Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012: a year of change…

change2

I sit here on the eve of the eve before 2013 begins. Perhaps its because I’m recliner-ridden nursing myself from the depths of the plague (okay, maybe the flu, but feels like a serious dose of something black & evil-filled), my brain has been fuzzy all day & filled with memories of what the year has brought & taught me. The major & minor events that have shaped what 2012 was for me.

I believe every year of your life has a “theme”, some overriding lesson that God has been trying to teach you the whole year through. For me, 2012 was centered around the death of my Grandma back in March. The months before she passed were days of knowing & waiting for the end that we knew was imminent & the treasuring of the time we had left to spend with her. I’ve got mountain tops full of memories of my Grandma, but some of the most treasured ones are the conversations I had with her in the weeks leading up to her death; when she too, had realized her time was ending & she’d be called home soon. To personally witness the final moments between my grandparents before she passed, will be memories I will always hold in my heart. I’ve never been taught bigger lessons on love than watching my Papa hold the hand of my Grandma-kiss her cheek, his bride of almost 60 years, as she was welcomed into Jesus’ arms. And the days since her death have been all about…healing.

Death brings change…healing brings change.

2012 has been the year of change.

Change is difficult, letting the past go & moving forward can be difficult & scary. But its also necessary to move higher, to step into a new level, to end one chapter & begin another. Change can seem negative at first, but sometimes you’ve got to deal with the negative to get where you’re meant to end up.

I started a new job this year, a job that I adore & am gaining valuable experience for whatever paths God leads me down. I moved into an old Colonial farmhouse, a house that-years & years ago, I once told my sister in law, “I would love to live there.” (who knew???). And a new addition came into my life in the form of a one-eyed rescue Australian Cattle dog I’ve named Waylon. A dog that has been instrumental in my healing as much as I’ve been in his (probably more so considering dogs are much more resilient than humans!). This has been the hardest year for me, in my personal life, when I’ve made decisions to not be a victim of my past anymore & move on. I’ve let go of things that have weighed me down for years & made conscious efforts to rise above & not slip into old habits. I’ve seen an past relationship begin the process of healing & although, I don’t know yet where it’ll end up…the healing has at least begun.

Above all, I’ve seen God’s hand of grace, patience, & guidance work in my life in ways that I’ve been blinded to before. I’ve grown in my walk with the Lord & although we piss each other off everyday & I fail him daily…I recognize that his love is unwavering & he is guiding me (even when it seems like the deserts have no end!). 

This has been the year of prayers answered, even when they weren’t answered in the way I had hoped, they were answered nevertheless, always with my best interest as God’s #1 priority.

This is the first time, in a long time, that I’m on the fence about saying “Goodbye” to a past year. Its been a tough year, one of (if not thee) toughest I’ve gone through, that a part of me wants to hold onto it just a second longer. I’m excited about the possibilities that 2013 bring, but also nervous too. But I’m finding that I’m reminding myself that change is good…change is needed…change will get you from where you were to where you need to be, so I will step into 2013 ready for whatever the year brings.

Prayers to all for a 2013 that gets you where you need to be!!!

2012

 

 

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The Tale of Three Trees…

Last night while catching up on my back episodes of Once Upon a Time, out of nowhere my favorite book from childhood popped into my head (scratch that, one of my favorite books of all time). Since I have an overly obsessive personality & HAD TO FIND IT RIGHT THAT MOMENT to read, my TV watching got put on hold so I could go on a mad dash through the house to locate my copy (still tucked away in a box unpacked).

If you’ve been following my blog or I’ve personally talked & prayed about this with you, then you know I’ve had a certain situation that’s been heavy on my heart for awhile now. I’m constantly praying about it & the lack of answers/no resolution is frustrating & stressing me out big time.  Reminding me of this story (I must’ve read it 3 or 4 times in the middle of the hallway last night) was God’s way of smacking me in the head & telling me, “Quit your bitching & remember that I’ve got this!” (yes, God does swear at me. He always knows the best way to communicate with his children Winking smile).

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As an adult, you sometimes forget that the lessons taught in childhood still hold true today. What a great reminder this book is on recognizing that even when the dreams you have in your heart don’t look like they’re going to come true, remain in faith, & remember that God’s plan for your life is far bigger & far greater than anything you can imagine.

If you’ve got children in your life, pick up this book for them:

 The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt.

And if you’re not a reader, I found a YouTube video done on the story.

Watch it a dozen times until the message really sinks in:

Keep the Faith & Trust in God’s plan.

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Is having FAITH difficult?

hebrews 11.1

This question was asked of me recently & I really didn’t know how to answer it. To say “yes, but…” would seem like I was making excuses & defending something that (hopefully) my behavior & morals would reflect. But to say “no” would…well, frankly it would’ve been a lie. So I went for the cop-out answer & said, “some days more than others.” They kind of nodded their head & that was the end of the conversation.

Only my brain wouldn’t allow that to be the end & the question continuously kept popping into my thoughts. After praying, journaling, & thinking about it the answer really wasn’t that complicated at all.

Yes! Having faith, remaining faithful is difficult.

Maybe its not difficult for everybody, but it is for me. If I had a dollar for every time I questioned God, argued with God, even doubting God’s existence, my student loan debt could easily be paid off! To put your faith in something, anything, is to give up your control in that situation. It’s putting your problem ahead of yourself, throwing your hands up in the air & saying, I can’t do this on my own anymore. Help!” If you’re a naturally controlling person (like I am), boy is this tough to do! To have zero control on how something is/isn’t going to work out & actually trust that somebody else will take care of to your best interest…uh, no thanks! But that’s what faith is.

My Bible devotional the other day came from none other than Matthew 14. I’m going to do a quick summary of the story in case you’re not all that familiar with it. It’s the story of Jesus walking on the water heading out to meet his disciples who were in a boat. Peter asked Jesus if he to could also walk on the water (isn’t Peter always the over-achiever? Now I like the guy, but if I was one of the other disciples I’d be so annoyed with his, “pick me! pick me!” annoying-kid-in-the-front-of-the-classroom mentality). Jesus says to him (in his cool, collected “Jesus” way),”Come”. So Peter gets out of the boat, notices how strong the winds are blowing (Hurricane Sandy-like), starts to panic & thinks he’s going to sink. He cries out to God to save him from what he perceives as his drowning (which God does…again!) & then God says, “O’ you of little faith. Why did you doubt?”

Whoa! Train whistle blowing! Lights flashing!….I had my “aha” moment.

I’ve read this story dozens of time, knew it was about faith, knew it was about God saving us when we cry out….blah blah blah. What I finally saw reading it this time was how Peter had pulled his control back after he had already turned the situation over to God (guilty!!!). I don’t know how many times I’ve “turned something over to God” & then when it felt like it was taking to long I’d panic & grab my control back. Ultimately “sinking” & crying out for God to save me (which God does…again! Winking smile).

Faith isn’t easy because its not supposed to be easy. We need faith most in our lives when the storms are blowing trying to knock us down. Faith is scary…faith is stepping out of the boat & taking one step in front of the other, knowing that God is telling you to “come”, even when you have no idea where he’s leading you or what the outcome will be. Faith is patience…a lot of it…its praying & waiting. praying & waiting. praying & waiting. Its knowing that you serve a faithful God, a God that keeps his promises. A God who says, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23).

I have a faith tattoo on my left inner forearm. I got it almost 2yrs ago when I was going through an especially difficult time in my life & I needed a daily reminder to hang in there. I was dealing with some things in my personal life that I hadn’t wanted to deal with in a very long time. I needed those words, I needed that strength to remind me that God is faithful & he always has a reason for everything. It’s a reminder that I can do better, & be better, because I don’t have to “fight” on my own all the time.

So, yeah…being “faithful” is tough & it can suck big time. But if you remain faithful, I know that once you get through your storm you’ll be in a place far greater than anywhere you would’ve ended up if you did it on your own.

Hang in there!

faith&puppypaws1

 

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