us to speak and act boldly. He encourages us to follow Him even when it makes no sense, He expects us to act even when we are overwhelmed and not at the top of our game. Sometimes people and their issues happen to get in the way, because relationships are messy!

I have been afraid to blog because of my fear of what others may think. This was a very difficult hurdle for me to cross over, let alone to admit too. To you my dear reader, I owe you an apology. To my Heavenly Father, I ask for forgiveness from straying from the path He placed before . I had a fearful heart. I was afraid to execute. I ask for His and your grace.

You see this past few years,I gave myself so completely and thoroughly to what my Heavenly Father called me to do.. I forgot that an attack from the other side was emmnant; attacked I was too.

One of the things that hinders my journey is my lack of knowledge on how to have healthy relationships. The mistakes I made caught up with during my time of focus hurt my relationships after. My other hindrance, which is low self esteem, was hijacked by the other side on top of that. So I kept hearing accusations whenever I returned to our current church. I kept feeling shame. Other peoples actions just magnified this situation. The other side used this to keep my relationship with Heavenly Father in a state of fear. I was unable to focus on my task at hand because of the noise I was hearing at church. The other side used my unhealthy relationships to make me feel even more unloved, unimportant and unwelcome at a place I used to love and cherish. For a child of narcissistic parents, this state of mind created another level of heartache. Whenever things fail in my life, I go to place where it is always my fault. This is how I was trained. There was never forgiveness from either my parents. It was all about them.

My relationships at church suffered also because of others humanness. The blockades to heavenly father continued to grow. It was just a matter of time before I stopped attending. Many other things played a part in this decision too, but coming out of it, I realize how beautiful my current friendship are now. They are transparent friendships, which led to spiritual growth and also emotional growth. Authenticity leads to transparency and many people today can’t handle authentic, transparent Godly relationships. Stepping away from some unhealthy ones, lead me to develop healthy relationships with boundaries for the very first time!

I have been told what we do in our family is not christian, it is Wiccan. I have been told I am too passionate. I have been told I am too pushy. I have been told that I may not be at the right church by one of our own pastors as well. People I once respected hurt my heart more than I could adequately describe. But I see now, this was not just about me, but also others.

For someone with my family history , these things ate at the very essence of my soul. My shame for the woman I became at this point was doubled while my husband was gone. But I pressed on.

My Native American heritage is mostly unknown to me. But what I do know and practice could be nothing further from anything dark. I know my heart for The Lord is beautiful and radiates. I am His to command. For the first time ever, albeit small, I understand what it like to be discriminated against for my heritage.

Two years was the length of time it took to come to terms with this situation.
Two years but worth every minute.

What I learned from all of this is walk strongly and boldly for Heavenly Father. Transparency, authenticity are the fruits of the spirit we are to share with one another no matter what the rest of the world does. There will be times when you are misunderstood. There will be people who will judge you. Despite your best efforts to be a follower of the great white spirit someone will always judge you. It will hurt. It may tear your soul up for a time too. Don’t give up though. He will be with you and He will love you despite your fears. Remember too that those in church with you are sinners as well. Otherwise they would not be there.

My prayer for you is walk, speak and act boldly every day for Him!

Blessings,
m