It Works (Pt 2)

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Once I realized that God has answered so many prayers I was humbled. When I look back over the past year I can see where things that happened would not have been possible. It was God. I did nothing but followed what I knew to be the right thing or what I believed to be the best thing at the time.

Now I can hear you already. See it was you you made the decisions. Well, sure. I believe that God presented the opportunities and I had the choice to accept it or not.

The thing is that faith is trusting even when you feel you can’t. Trusting that God is in control.  Then being thankful.

The other side to this is sometimes we pray for things to happen or not happen that God does not intend for us. We have to accept that on faith too. Remember God knows our future. He knows where we are going. That thing, person, job or whatever that we really want may not be what God has in his plans for us. Sometimes the best things that happen to us are the unanswered prayers. Despite the felling of being let down we have to trust God. Look at the blessings and be thankful.

 

What I will Never Have

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I am sitting here looking back on my life and thinking that I should have more regrets. I have missed out on a lot of things that should have happened. I have regrets, we all do, but not like what you think. We all say things happen for a reason. To an extent I believe they do, but I also believe we have free will to make decisions. As a result of my choosing to use my free will there are some things I will never have in this life and I am all right with that because what I do have is so much better.

I will never have a big, white dress church wedding. I do have a life partner, who is more committed to me than any husband. I will never be the mother of many children. I do have many children who I love and who love me. I will never be rich. I do have everything I need.

Life is all about risks, and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had.  What matters is that you are living the life you choose. You alone have to answer for yourself. So my life did not turn out the way I planned. Sometimes you have to stop worrying have faith that things will work out not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.

I thank God for the things I will never have, because of not having them I have room in my life for things that are better. God has blessed me and for that I am thankful.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

Where is Home?

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perdido-key-beachOne predominant theme in my first novel, We Will Get There, is the idea of Home. The idea that home is not just a place but a sense of being safe and loved. How you see home depends on what connects you to happiness and peace.

If home is a place in your life then no other place will do. Home is home, and everywhere else is not-home. Home can be where you keep your stuff, where you sleep or where you grew up. For some people, as they travel  through life, they find their home multiple times in multiple places. For others, home is that place that you leave when you become an adult. It is as unchanging fixed place in time and space.

I want you to think about another place home can be, well not a place but a person. For children home is often the security of their parents. For some adults home is a significant other, spouse or partner. Home is where your heart is happiest, where you feel safe and where you can be your true self. Often that is not a fixed place but the person who makes you feel safe when you are with them.

For Krystal Sabine, home was tied to a place that reminded her of a person. No matter how far she got from that place, she was pulled back.

What is home for you? Is it that place where you sleep at night? Is it the place where you grew up? Or is home that person who knows your heart better than any other?

If you discover that your true home is not a place but the connection you have with the person you love most, you will not be homesick for a place. Where that person is will be home for you. It will bring joy to you when you are with them and longing when you are not.

As we make our way through this life, it is comforting to know that a cozy bed, warm meal, and  loving arms are waiting for us at home. Life is sweetest when you are home no matter if that home is a person or a place or for the lucky ones, both.

 

 

Example of Answered Prayer

Anyone who knows me knows I am a pray-er. I pray for everything. Big things like the health of my friends and  little things like God please let me make it home safe. I pray all the time. When I am asked how do I know God hears? or How do I know he answers? Most of the time I say, I just do. I try to remember a specific example and sometimes it is hard to find one that I think is significant enough to make a point. Now I have an example that is clear and obvious. I know some will say it is just coincidence but I know that it is not. It is a direct answer to my prayer.

Two months ago I prayed for God to show me what path I should take in my life. There was a position at my library that would be better money but not what I really wanted to do. Like a lot of people, I have student loan debt that I really need help paying. I am not destitute but could use the extra money. I prayed about it and not receiving a clear answer from God, I applied anyway.

One day shortly after I applied a co-worker and friend asks me if I saw a posting for a job at a different library. I said no but I would look at it later. I didn’t think about it the rest of the day as I was busy working. It had just posted that day, so I thought I had plenty of time. When I got home my step dad had the newspaper with the same posting in it. He made my mom call me to tell me about it. OK, God, I am listening. I looked at the posting, prayed  and decided to apply. Still unsure.

A few days after the posting closed, the other library called me for an interview. I felt that I did alright but not my best interview. I found out that someone with significantly more experience applied and possibly interviewed too. That’s it, I stand no chance for the job, I thought. I told God I can’t worry about this… here, you take it and I went about my day as always. The position at my library came up for interview and I still didn’t feel right about it. I agreed to interview for it anyway.

That very day I was called by the other library director and offered the job. I felt sudden and immediate peace. I knew without a doubt that call was an answer to my prayer. It was sudden and unlikely, but it happened. I was offered the job and I took it on the spot.

That is how God works. He lets you exercise your free will while saying, I have this, listen to me, trust me. He is clear with answers. When the answers come your soul knows it is from God. Sometimes the answer is no and sometimes the answer is not what you expected. Either way, you know.

I started my new job this week. I am happier than I have been in my career in a long time and the frosting on the cupcake, the salary is more than my old job and that other one that I applied for. My new coworkers are like a big family and in that family I have discovered other prayer warriors too.  Yes I miss my coworkers from my old job, but I am still in contact with my friends. I still pray for them. My life is in God’s hands. I trusted Him and I have been fully blessed. I see His plan for me at my new library. There is potential for touching lives in big ways as a serve my new community.

Prayer works. Try it. I dare you.

Choose Your Battles 

I am not sure who made this graphic but it’s spot on. I have tried to be as transparent as I can. What you see here on this blog and on my Facbook page is my digital fingerprint. I am who I am. I am not much of a mystery. What you see is what you get. I am not a fighter or drama queen. You won’t see me degrading someone in a comment section of any social media outlet. Even if I totally disagree with the opinion. I will try to express the truth in the situation without confrontation. There is so much negativity in the world these days and I am doing my best to keep it away from me.

I have decided to focus more on my inner being than looking at what is happening on the outside. I am writing everyday, which is challenging. There is this thing called life that gets in the way all the time. Oh and I have this other thing called a job that is necessary for other things like food and a roof.

I think that the battles we choose speak to who we are in our soul. What we fight for and about is what we value. If we value people we fight for them. If we value money we will fight for that. If we value love we will fight for it too.

The question is how to balance what we value in our souls to what we need in our life to survive. Sometimes those two things do not match and are not compatible. I think peace is found when we make the important stuff in our being and the needed stuff for our survival the same.

Something to think about during this time of year when the focus is on material things.

 

Blessed Beyond Measure

We all have things that come up in our life that put us in a state of temporary anxiety. Any life changing event can send us in to turmoil. We have bills and no money to pay them. We argue with our spouse or significant other. Our teenager gets arrested or our daughter comes home pregnant. Our elderly parent falls breaks a hip. The triggers are not always negative. We get married. Buy a new dream house. Have kids or become grandparents. All if these things can disrupt our lives. These life things can always send us in to a tailspin of what ifs and whys.

We need to remember when life slams us with significant stress that we are blessed. The simple act of listing our blessings out in back and white can ground us and stop the anxiety from taking over. Sometimes it helps just to say, “I can’t handle this alone any more.” and tell some one. Acknowledge that there is this thing happening but here are the blessings despite the thing.

In the vain of practice what you preach. I will share with you that I am in a similar crazy phase in my life right now. I know that God is in control and I know that whatever the outcome it is His will and His chosen path for my life that I will take. The voices in my head, negativity, doubt, anxiety, want me to worry and look to the what could go wrong. To combat that here is my list of blessings.

I have a husband who loves me, a daughter who is successfully raising grandchildren who are little pillars in their community and parents who are proud of me.

This daughter is a strong independent, smart beautiful and compassionate girl.

I have grand parents, aunts, uncles,cousins, nieces and nephews who love me.

I have friends who are there to listen to me whine when life gets tough and celebrate with me when success comes.

I have a roof over my head, food in the kitchen, heat for the cold nights and a reliable car to get me around.

I have a job and a possibility for a better job. Both filled with wonderful people whom I respect and love.

I have an almost complete novel that I could not have written without the grace of God guiding me through it.

I have sweet fur children who love me unconditionally.

I have a church full of family who pray with me and are there when I need them.

I am in good health and improving everyday.

If you have any of the things in the list above you are blessed. If your list looks like mine you are blessed beyond measure. How inconsiderate of us to let the bumps in the road of life to distract us from the truth.

We are loved, blessed and important to God and other humans. Why do we worry?

 

 

 

 

The Sameness of Life

Today is a normal Saturday. I woke up and did the normal things I do. I sat down and wrote about 2.5K words on my novel. Then I started laundry and took something out of the freezer for dinner. As I was going through the motions of life I came to realize that the more life has changed for me, it is really the same as it has always been.

I live in a different house than I did ten years ago. I have a different job than I had just three years ago. I still do laundry, go shopping and cook for my family, though my daughter has moved away. Now my everyday family consists of my husband and our furry children. I still have to decide what to wear, what to do with my spare time and plan for the holidays.I still pay bills, go to church, make my bed and do chores.  My next thought was man, this is so dull and boring. I am no different from my parents or grandparents. I didn’t become something special like they said I could.Well, maybe I am special, just not famous like I thought I would be when I was ten and singing into my hairbrush.  I am just living not much differently than they did all those years before me.  Life is the same.

Oh, sure I do things a bit different. I order birthday gifts online. Where as my mom and grandmother would stroll the aisles of Gayfers,Dillards or some other retail conglomerate for hours until they found the perfect gift. I get my news from my cell phone. My dad and grandpa got it from Tom Brokaw at the 5 pm news hour after telling me to get up and push the channel buttons. When I was a teenager I used to talk on the kitchen phone with the twenty-five foot cord attached as I sat on top of the fridge snacking on Ziggers and drinking Dr. Pepper. Yes, on top of the refrigerator. I can’t tell you why. I just sat on the fridge. Now kids text, instagram and video chat.

Though we do things in different ways we still do the same things our parents and grandparents did. We work and take care of life. We function as we should in a normal day-to-day way. I find this ebb and flow of everyday life comforting. Yes crisis come and go but for the most part we find our way back to the sameness of life. Doing what we have to do in ways that are what they are for our time and our place in history.

As I chunk the last load of laundry in the dryer, I think about what my grandkids may be doing twenty years from now.  Maybe they will be special and famous like I tell them they will. I hope they find  peace in the simple things of life like laundry as I do.