Choose {A Five Minute Friday Post}

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To choose. To make a decision. To place judgement. 

Choosing is something that’s not come very easily for me throughout my life. I have always had an analytical mind that lead me to running every. possible. scenario through my mind before making my choice. This happened with even the simplest choices. 

I can’t count the number of times that we would be at a store and I would be given the opportunity to choose what item I wanted to get. I could stand there for hours weighing the differences between this and that. Which one would give me the greatest immediate satisfaction. Which choice would give me the longest satisfaction. Which color did I like better. Which would make me the happiest. Would it really complete me, or was I just making the choice because I needed to choose? 

I remember standing with one item in each hand and feeling the tears welling up in my eyes because I just couldn’t choose. I remember having whomever I was with tell me to make a choice or we would put both back and I wouldn’t be able to get anything. Then the tears really would start to flow because in my mind each of the items had feelings. I just couldn’t hurt either of their feelings.

Choosing is still something that comes hard for me today. I am almost always left with guilt after making a difficult decisions. My mind continues to play the what if games long after the choice was made.

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This is one of my favorite things to do each week. I join up with other bloggers to just pour my heart out. Won’t you join us over there? (Click the picture below to be taken to the original post).

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Me? Made for…what?!

In Ephesians 4:24 we read:

…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24 NIV)

Did you catch that? That word at the end? The fact that we were created to be holy?

If you’re like me, you’ve heard it a million times. God created us to be like Him. I often find myself asking, what does that really mean? To be created like my Creator.

Words start flying around in my head. Some of them I understand, others I’m still learning. Words like perfect, whole, clean, loved, secure, holy, safe, pure, treasured, valuable. That list can go on forever.

Today, I want to focus on holy. Mainly because it’s thrown around so often in Christian lingo, but I don’t think many of us have actually grasped what it means. What it looks like. How to perceive if I am making steps that way.

Holiness defined is “he quality or state of being holy —used as a title for various high religious dignitaries.” Well, that did a whole lot of good for me… How about you? Okay good.

Let’s take it a step further. Holy what does it mean? It’s definition reads “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.” Now that really does help.

Think about it, God created us to be exalted, held high above everything. Through Him we are made worthy of relentless pursuit. Our belief in His death on the cross makes us perfect, without even the slightest blemish.

Isn’t that an amazing thing? All of the “little” things that we see as being our ugly parts, are exactly what makes us His, unique creations that He sees at beautiful, amazing and useful.

What if today we started choosing to see our less-than-perfect areas as beautiful? If we took our larger- than-average bodies, and saw them as useful? If we lived our broken lives as redeemed by His love and grace?

Five Minute Friday {Small}

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Small. Itty-bitty. Tiny.

When I think of small my mind immediately goes to children. To the entire process of growing, raising and watching over a child. It’s a process that fascinates me.

However, lets hash open another concept of small.

Small. To be microscopic. Small is something all of us Christ-followers are called to become. We are to shrink. To shrink of ourselves. To shrink into His image. To shrink out of the ways of this world.

He must increase, I must decrease. John 3:30

To become like Christ means to become small to myself. Small to my dreams. Small to my desires. Small to myself. Instead, I am to grow into His dreams for me. Grow into His desires for my life. Grow into Him. 

So what holds you back? What is the mountain that stands in your way? 

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*Today, i’m linking up with a group of bloggers who dare to write unedited. To write raw. To write their heart. Unashamed. Real. Honest. We’d love to have you join us over at Lisa Jo‘s place for more info.

Emotional Triggers

Walking through this journey with some wonderful women has been eye opening. Even though I find myself still circling that same mountain. The wounds of defeat often getting deeper, more painful.

Then the spiral downward starts.

Defeat leads to self loathing. Self loathing ushers me into a pity party. Pity leads me to making irrational, emotional choices. Most of those involving food intake.

I know this battle with defeat can be has been won. So why does this mountain feel like it’s every growing before me?

Oh, that’s right, I always venture into this in my strength. As a fellow journeying friend said, I must learn to be more present in the Spirit. Only then will this become more than my battle.

Little Steps

Back in December, many of you may remember that I changed jobs. I started working at another company in my field. I quickly fell in love. With the company, with the clients, and found a renewed purpose of my calling to work with people who have special needs. It spurred on several posts, that I’m sure you remember.:

Why I Adopted The People First Philosophy

What I’ve Learned

While I have cherished all the people, experience and all that the new company has given me in this brief amount of time, it is time to readjust my career once more. This time a step forward. While it may look like a step back to most, I know in the deepest part of my soul that this is one step to this God-sized dream. There is more peace than one can even begin to describe in this.

You see, this week started a new chapter for our family. My beloved husband was faced with a hard choice when his company decided to eliminate his FT status at the start of April, meaning it would be the end of our benefits. The question was to wait it out to see if something opened up here, or do we start looking elsewhere to keep him within a company he loves and that treats us well.

A week or so after finding out he got word of a maintenance tech position opening up in town. Torn with not wanting to leave the crew he enjoyed working with and really needing our benefits to continue, he decided to apply for it. Within a day or two, he was called for an interview for a maintenance tech. He had the interview Monday of last week. Accepted the position (technically a promotion) that same day. The position started this past Monday. If that’s not God’s hand at work, I don’t know what is.

All this came at a perfect time. After New Years, not only did my hours drastically drop but I have been expected to be on call. Which with a toddler, it is extremely hard to be on call. So, time and again, I found myself unavailable for various reasons when they would call me. After repeatedly getting upset over not being able to meet the requirements of the position, Kev and I sat down to talk.

Once he accepted the position, we decided that it was best for me to put my notice at the new place and go back to the other company. I knew there was something deep down that lead me to stay PRN when I left, and I believe we found this reason. By going back, still as PRN, it allows me to go back only 3 days a week for a while to see if it’ll  work for us. If I need to pick up another day or go back 5 days, that’s still an option. As would be dropping down a day or two if we should find fit.

While this would appear to be a step backwards, it is truly a step forward. The dream that was placed in my heart once we had our son, was to be a stay at home mommy. While I will still be working, I believe that we’re going in the right direction. My days home will out weigh the days that I am working.

As I put it to a friend, this is my God sized dream on it’s way to fruition.

I can’t wait for the journey to fulfillment.

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Valentine’s funk

Every year this day comes and goes. Each year, at the end of it, I am left with the same feeling. A feeling of…well…it’s hard to describe.

You see, we aren’t ones to celebrate valentines day. Being love is something we choose to show all year, we haven’t ever been big on making one day more about love than any other. Neither of us big romantics, usually choose to sit together and enjoy each other’s company , watching a show we both enjoy and having dinner.

Why then, by the end of the day do I tend to have this unsettled, unsatisfied feeling?

I think it’s due to the amount of exposure around me to what anyone and everyone of my friends has done, gotten or gone. I really should start avoiding social media during holidays like this. Especially since I usually walk away with this heavy feeling.

It all boils down to comparison. Every year I expect it to look different. To feel different to be different. But every year, it’s just the same.

I am content with where life is taking us right now. I am elated to have not one, but two loves that I am blessed to share love with day in and day out. I am spoiled by their love. Their love on top of the already overwhelming love of my Creator is a greater gift than I could ever imagine.

But still…
The shadows lurk…

The best way I know to combat this feeling is to take a step back. To remember, this day, is just like any other day. I got more kisses than I can count from my sweet toddler. I have a husband who works hard, and takes a step forward in his job for me. For our family. We have a church family who cares, so much about how we’re really doing. We have family surrounding us that will bend over backwards to help us. We have friends, who may as well be family, who are always there to listen when we need an ear.

I can proudly say that I am a spoiled girl. I need to remember, that today may be valentine’s day, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only day to show love. I also need to remember I am not built to feel love the way others are and he’s not built to show love like other guys.

I didn’t marry Mr. Romance. That is OKAY by me. I doubt I’d know what to do if he was. I married the man who shows love in the everyday, little deeds. That’s what matters most.

All that’s left to say is this: I hope when midnight comes around and it is February 15, none of us stop showing love to those who matter most to us. You never know who may just need it.

2 Corinthians 12:9

My first attempt at verse mapping. Bear with me here.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB)

Don’t you just love the phrasing that begins this passage??

And He [God] has said [spoken directly] to ME.

Have you ever felt that in your heart? That there were words written just for you? I know I have. It’s a glorious feeling when we are given a specific word, directly from our Creator. The one who loves us more than we can comprehend.

“My grace [unwarranted favor] is sufficient [enough, satisfying] for you…

Think about that. God’s grace, His glorious grace is sufficient. It is unmerited favor that fulfills us. To
The deepest parts, His grace is enough to help us make it through the day. No matter what may come, He will satisfy because He is graceful.

“…for power is perfected in weakness.”

What an amazing fact. In te weakest of times, power is being made perfect. No just okay. Not good, but perfect. Without defect. The secret of it all? Is what comes next.

I would rather boast in my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

That’s right. The secret is that this power is IN us. The moment we asked Christ to step in, to save us from ourselves. The power of Christ not only dwells in us, but it is exemplified in our weaknesses. It’s when we are transparent about our weaknesses that Christ is able to fully step into the battle with us to help us conquer. That’s where we will find the greatest freedom.