“Recipe for An Amazing Woman”

I hope everyone’s doing well and enjoying this fall like weather! Fall is my favorite time of year!

My heart is so full and I just wanted to share about the goodness of God in my life! I recently blogged about my family and how blessed I am to have so many great people to model from. I sent a group text to my entire family and a few friends that are like family, sharing how much of a part of my God story that they have been. It’s amazing to look back and see the goodness of God and how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Just like the song, even when we don’t see it, He’s working,; even when we didn’t feel it, He’s working! He never stops working!

https://youtu.be/EXQGTInPpZU

From the beginning of this blog, I’ve always said how amazed I am at the people that God puts in our path. Besides my family, I’ve been abundantly blessed to cross paths with so many amazing people. I really have my kiddos to thank for so many of those friendships through sports, spring break trips, school activities, their classmates etc. My coworkers, college friends, even those in His mysterious ways that I never would have crossed paths with otherwise He knew exactly who and what I needed in my life and I am so thankful!!

I’ve also been thinking about the spiritual mentors He put in my life that have poured into me! How blessed am I to have so many wonderful men and women that have helped shaped me!! I once heard a sermon about standing on the shoulders of giants. I’ve been blessed with some great ones!

Something that God’s put on my heart lately though is how important it is to apply the things I’ve learned. It made me think of a recipe and how when we try something someone else has made and if we like it, the first thing we do is ask for the recipe.

We can go home and make it. Our families will love it and it’ll be something we can add to our menus. For one night, it’ll solve the dreaded question of “What’ should I make for dinner?” We can add a little extra of this or that to make it fit our taste. Or, we can go home and put it in our drawers along with other things we never look at.

Just like in life, if we go home and apply it, then good things can come from it. If we just leave it in the drawer, it doesn’t do us any good!

Like the spiritual giant sermon, my prayer is to be an encourager and spiritually a light to those around me now and after me. I’ve learned a lot through life experiences & like the saying, “ He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”He’s been so good and faithful to equip me for this crazy life!

All the songs we sang and memory verses from growing up in church weren’t just words, but words of truth that now have meaning. The elementary song about obedience has been playing in my head. 🎶Obedience is the very best way to show that we believe,, doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily, ACTION is the key, do it immediately, the JOY we will receive……🎶 Today was Charity Church’s 70th anniversary and I’m so thankful that I was led there as an adult. They taught me about discovering my spiritual gifts.. Nit just to know them, but to grow, cultivate and use them for God. Here’s a link to discover yours https://giftstest.com/

They taught me about the power of the Holy Spirit within me, how we can take authority over things in our prayer life. To learn the word of God, as it truly is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. It’s the living word that comes to life in every situation. They taught me to pray the scriptures over my circumstances, as His Word will not return void. Most importantly, I really learned to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. Through these things, God’s truly been a waymaker, miracle worker, a light in the darkness.

I bought some things from Collective goods. They’ve sold things since I’ve been working at the school, but this is the first time I’ve ever bought anything. . Today, as I was unpacking the measuring spoons that I bought, I came across this!

Start with Grace and honesty, Mix in pure humility, Add strength of character that rises above the stress of life’s surprises. Fold in personality, Toss with generosity, Pour in love from a heart that’s true, Yield: One terrific you!
The measure of an amazing Women~is the blessing she brings to others.

May we all learn to apply the things we learn from each other. To have faith, strength, generosity & honesty to become the amazing women (and men) that God intends for us to be!

Thanks for letting me share!

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An Overcomer

I had a really tough conversation today where we just had to agree to disagree. It made me aware of some things that I wanted to clarify and share. This is my online “diary”. I began writing it because at the time, I was in a very dark place and found writing was good therapy. It’s also a good way for me to look back on my life, to remember the things I’ve done daily to get to a better place and see the difference over a time period from doing these things day in and day out

I’ve never claimed to be perfect and I confess , I sin every day, we all do! But, I truly do have a daily walk with The Lord. I try to know His Word and apply it, so I can be better today than I was yesterday. Verses have different meaning and come to life in a different way with every circumstance. Meaning that what I got out of a verse today, I could get something different out of it tomorrow, depending on the situation. That’s why it’s called The Living Word!

Do I always ✅ 💯 of the boxes? Absolutely not, but some days I check more than others. I’m a work in progress every single day and my ultimate goal is to become the best that I can be. There will be days that I fall short, but I’ll just get back up and keep trying!! I’m a strong believer in the power of prayer and have seen very specifically the results of it!

When I post these blogs, I’m not preaching to anyone! Really, the only reason I share these posts online is because it might just help someone that is going through what I went through. When I was going through my darkest times, just hearing someone say that “they’d been there” was the most comforting words to hear!

I keep this blog very vague out of respect, but there are no words to describe what being in a mentally, verbally. emotionally abusive relationship is like. It did things to every fiber of my being, to the core. It changed who I was and kept me from being the best version of myself. It took away my voice, my joy and my peace. It affected me in every area of my life that I didn’t see until I was out of it! It took me years to dig out from the old soil of life, shake it off and begin to stand on new, fresh solid ground!! These days, I’m figuratively standing on the mountaintop, but for years, I was in the deepest valley.

I’ve had good feedback from writing this blog and heard from others how they needed to hear what I wrote. I believe that God can work in us and through us even if we are not 💯 perfect. That was the agree to disagree topic from earlier today. Plus, it’s my online blog and respectfully, no one is forced to read it!

I was recently with an old group of friends. The same group that was there with me when I went through my divorce years ago,. Except this time, instead of being broken and in deep pain, I was full of joy, peace and lots of laughter. In my eyes that shows that I’m healed or at least healing!! And, I’ll have to say, it is the best feeling ever!

I’ve been divorced for 11 years now. Time does heal & change things. It definitely changed me. I’m a completely different person!!

For me, going through a divorce, was the most painful experience that I have ever had. I remember in those days how I daily, would cry out to God the words of this song, over and over and over again…..

https://youtu.be/SqBMNSuDf7g

it talks about the pain being so deep that you can hardly breath. It says please don’t let this go in vain.

I believe that time and that pain was not in vain. I learned from it, I grew from it and I applied what I learned to live my best life. At the same time being a sinner saved only by the grace of God!

Also, in my adult years, I was taught about the power of praying the scriptures. Along with the words of the song, I prayed this scripture over and over and over…

I wasn’t 💯 perfect when I was crying out these prayers, but the intention/belief in my heart was 💯. I’ve seen these very prayers answered!!

I think about the different phases of life and this particular phase lasted what seemed like forever. But, thank God that I was able dig out of that phase and move on into a new phase with a new song in my heart.

I’m not going to share every phase or new song, but if you scroll back you can read more about them.

When I was healed a little more, then this song became my new prayer. To be honest, I wasn’t 💯finished in the healing phase, but I was able to move on and see both phases of life coincide with each other. This was a good lesson for me because I used to think that I had to have it all together FIRST and then I’d see change happen. I began to realize that we definitely can’t change people and sometimes we can’t our circumstances. My new pray and song became that God would change me.

https://youtu.be/xUT4trsrBCw

I had lunch with a good friend years ago and as we caught up on our lives, we got to laughing that we were just a pair of “hot messes” lol! I joked that I hoped God could work in us and through us anyway! I believe that He can and that He has. She shared her favorite song at the time and that became my prayer.

https://youtu.be/dOBaLrItEyc

I won’t, but I could go on and on with songs and scriptures that I’ve prayed and I’ve seen become reality.

Life is tough for all is us and we all have our own battles. I’m just glad that through my life, whether I had it all together or not, I was able to be an over comer!! Plus, God is far from finished!

https://youtu.be/z29olPjFbqg

Thanks for letting me share!

“He’s still working on Me……continued

Once I got home from camp, I washed the clothes in my suitcase and put them right back in. I made a few notes to self that I need to work on. For example, drinking more water & in 100 degree weather, just wear the sleeveless shirt. Embrace those flabby arms for the moment. Toning them is on my list of things to accomplish., but I’ll probably just die with flabby arms, 😊

My son’s playing college baseball in NY & we were off to see him. The scenery & weather was beautiful and we had a blast making memories. I learned a lot about myself and my family.

Age sneaks up on you and changes everything, what seems like overnight! I’m still young, but this trip made me realize to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Again, words I’ve always heard that now those words have meaning. “My word” that I chose for 2022!is balance, for alot of different reasons & I’ve really seen it needed in my life lately. I hope to have a good balance as I age-like the fine wine from the beautiful NY vineyards and hopefully to do it gracefully.

Somehow, we got on the topic of love languages. If you haven’t read Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages book, I highly recommend. It’s so helpful in learning about how the people in our lives receive and/or give love. It really helps in building any type of relationship you’re in. Here’s a link to the quiz.

https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language

For receiving. acts of service is hands down my top. Adulting’s a lot of work and to have someone just change the lightbulbs or take out the trash makes my day!!! In giving love, I see all of them-touch (I’m a hugger), words of affirmation (I’m everyone’s biggest cheerleader), acts of service (I’ll help do anything). I really enjoyed the quality time we had on our trip. I already have my first Christmas gift bought just from noticing things my daughter likes. 😉 Spending time is the best way to get to know others and how they tick, their strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes. With my kids, it’s good to be aware of them, not to annoy them or to annoy them. It depends on the day and the mood I’m in which one I choose 😂

Parenting as your kids get older, can be so rewarding & challenging. We have to learn boundaries, have a good balance, show grace and learn to let them fly!!

My son plays college baseball now and I can’t talk to him in the dug out like I used to, the coaches preference. We made a deal that we could talk after the game once he got to a certain spot in the park on his way out to his car. Lol! It’s a good thing that I didn’t bring after game snacks and drinks like I did when he played little league. He would have been mortified 😂

My daughter’s an extreme germ-aphobic and very sensitive to any noise, like chewing or humming. It made me more mindful of those things, but I also found myself saying, “quit being ridiculous”Haha!

I know the things that’ve been instilled in my kids, the prayers & scriptures prayed over them and I know His word will not return void. Isaiah 55:11 ….so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. I also know…..For I know the plans(A) I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper(B) you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.

In them, I see their faith being demonstrated through recently being baptized. I see them growing, seeking to be pleasing to the Lord and how to do so through His word and other inspirational books. Just like me though, they’re a work in progress. They might not make the same choices I would, listen to the same music or use the same “language” I do. But bruh, I also have to find the balance and have the grace to remember that I was their age once. That’s challenging, but bet!!, I’ll try! How’d I do kids?!? 🤷‍♀️

I also know to…..”Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22: 6. We all have our own free will and there’ll be things I can’t have a say over, but I can and do pray that my kids will always follow God’s will for their lives.

It’s always been super important to me to let them learn to fly ( in life)! That also means learning to navigate what that looks like. This world’s a crazy place. I want us to be informed, make wise decisions & caution, but not live in fear or hinder them from living their best life. My youngest graduates next year. I know I’ll be a basket case as he leaves the nest and learns to fly!

Not only do I want my kids to fly, I pray that they’ll soar! Isaiah 40:31. but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” This was our camp theme verse this year. If you were at camp with me, I know you just did the motions or at least thought them in your head.😊

Here were just a few tidbits from my vacation. I hope you all enjoyed reading. Love you all! Thanks for letting me share!

“He’s still working on Me”

I hope everyone’s having a great summer! I was just gone for a week, home for 4 days, gone again for 6 days. Shew! I had a great time, but there’s definitely no place like home!!

I’ve had a lot of “only God” things & living, learning & applying lately. Have you ever had those times when you just “get something” and looking back you realize how it was all pieced together? It’s the greatest thing ever, right? When we hear things when we’re little that are just words, but when we’re older, the words have meaning!!…coolest thing ever!!!

My parents worked in the youth group when we were little and my dad always had us sing, “He’s still working on Me” in front of the teens. My girls sang it too (once as a duet) at church. I added their cute picture with their video, as they were about this age when they sang it.

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0f4o9jTLqVZxMMu6qTKO2sukQ

I’ve always LOVED church camp. First, as a camper, then as a counselor. My first year as a counselor was in the summer of ‘97. It was a life-changing, unforgettable experience. Then, I married in ‘98, had 4 kids within 6 years, divorced after 13 yrs and alot of life happened along the way too. I can’t tell you the times that I’ve thought back to that profound time and wished I could go back to that summer!

Last year, coincidentally, or what I call a “divine” hair apt. 😉I ran into an old friend who helps run the same camp at the same place I was a counselor in ‘97. Neatest thing ever!!!! “Only a God” thing. As I said, a lot of life had happened in those 23 years and I didn’t even know Supercamperific still existed. As we talked, I learned they needed counselors & I was overjoyed to volunteer! Last summer brought me back full circle to the same camp my counselor days began …..the best days ever!….”Only a God” thing!!

We’ve just had camp again this summer. We all re-connected from last year and made new lasting friendships with the new campers and staff from this year. We had so much fun & the connection you build with so many great people is amazing!

Sometimes I questioned though, why in the world the kids would want a 47- year old , chunky lady around. Haha! We probably all do that at times-what can I do?!? how can I help?!?

I’m not a Bible scholar. I know the stories of Adam & Eve, Noah & the Ark etc., but not the in- depth history of the Bible. Praying the scriptures and being a prayer warrior would be my strengths. In my darkest times, biblegateway.com, became my best friend. I’d search whatever I was feeling, look up the scriptures and pray them. The Bible does say….

Psalm 119:11King James Version

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

It’s amazing how those words do become hidden and and can flow right out of your mouth when they’re needed.

God made a way for me to build good relationships with, minister to & pray with the campers about the tough things they each face as teenagers. Just to hear one of them say, “I needed to hear that” was enough of a reason to know why I was there (AND….I just answered my own question in writing this 😊). Thankful that His word is hidden in my heart & it could become alive to be a light unto our feet and a light until the path of a teenager.(mine and yours too)

I used to think that I & everything had to be perfect first and then…. But, I was reminded that God can use all of us right where we are-whoever we are, however we are, if we’re willing ! Thankfully though, He’s still working on me everyday.

It also gave meaning to what being the body of Christ really means. How we can all offer our own strengths & truly see how all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose! Love you all!

To be continued….Can’t wait to share about my NY trip

Thanks for letting me share!

To be

A lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our Path

God is so good and has literally brought me full circle in so many areas that I have to share. I always wrestle a little about posting, but I can’t shake the feeling of not sharing. I’m going to continue this post later because there are just too many God moments to share in one. I just think of it as my online diary. A place where, if you’ve followed, then you’ll share in the joy of my journey. If you haven’t followed, you can read my previous posts and see just how much of a God story I have and how much He’s done for me. He can do the same for you!

In my darkest days, I was taught so well how to lean on the Holy Spirit, how to learn and know scripture, how to pray those scriptures and stand on the truth of His Word, how to know the voice of the Holy Spirit who can truly guide our every step. I thank God for those that poured into me and took the time to always answer my phone calls with millions of questions as I was learning and growing and for guidance when I was hurting and needed prayer. There’s too many to name everyone, but Pastor David & Carla, get the prize for always answering my phone calls and being great teachers and Paul, for answering all my questions with a ? and emails! 😊

For a visual, I was buried beneath years of STUFF( an unplanned pregnancy, rough marriage, deep wounds, heartache and pain of divorce, raising 4 kids as a single parent & just figuring out life in general) that I had to dig my way out of. Literally, one thing at a time, one day at a time. One of my pastors described it as shaking off the old “soil” to allow myself to stand higher & higher on fresh “soil”. As I now stand on higher, solid ground, I’m living dreams come true and prayers answered!

In my last couple of posts, I’ve talked about sitting around the kitchen table with family! Almost like I knew what was to come in the days ahead. I had no way of knowing, but I do know what my hopes and prayers have been!💕

Usually on Easter Sunday, my parents host and do all the cooking and plan all the little extras. I’m glad they do too. It’s a lot of work and $$ .😉 They were out of town this year and I had the privilege of hosting.

We had a good dinner with all my kids home, except one, who was on vacation, my brother & SIL and nieces stopped by and my in laws were here too. They played cards at the kitchen table, debated their different opinions on politics! 🤷‍♀️. We had an Easter egg hunt with $$. It was a lot fun watching my almost adult kids wrestle over the golden egg. A great day and priceless memories were made!

A week before Easter, I asked on Facebook for book recommendations for my son. He loves to learn and was looking for something to read as he’s maturing and just looking for guidance as he grows.

After everyone had left on Easter Sunday, he and I got into an unplanned conversation about life. He really challenges me because he’s a deep thinker and asks lots of questions ( kind of like his momma😊) We went to the Word and reminded ourselves what the fruits of the spirit are and how that should be evident in all we do, if we’re striving to do our part as Christian’s. We had really good prayer together and he asked about developing his own prayer life. I gave him the same advice that was given to me. Find a quiet place daily just talk to Him.If you’ve ever watched the movie War Room, that’s a perfect example. From my own experience too, learning to hear His voice is so important as that’s how He leads us!! We also talked about the importance of surrounding yourself with other believers.

Some of my dear friends had been inviting me to visit their church and the following Sunday I went with them. I’d never been and I’ve never just visited with friends before. The message that day was exactly what my son and I had talked about just the week before. I whispered to my friend sitting next to me that I was about to jump out of my seat! 😊 I talked to the Pastor afterward. He gave me a book for my son to read AND he graduated from the same college my son attends now. He recommended, as important as reading is, getting involved in groups on campus was just as important. Having gone there himself, he recommended the exact groups to look into. He said to let my son know that he’s praying for him and he could reach out to him anytime. He’d even love to catch a game at his alma mater sometime.

As I’ve reflected on life’s journey, I’m writing this with tears of joy flowing. God is so good and has been so faithful! There were years that I wondered if the tough days would ever end if God was really there and hearing me! Even though I didn’t see it or couldn’t feel it at times, He was there all along, holding us in the palm of His hands. He knew the plans for us….to give us hope and a bright future. Providing a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! And in the words of a dear friend, He’s far from finished!!!

May we all have the faith to trust in Him with all our hearts for our lives and our futures!

Thank you for letting me share.

When We all get to Heaven, What a day of Rejoicing that will be

I was blessed with 2 wonderful sets of grandparents and a bonus grandma too! I’m the oldest and gave them their names, Mamaw and FaFa! 😂 I’ve been thinking of and missing them a lot lately, but have realized how much of them are with me and in me every day. Both of my Mamaw’s were superstitious, and whether this is true or not, we don’t put on our shoes on the table because that’s bad luck and we never do laundry on New Years Day because that could wash someone out of the family!

I run the sweeper in straight lines the way Mamaw did. We knew never to walk on her freshly swept carpet and mess up those lines too! We definitely knew never to wake up Fafa when he was sleeping! Every time I comment about the gas prices or stock market, I think of my grandpa in KY. I can’t repeat what he’d say about that though! Lol! I loved going to their house, sitting at their kitchen table and looking out the window at the pretty view, like we’ve all done so many times before. If they were there, there’d be plenty of snacks on that table with a salt shaker nearby and a big, green cup at the kitchen sink. The snacks were there to hold us over for the main feast that she’d been preparing for weeks. Pretty soon, she’d be yelling that her green beans were burning or to shut the door, we were letting flies in!

My last grandparent (FaFa) passed away in 2020. I’m 46 now and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started to text or call him to tell him the latest with me and the kids. He lit up when we went to visit them or heard our stories. Or, I’ll think, if FaFa was here, he’d be fussing, or if Mamaw was here, Miss Pat would’ve been fit to be tied! I’ve heard when you see a cardinal, it means someone from heaven is visiting. When I see one, whether that’s true or not, I’ll just say Mamaw and Fafa came by for a visit!

I’ve been thinking a lot about them lately because now that my kids are older and come home to visit, we’ll sit around the kitchen table talking, laughing or playing cards. (what is it about families and the kitchen table?), my daughter goes shopping in my pantry instead of going to the grocery store. When I send leftovers home, I’ll make sure to remind them to bring back the containers. I do certain things because that’s just how my dad did it or that’s just how my aunts/uncles did it. My aunt and I have had some good laughs about some of the “beauty secrets” I have 😂 because that’s how she did it.

Recently, I said to my kids, I sound just like my mom and as I’ve thought about it, that’s a good thing. She’s a lot like her mom (dad) and they’re a lot like theirs and so on down the line. Ya know, often, when you’re frustrated with your spouse or irritated with your kids, “you’re just like your mom (dad)” is a negative thing. 😉 Both my grandpa’s favorite question was if if I had a boyfriend. I don’t at the moment, let alone a spouse, but if I ever do, I already know what my response will be. Thank you, because that makes me proud. That’s just a little background to you all about what’s been on my mind and in my prayers lately.

I’ve just been praying that I’ll be the best version of me, a combination of all the best traits of those before me. To use the strengths for good and better the weaknesses. I’ve been praying the same for my kids too, that they’ll be the best combination of their families. Can you imagine how great our future grandkids and great grandkids could be, if we all strived to be the best version of ourselves and those before us?

I thought about how all the grandkids and great kids sang together at my grandpa’s funeral. He loved music and played every instrument imaginable. When we were all together, not much made him happier then when we’d all sing together.

It’s a beautiful song that gave me a vision of what it’ll be like when we all get to heaven!

I just hope and pray that my friends and family will be proud that I’m their mom, grandma, sister, aunt, 2nd mom…..whoever, just like I’m proud that they’re mine.

Thanks for letting me share!

Living on a Prayer brings Beauty from Ashes

Hi! I hope everyone’s doing well and enjoying spring! We just got home from our week of spring break where we had lots of sunshine, laughter and wonderful memories were made! I haven’t written for awhile, but my heart is so full and I have so much to share. Just a warning…it may be a long post! 😉 If you’ve followed me, some things may be repetitive. To the new readers, I promise there’s hope that with God, you can overcome and will make it through!! I’m now living answered prayer! Actually, lots of them!! I’m definitely not an expert, but I’d love share with you what God did for me!

I first started writing this blog because, at the time, I was looking for something to bring guidance to single women with kids after a divorce. I couldn’t find anything, so I just decided to write my own. 😊 It became very therapeutic in helping me to heal! I’ve been amazed at the number of women I’ve heard from that “needed to hear” what was written who had been through the same thing or are currently going through the same.

I grew up in church where my parents had the BEST group of friends, with kids that have become my dearest friends. We vacationed together, went out for dinner’s together, lived at each other’s houses, we fought like sisters over things, we fought over boys. We joke, those boys we fought over then are bald and ugly now haha!…..Church camp and youth group are some of my greatest memories!!! I’m so thankful for my Christian heritage and foundation that was life-saving in my adult years!!

Like every girl, my dream was to have a life just like mine growing up! I didn’t know any different! When I got married, it wasn’t what I dreamed of. It was a lot to go, yet grow, through, very unhealthy, toxic, a lot of belittling, very demeaning. It took the life out me, it took the joy away from me. It’s taken a lot of years to heal from it and find happiness within myself. But, as you read on, you’ll see, I did it, WE DID IT!!!💕

I want to be clear. I don’t have any hard feelings and wouldn’t change those years because of all the good and bad that shaped us. I’ll be the first to say, no negativity towards anyone, just ask my brother and my parents! 😜. I have to say , I commend them for honoring that wish and showing grace and mercy when I know they didn’t always feel it! My mom would even remind me of that at times I’d start to voice my own irritation in front of my kids. I have 4 wonderful kids that I’m so proud of and love with all my heart, I’ve crossed paths with wonderful people that I may not have known otherwise. What I walked through made my faith what it is and made me who I am today! I chose to cling to the cross, I chose to know, quote and pray scripture into my situation, pray song lyrics that spoke to me, sermons, books, whatever it took!!

When my kids were little, I did the best I could to make sure they had as “normal” of life as possible. I shuttled to/from practices, bday parties, team parties etc.-they definitely had a full social life!💕 Really, I overcompensated for them, wanting to fill a void being from a divorced family. We didn’t carpool much, or share rides often, mom/Mamaw/pop/uncle Greg got the job done! I also had wonderful in-laws that love me my kiddos fiercely and helped a lot too!

Groups of people gave me terrible anxiety! Im so thankful for “my people”, but I really isolated myself and was very closed off from the rest of the world. I did my best on the outside, but inside was so unhappy and miserable! My advice to anyone in a similar place, don’t isolate yourself because what happens is , you’re alone with your own thoughts that can run rampant in the wrong direction! Trust in the Lord, find “your people”, stay engaged and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

As the years have gone on, I’m a completely different person, happy on the outside and inside too. It’s hard being a single person and finding your place and where you fit! Couples hang out together and even if you’re made a part, it’s a feeling that unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to understand. I have the best family and friends and had no reason to carry the thoughts-feelings that I did. Isolating and being alone with my thoughts brought about so many things that weren’t truth!!

Now, I get to share the true point of this post and how this past week wasn’t just a vacation, but truly 23 years of answered prayers! My youngest son asked if we could go with a group of his friends and families on spring break (a group of 35 🤣) As you’ve read, that wasn’t my favorite thing and I was a nervous wreck on the inside. But, you know, the things we do for our kids!!😊 I’m so glad that I faced that “fear”. We had an absolute blast! I made new friends that I felt like I’ve known my whole life and strengthened old friendships by getting to know them better. I laughed so hard, went white water rafting , zip-lined, tried new restaurants with all kind of different, interesting foods! We really had a fun-filled week!!

As I was thinking about our week and the great time we had, I realized that every single one of my kids had a connection with a family there from being a classmate or teammate. It was an amazing feeling that although I may have been closed off/ guarded over the years, God knew the exact people that I needed to help me raise my kid! ! It takes a village and I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!!

As my kids get older and we’re in a different phase of life, sometimes trusting what’s to come for them and me is challenging. But, from how God’s guided my steps in the past and given us such a full, blessed life, my is plan to keep on keeping on. I have COMPLETE FAITH that God holds us in the palm of His hands and our future’s will be greater than we could even hope for or imagine! Love you all!

Thanks for letting me share!

Raise a Hallelujah

I haven’t blogged for awhile. Warning, this might be a long post!😊

I was sharing my story with someone today and it was a great reminder of my journey. The reason I started blogging was to help those that might be going through the same thing. I believe hearing, “I’ve been there” is the most comforting phrase.

I began this blog in July of 2018. At that time, I was broken and deeply wounded from an unhealthy relationship.

There were good things through the years, but the negativity truly took it’s toll on me. It affected me in ways that I didn’t even realize until I started healing from it. I believe we all struggle from insecurities, but when negative things are hammered in to your head, day after day, you begin to believe those things about yourself.

The truth is, we are children of a King. We were created in His image, fearfully and wonderfully made!

I’ll never forget hearing a sermon about changing our perspective and seeing ourselves through God’s eyes. That began my journey of little- by- -little, piece-by piece, day-by-day allowing God to change my perspective and fix all the broken pieces.

I often turned worship songs into my prayers and just thinking back to the different ones, God has really given me a new song to sing!

The song I first began praying over and over was, “When the hurt and the healer collide.”

There were days I would just cry out to God to take the pain away and collide with the hurt. I wondered if it’d ever end. Some days I felt like it’d never go away. God sure works in His timing, but He was there through it all!!

It was a time that God was growing my faith, strengthening me and making me who He meant for me to be.

The next song then became my prayer. I knew that I couldn’t always change my circumstances, but I believed that God could change how I handled them and change my perspective to see things more like Him. My heart’s cry became for God to change me (and fix the brokenness) and that He would be shown through me in all of it!

I’m not who I was then. God gave me complete healing, a joy and a peace and a new song to sing and pray!

We sang this in church today and it was another great reminder that through it all God has been my go to. He hears our heart’s cry. It makes me want to share it, pray it, sing it and give Him all the glory and all the praise!!

We all have storms that we’ll continue to go through! In them, we just need to sing in the middle of the storm and sing louder and louder!! In the end, we will be able to Raise a Hallelujah for all God has done!!

Thank you for letting me share!😊 Love and prayers to all of you!

What a difference a year makes

I hope everyone is looking forward to the holidays! I sure am! I don’t have my Christmas tree up yet, but I do have quite a few presents bought and waiting to be wrapped. That’s a first for me! I’m usually a Christmas Eve shopper.

I’m in such a good place right now and so excited for the bright days ahead!

But, I know the holidays are hard for some of you! Even last year because of what I was going through at the time, I didn’t even put a Christmas tree up or wrap a present. Gift cards and gift bags came in handy! 😜 I usually put up 5 trees and decorate the halls and walls and every where else I can find a spot!

I’m only sharing this to say, what a difference a year makes!!! We have so much hope in our Lord and Savior and if we give our hurts over to Him, He can and will completely heal us of all of the them and bring a joy that is indescribable!

I look back on my journey and though it was awful at times, He never left me and was there every step of the way! I became who I am because of what I went through and learned to trust and love God more and more every day.

It was one step at a time and one day at a time. I’m so thankful that His mercies are new every day. He gave me the strength to keep fighting to face those days and take those steps even when I didn’t feel like it! He can do it for you too!

I recently talked with a friend who is experiencing hurt and it reminded me of the grueling process of how I got through painful times and how far He’s brought me.

One of the things that helped me was reaching out to those that I knew would listen and keep me in their thoughts and prayers! Early on it was hard for me to muster the words to pray for myself! But, we are to be the body of Christ. I’m so thankful for those that were His hands, feet and listening ears for me!

Songs also helped! I’d play them over and over and turn them into prayers, crying out for my situation. When you let your hurt and the true healer collide, He will bring you comfort and one day heal all the pain. His plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! (Jeremiah 29:11) What hope we have in Him!

If you’re hurting today, listen to the words of this song! They helped me!

God is so good and He’s right there waiting with His arms wide open to heal our hurts. Love, prayers and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thank you for letting me share! 🙂

Lean on me when you have no strength to stand

I can’t even tell you how important it is to know God’s word. It truly is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Learning and knowing His voice also makes all the difference in knowing that we’re walking the right path.

Things are going well. I know God’s in control and He’s really changed me over the last few years. But, I felt like I was at a stand still, not knowing what’s next, life changes as my kid’s are getting older etc.

But, something as silly as putting a shirt on backwards gave me fresh hope and a new perspective. When the shirt was uncomfortable, I said to myself, “oh, that’s the back not the front .” Immediately this scripture came to mind, “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you will move upward and not downward, if you hear and carefully follow the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am giving to you today.” (Duet. 28:13, Berean Study Bible). It was His voice telling me to keep following Him and He’ll continue moving me in the right direction- forward and upward.

Life is such a journey of uncomfortable situations sometimes and such a process. I visualize it like a GPS. Go 3 miles, turn right at this exit. We’ll hit pot holes, road construction, closed roads, stand still traffic and detours, but there’s no better feeling than arriving at your destination.

Going through a painful divorce and healing from of an unhealthy relationship has been a long road. I hit a lot of the above. Over time, I was cruising right along and dealing with things as they came. But, this time last year, I hit a bump having to relive some of the most hurtful times.

I recognized it as having to go through it all again to deal with the unhealed wounds to arrive at complete healing. Wounds I didn’t even know existed.

Growing up at church, we sang a song called “Lean on Me.” The lyrics, I’ll feel His arms around me and I’ll hear Him gently say “Lean on me when you have no strength to stand, when you feel you’re going under, hold tighter to my hand. Lean on me…….you’ll find I’m all you need.”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qXU0lzPvDXs&list=RDqXU0lzPvDXs&start_radio=1

Not only am I so thankful that we can lean on Him through our struggles, but you’ll always hear me say how thankful I am for the people that God puts in our paths. Believe me, I didn’t want to revisit those hurtful times. I was good, I’d went far enough and I wanted to stop right where I was. I wouldn’t have kept going had it not been for the faithful friends that pushed me to keep going to arrive at all that God has for me.

Pushing through in that final stretch, the wounds were completely healed. The brick on my chest and the weight on my shoulders is gone. The cloud that hung over me from my past is gone and I realized it doesn’t define my future!

My word for this year is surrender. I’ve really learned to take my hands off and trust God!! That’s what faith is right?!? 😊When I find myself beginning to worry, I remind myself- Nope! I’m trusting God. I know the scriptures I’ve prayed that won’t return void. I’ll hold my hands open as I pray and say, “it’s in your hands, not mine!!”

My hope is that God would be glorified through our life and we can use for good the things that we’ve walked through to be a help and encouragement to others.

I hope to give hope to someone that’s been through what I have or that can be encouraged to keep going, if you’re on a bumpy road. God is right there with us through it all- the bumpy roads and when we’re cruising!! He will lead us to our destinations.

For my kids- I’ve heard from several parents of the friends of one of my kiddos how they’ve used for good the things they’ve experienced to be an encouragement to their friends. It makes me a proud momma for sure, but most of all, I’m thankful that God hears our prayers! I really appreciate those parents reaching out to me. They have no idea what’s in my prayer time every single day. It just gives me confirmation and reassurance that God’s been there through it all!

I’ve noticed another kiddo maturing and taking an interest in learning things that’ll make life better. I’m thankful for the circle of people God has in their path that’ve been there to teach things that I can’t. Why do they always listen to other people better than us?!? 😜 Regardless, I’m grateful!!

We’re all a work in progress and He’s still working on me. But, He’s been so good and so faithful and I have faith in where He’s leading me!!

Thank you for letting me share!!!