My Identity..

This is a subject that comes up here fairly frequently. That’s probably because it’s a journey that seems to never end for me.

I often find myself asking the question “who am I?”

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That’s not just any generic question. It’s asking: who am I outside of my work? Who am I beside a wife? Who am I apart from mommy? Who am I outside of my friends? It’s asking, deep down, in the depths of me who was I created to be?

If I went based off everything that I’ve been told/known from my past some of them would include:
-a girl abused mentally and physically by a stepfather.
-a girl who could have made camouflaging a professional sport. That meaning I knew what each person that I was/should be and I became really good at playing each part.
-a daughter of a forever recovering alcoholic. That alcoholism lead to a consequence that still effects him, and us today.
-an awkwardly shy girl.
-the outcast
-the forgotten one
-the loner—or at least I appear to be.

These were the identities I claimed. The identities that I wore mostly out of obligation. Others were placed upon me, unwillingly. Few proudly.

I have news friends! These titles don’t have to define me. That list is not who I am.

That list is who Satan wants me to believe that I am. Sadly, I still into those traps. More often than I like to admit most times.

With each day, there’s a new chance, a new challenge. Today, am I going to walk in the shadows of the yesterday’s that haunt me? Or am I going to bask in the Son who has claimed me as His? Because really, that all relies on me, no one and nothing else.

Because of Him:
-I am now accepted
-I am seen
-I overcome daily
-I am learning to be me.

I am still on this journey. I still see nothing but a blank page when someone randomly asks me who I am, but I am not compelled to be or do anything that I don’t feel is right or that I’m not called to do.

In that, I find the sweetest freedom one could ask for.

A win? Or no?

Today, 1.28.14, Indiana passed a bill to ban gay marriage throughout the state. For many, it’s a huge win for those in the fight to keep marriage pure. For others, it brings about sadness, astonishment, and even anger.

Talking it over with a few people tonight, these thoughts keep turning in my head.

As a Christian we are taught to view marriage as being between one man AND one woman. It is said at least five times in the bible. At least in the New American Standard search.

That is what I believe. I believe this because I believe that Scripture is God breathed, and the truth. I have made this choice to believe this to be true.

Do I agree with the life style that that a homosexual chooses to partake in? No, I don’t.

Do I feel that it’s my place to tell them if they can or cannot spend the rest of their life with the person they believe to be their soulmate? No, I don’t.

Do I believe that the biggest reason people have a hard time with this concept is because the word marriage is used? Yes, I do.

So, you may be asking, where do I stand then:

I believe in being love to the world. The saved and the unsaved. Unconditional, non-judgmental, sacrificial love. The very same love Jesus showed.

We don’t often shun others who have chosen a lifestyle contrary to our beliefs quite the way we shun the homosexuals.

For me, this means looking beyond the lifestyle choices that go against my beliefs. It means being that Christ follower-maybe the only one- that sees them as an individual and not as the enemy.

For me, this means serving them. The same way I serve my loved ones. Or maybe serving them more/better. Christ came and set the ultimate example of this. He didn’t focus on saving the already saved. No, His life’s work was (besides to save the entire world) was to give us a tangible example of how to be love to the world.

Much of this boils down to us willingly setting aside our predetermined opinions and becoming the least of these to those that need it most. In this case, I believe that the least of these includes homosexual couples.

It is not our job to judge, ostracize, or exclude anyone, for any reason. It is our job to love them.

*Disclaimer: this is not to start a debate on right or wrong. This is just one persons thoughts that were ignited by an event in today’s society. Please keep any and all discussion respectful.

Marvelous counting (42-80)

A couple weeks ago, I began sharing a journey with you. I started to count gifts. Not just the big gifts, but the seemingly insignificant, everyday gifts. The goal is 3 per day. Let’s continue, shall we?

42. TV shows that we both like
43. Sister who’s willing to buy some diapers.
44. Previous experience with stranger/separation anxiety
45. Clients that never disappoint when it comes to putting a smile on my face.
46. Cuddles between nap time and cuddle time.
47. Ability to show/feel love
48. Gift cards
49. OBS–made to crave study starting to take shape.

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50. His promises being kept, long before I felt the need.
51. A relaxed pace at work
52. Bargain hunting with Angela at target
53. Nap time OYB catch up
54. Sister time–a way to help me wind down after upsetting news.
55. Andrew’s excitement over new toys
56. Friends who are willing to love on, pray for and challenge me trough the different phases of life.
57. Church sparking different ways to think/live
58. A child who’s growing and learning on pace or quicker than others his age.
59. Time spent with the hubby.
60. Unexpected work
61. Miracle estimate from the insurance.
62. Clients who talk/joke with me and help make the work day pass quickly.
63. Time with my adorable nephew

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64. Picking up the check for his car
65. An honest husband–even when the truth is hard to hear and harder to say.
66. Laughing with my clients
67. Watching jake so Kev and his mom could go say good bye to an old friend
68. Warm covers
69. Blog hop Thursdays.
70. OT for Kevin to use as a way to leave early/recoup from an already long week.
71. Grocery shopping after work.
72. Ability to survive on one car.
73. Meeting with a friend just to talk and soak in each other’s company.

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74. Seeing Rick before he left to live down south again.
75. Sleeping in (well, compared to normal)
76. A day of reading
77. Me time-after Andrew went to bed.
78. Over time to help cover us.
79. Courage to be completely honest.
80. Noticeable improvement.

Have you started a list? I’d love to shar in your joys with you!!

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Permissible but not beneficial

This simple verse. A verse I’ve heard hundreds of times before. It impacted me more than I was expecting this time around.

Maybe it’s the state of disarray my life seems to be in. It could very well be the incredible group of women I have been given the privilege to walk through made to crave with. Or perhaps it’s something bigger, because we know our God loves to do new things.

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NASB)

That however was not the verse that hit me so profoundly this time around. No, the verse capable of doing that —this time was this:

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My wheels started turning pretty quickly upon reading this verse. Between that and the question ” what do you crave more than you crave God?” *insert wince*

While I’ve thought about this before, it’s never been in this sort of study setting. If I was honest, I crave a lot more than I seem to crave God. Not all of it food. While this study is focusing on food, I recognized that my craving falls more toward my relationships. When my relationships he rocky, then I turn to food to help ease that. And I know where the root of that comes from.

This is a season of many relationships shifting. Throughout this season, I need to look to God and that relationship to sustain me. Nothing else. Not people. Not objects. Not food.

3 weeks in…

…and 2014 has not been very good to us so far.

I think when I said “2014 can #BiteMe” it was taken as a challenge. See, that was on the 7th. By then we had learned that my hours a a job I had recently started were drastically cut as of the first of the year. Then I get a call from my lovely husband informing me he had been rear ended on his way home.

The good news–he was okay. No aches or pains to date. The bad news–his car was not.

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I still cringe when I see this.

The best news, as my lovely sister put it, cars are replaceable, he is not.

God did what he does best, and gave us a miracle in the amount insurance valued his car. We expected a fight to get a decent amount. They called and all we could say was God is good.

Indeed He is.

Then on the 21st (exactly 2 weeks later) the day we’re to pick up the check, I get rear ended that morning with our son in the car. This time, the car isn’t damaged too badly, likely just needs a new bumper.

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Unfortunately, it irritated my back and neck again. Just to the point of annoyance, not an aching, stabbing pain. Andrew seems unscathed.

Then later that day more bad news. While details we’re preferring to keep under hat right now, we would appreciate many prayers for guidance and big huge billboard signs. Even the preverbal 2X4, if that’s what it takes.

Even with all this I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that this year will be magnificent. After all, we believe in a God who is known for His ability to take the beat down, worn out, broken and make it into something built up, filled in, whole.

So I have to choose to believe that all of these things going on shows us two things:
1. That we are right where God wants us to be. (why would satan be fighting so hard to knock us down if we weren’t?)
2. That God has something big in store for us. Something so big that we cannot see what is coming our way.

So I think more than just learning to see it in the things around me, I am going to have to intentionally choose to make this year

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Weigh in Wednesday:
Last week: I was at 165.
This week I weighed in at 163.6.
Total lost in 2014 to date is 1.4lbs.

Encouragement: A FMF post

Well hello there good friend. It’s time again for Five Minute Friday. A time where we all meet up over at Lisa Jo’s  place and share a peice of ourselves based off of a simple prompt that we’re given. Won’t you join us? It’s such a fun little gathering.

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To be encouraged to me is to be uplifted. To be thought of. To be accepted.

Enouragement takes on a different look to different people. Just as the way we feel and show love different, the same goes for encouragement.

Encouragement is vital when it comes to a healthy relationship. Encouragement, perhaps the core of a relationship.

Perhaps the greatest encouragement one can give to another person is the simple act of believing in them and their talents.

You are invited

Monday marks the start of a remarkable study. One in which we learn to shift our cravings. One which we will learn to seek our Creator over our that which our flesh desires.

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Made to crave came out if the authors journey through the Bible. Not jus any ‘ole journey. She purposely dug into the Bible searching. Searching for what words He had for her concerning how to view food.

This journey lead to an unbelievable understanding within herself. She learned where roots were planted. She learned the reasons behind why food was so tantalizing when certain situations arose. Most of all, she discovered that food was created to sustain our body, not to control it.

This is the journey that so many of us are venturing into next week.

Won’t you join us?