it’s just odd…

Today is Thanksgiving day.


My family, and by family I mean my husband and two daughters, and I have been on the East Coast for 358 days. Nearly a year has passed since we rolled up on to this piece of land we currently call home. Things have gotten better, some things not as much as others, but progress has been made.

But I digress.

Thanksgiving was always a big family tradition for me and my family. I remember the years spent at my grandparents house in Northern California. There was no shortage of friends and family coming together to share the day, a meal, and memories. There was love. There was a feeling of togetherness.

Not today. Not really.

I love cooking for others. It’s just relaxing, even amid the holiday chaos. But today I am unable to do that. Yes, I am doing a little cooking, but not what I would love to cook because it wouldn’t get eaten. So I guess I am just looking forward to the day I can make a delicious and exciting meal for everyone to enjoy.

Our dinner attendees include my afore-mentioned family, my husband’s sister and her husband (with whom we live) and his 2 teenagers, and possibly one out of 6 other of his siblings who all live in the same town. In my family oriented mind I am wondering, “Why didn’t we plan to have a big Thanksgiving dinner all together?” After all, we have the space.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am writing about today. I am absolutely thankful for what we have. I am merely making an observation, comparing and contrasting, if you will.

In fact, as I write this here today, I can hear my 15 year old daughter and her 15 year old male “step-cousin” playing a game in the living room. I love the noises and the laughter that come with family holiday get-togethers. I miss that.

My feeling is that it’s just odd.

That’s all.

k

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still…

This. Right now.



My mind has been a broken record.


In case you don’t know what a record is, it’s vinyl. A 33. If there was a scratch, the needle would just keep skipping as the record spun round and round, repeating the same part of the song over and over.


As I think about it, Satan is that scratch…the reason things just keep going round and round in my head seeming like it may never stop.

My 15 year old daughter is so observant. She has been since birth. She sees things in people…remembers them. She reminded me of that yesterday when she finally had a discussion with me and basically told me that all of the complaining about our situation just brings her down. For that, I am deeply sorry.

I’m sorry that my selfishness has caused her, or anyone else for that matter, even a small amount of pain.

I’m sorry that I haven’t actually opened my eyes to the fact that this place is in fact a beautiful place…a place that we could be enjoying while we are here, even if for a relatively short amount of time.

Yes. I want to go back “home” to the west side of the United States. But do I need to be such a butthead while we are here? No.

It’s been 10 1/2 months that we have been on the east coast and it has been a rare moment that I have actually enjoyed myself. Granted, I’m not nearly as negative today as I was for the first few months we were here. I was beginning to drive my husband crazy too.

My focus has been on me and what I want and how quickly I want it.
That is not very Christ-like. Not at all.

Looking back to the months before our move out here, I remember having such an overwhelming feeling of peace. I seemed to know that no matter what happened, it was going to be ok. That has been my phrase to others. “It’s going to be ok.” I wanted people to trust Him. I was filled with the knowledge that I can trust God in any situation. Then somehow that feeling was quickly and drastically taken. I was in panic mode up until the day we drove away from our house in the west. I was a trembling mess when we pulled into what would be our new home on the east coast that night on December 1, 2016. I will never forget. I cried every day for a while. Then I seemed to transform into a bitter and selfish person that only wanted what I wanted.

Without realizing it, I was questioning God. Why did we have to come here? Why didn’t we just wait? Why didn’t I find a full-time job where we were? Why? Why? Why?

I’m sure I could elaborate, but I won’t. Not today. What I will say is this-
Over the last couple of months, I have noticed small changes in my attitude. While I’m not at the point of full surrender again, but I hope to be, I have eased up. I thank God, first and foremost. I also thank some friends who I know are praying for me. I thank my husband for being patient with me. And I pray to God that my negativity hasn’t and won’t affect his outlook on our situation.

Today I have been employed full time for almost seven months. Praise God for that! And get this- -> The company I work for has offices all around the country…even the two states we are looking to move back to. My options are open.


My oldest daughter started college and is doing very well. My youngest daughter is a sophomore and doing much better than the past couple of school years. My husband is doing well with his health issues.

The prayer of my heart today is that I will indeed “be still” as the song in the video suggests. The lyrics to this song could not describe this situation any better. I was afraid because I could not (and still can’t) see where this road is going. And I do need to let go and let Him work for our family. He is making a way for us. He is most certainly answering prayers before we pray them.

Psalms 46:10 – He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Amen.

k

It’s dark here…

When we moved here I had high hopes for our family. I thought for sure we would have been in our own house by now. But no. 14 months here and nothing.

To say I’ve been feeling sad would be an understatement. I know God is with me. He always is. But lately it’s as if the enemy is right there too…doing his best to make me feel like crap. 

Many thoughts go through my head every day. I try to think of ways we can stay here and not have to move to the east coast. But the rest of the family seems to think it is such a great idea.

There’s that selfishness in my heart showing up.

As a Christian, what am I supposed to be doing? I should be praising Him…thanking Him for the things that we DO have not bitching and moaning about what I don’t have. 

My friends have been so encouraging and I am so grateful! I just need to get right with our awesome God once again. I need to find that desire to serve Him and lose myself to Him again. Being here has really pushed me back into some serious darkness. I feel like that hiding little girl again. My artist friend will likely know what I am talking about. 

My prayer…

Heavenly Father, I thank you for being with me always. Thank you for making me Yours. I am sorry that I have drifted from you. Please help me to get back to where I know you would have me. 

Thank you for friends who are so encouraging and loving. I know You speak through them to me on so many occasions. 

I pray that the Holy Spirit will work in me to control my tongue and help my thoughts be pure and without such negativity. Help me Lord to desire to do Your work no matter where I am. You did tell us to go out into all the world. So may I follow Your lead no matter where my feet may land. Thank you Lord for being the continuous light in this land of darkness. Amen.

k

God and GPS…



Recently I had to run a couple of errands after work. Not a big deal, right? It can be when you are new to a big city and don’t know your way around very well.

I rely on GPS when I have to travel to a part of town that I haven’t become familiar with. Thank you, Google Maps.

Well…on this particular day I felt as though the GPS was leading me in a very peculiar way…as if there MUST be an easier way to get to this store! I was getting frustrated. Once I arrived at my destination I realized something. This was NOT the location I had visited previously. Oh brother. Well, at least I can do what I need to at this location.

One assignment down. One to go. Turn the GPS back on. Off I go.

O.M.G. The traffic!! Really? I was longing for my small town “traffic.” It was so much easier to just pop over to the store or whatever!

Okay. Deep breath. Turn on the radio. Song comes on… **see video above**


“I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side”


Music has a way of calming my nerves. And believe me…the traffic was annoying me so much. I just wanted to get home to my family and relax for the evening.

As I’m listening to the song and singing along…yes singing. I was alone in the car and at that point didn’t care if other drivers noticed! But I digress…

Suddenly I had an epiphany! GOD! He’s just like this crazy GPS that is leading me all over this unfamiliar city…well…you know what I mean. 🙂

“I’ve tried to win this war I confess.” – – This is me. All. of. the. time. How am I going to handle this situation? Pure selfishness. Relying on myself and not God.

“My hands are weary I need Your rest.” – – Yep. I’m tired of trying all by myself. I need to lean on Him. I could insert another song here…but I won’t. For now.

“No matter what I face, You’re by my side.” – – Not only is God by my side…He is leading me. Like the GPS!

Most of the time our navigation systems get us to where we are going easily. Easy peasy. Right?

Sometimes they take us down a path we never would have chosen ourselves. It seems confusing but for whatever reason, it gets us to our destination.

God is that way.

A good part of the time God is leading me down a road that is relatively smooth. If I’m lucky…it’s a smooth sailing on a slightly breezy day in SoCal.

Then there are the times when it’s more like the perfect storm and I don’t know which way to turn.

God doesn’t always do things the way we want Him to. But He does get things done.

In His time.

We need only to trust in Him.

He knows the way.

He’s been there before.

k

what is “normal” really?

So maybe it was just a moment of feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I just wanted to complain…even if just to myself. It was all in my head after all.

I want things to be “normal” again…or for once…or just want to feel like it.

I want a stereo in the living room because I love listening to music and I haven’t had one in the living room for so many years. I want my own living room…in a house I will share with my husband and two youngest kids. I want the privacy that comes with that house. I want to work a normal job so that I can make dinner each night. (Well…almost every night) I don’t want to be in physical pain when I come home from work. I want my husband to be free from the physical pain that he has been dealing with for so long…emotional pain too. I want a job where the management wannabes aren’t treating the employees like sled dogs at the Iditarod. It’s ridiculous. I want this. I want that. I want…I want…I want.

Really? Get over yourself girl!

Nowhere does it say that the world revolves around me and what “I want.” In fact…Life is not about any of us. No matter how much it hurts to admit that…it’s true.

It’s about what God wants.

What I think is “normal”…such as having a perfectly healthy family…a $45k/yr. job, and a nicely furnished house is all in my head. The reality is this – Normal is all relative. Right now my normal is nothing like I “want.” My normal is what God has given me to deal with.

And to be absolutely honest…I’m struggling. A lot.

I need to get back to church. I need to connect with other believers. I need to get involved so that I can be reminded of what it means to be a servant of the Most High God. I miss it. God gave me gifts and talents. I need to put them to use to glorify Him.

Normal…I guess it’s normal for us believers to struggle sometimes. I get that. Now it’s time for me to get back to normal…Normal being a regular church goer and servant of God.

If that’s what “normal” is.

k

 

waiting…

I won’t cry.
The answers are not clear.

Fear is there.
Some things are unavoidable.

My wildest dreams could never have included this again.
Again, what is “this?”

It’s a crazy time.
I feel so far away.

But that is my fault.
Not His.

As I do every day,
I need Him now.

I need Him to hold me up.
The strength only He can provide is my hope.

So I sit here.
Waiting…

k

shut up!

I could not fall asleep last night. My brain just would not turn off. All I wanted to do was yell, “Shut Up!!” But what good would that have done? None. And I would have freaked out all of my family members.

There is just so much on my mind lately. That happens a lot I guess.

Our family is packing it up and moving to a different state. There is a group of people that I love going through some really hard stuff and it makes me sad. To have to say good-bye to them during this turmoil is a bit heart breaking.

And my mind won’t shut up about it.

Then I see a post on facebook…something about writing. Paraphrasing here…it said, “write about your fears, things you love, things you hate. Write without holding back.” That kind of thing, you know?

So here I am.

This move is huge for us. My youngest will have to change schools and make new friends. I have no doubt she will, but it’s just a big adjustment. My oldest daughter will have to find a new job. I have to find a new job. And my dear husband will have to find something to do to stay occupied. Being on disability is not a fun thing.

Will the church I found turn out to be a good one or not?

Will we make enough money quickly enough to move into our own house. And yeah…I’m totally looking forward to moving AGAIN within a year or so.

etc. etc. etc…

And what about my friends…the group of people in turmoil? What’s going to happen to them?

You know…I think that is what’s bothering me the most. So much has happened. So many hurt feelings. So many opinions. And I understand. That’s my problem. I see the situation through the eyes of various individuals. Yet, I try to figure out what the purpose is…what God’s will is.

That is not for me to know. I know God’s will is always good. And I’m not happy that things have gone the way they have by any means. But I know that God wasn’t surprised. He knew.

I take it back. That’s not what’s bothering me the most.

My friend is angry. And she has a right to be. My fear? If I open up completely about my opinion, she’s going to be mad…disappointed…maybe even not want to talk to me. Are my fears substantiated? Probably not. But I don’t know. And that’s what I’m afraid of.

Psalm 73 (click link) is a Bible passage that was shared with me. I read it. And re-read it. Several times.

I know that some people did things the wrong way. I absolutely understand that and it makes me sick.

Verse 21 says, “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.”

Am I/was I harboring bitterness in my heart over this situation? I believe so. Are others? Quite possibly.

Over two days, as I mentioned, I kept reading Psalm 73. I felt as though the Lord was putting something on my heart.

The last several verses reminded me that when angry, I/we have a human tendency to act foolishly. As if God’s very words to me were,

“Don’t be foolish in this situation. Who is in control here? I understand your frustration. But this is something that had to happen. Let me guide you and those affected to your glorious destiny.”

I can forgive because God gives me the gift of forgiveness. Does it excuse the behaviors? Not a chance. A quote from a friend…”Trust and Integrity – once lost is hard to regain.”

It was 1:30am when I finally got up out of bed. I went to the kitchen to get some milk…I’ve heard it helps you fall asleep…and my ibuprofen…maybe if my joints didn’t ache so much I could fall asleep. Right? Then I grabbed my phone and earphones. Music is always helpful in relaxing…at least for me.

Pandora was my music app of choice last night. Or should I say this morning? LOL Anyway…I turned my light off once again, laid back with my headphones in place, and hit play. (Figuratively speaking)

What was the first song to play? It was “From the Inside Out” by Hillsong. That’s the song/video I have at the beginning of this post. Great song. It nearly caused me to burst into tears.

The song says it all. At least for me in this situation.


A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
Should I stumble again
Still I’m caught in your grace
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out


I will continue to fail in my reactions. That’s a given. I’m human.

But God’s grace is everlasting.

His light will shine even in the darkest of times.

His will before ours.

My purpose is to give Him praise…give Him control. Right?

Lord, my soul cries out to You.

Consume me from the inside out.

k