Thursday, May 23, 2013

God can restore what we destroy ~

As we try to control our environment, circumstances, relationships, and ourselves we interfere with the God's will for us.  God's sets our path.  It's our job to listen to what he has to say, and display obedience through following what he lays out for us regardless of how it makes us feel, which at times can be discomfort. When we choose to do things according to our will and become our own God, the results can be unpleasant. God can restore what we destroy.

How often do we think we have control over our lives? How many times have you said, "But if I do this, maybe it will result in that?"  "If I just hold onto my will a little longer, if it doesn't work, then I will listen to God?"  I hate to tell you, it doesn't work that way.  You can't bargain with God.  We can't pick and choose when and what parts we want to obey. As a good friend wrote in a school paper recently, we can't use him like a vending machine. 

Being obedient has been a long hard lesson to learn, and today I still struggle with it, honestly, I always will. Trying to control my own life has resulted in heartache and loss. First of all, I can't control anything or anyone. I can't change anyone and to think I have the power to do so, results in prideful thinking and behavior. I can only control my choices to do or not to do, I control my will.  

Often God calls, speaks, opens and closes doors and it's by my choice, my free will that I either submit to him or choose my way.  When I choose God,  I find peace and contentment in my circumstances, good or bad.  When I choose mine, I may receive temporary gratification, but typically it doesn't last for long. 

Are there times I choose God's will kicking and screaming?  Absolutely.

In the last two months, I endured heartache of a loss of a loved one.  My loss was not a physical loss, meaning a death, but the loss of an old nature and as well as the loss of giving up control of my circumstances.  As the old ways died (thoughts and behaviors) I grieved. Once we accept the illusion that we never had control in the first place, it becomes more bearable to accept. Once I gave up and surrendered to God again, I found peace.  And even though this person and I grew apart we actually were being drawn together without even knowing it.   

For about a month, there wasn't any face to face contact, but only a couple short e-mail exchanges.  During this time of healing, I was able to release the past hurts, and forgive myself and them. I was able to give it all over to God and as difficult the time apart was, God filled me up with His love which is the only love that will truly sustain me.  Being filled with God's love is the only real way I can offer myself to others, and give them what God has freely given me.

I thank God for loving me, healing me, offering me grace and mercy each day of my life.  Obedience to Him is what has gotten me to where I am today.  I choose to worship Him with my whole heart. My purpose is to live for God and bring him glory.  Sharing my experiences I feel I can share God's awesome love and power. A life without God is no life at all.

Today is Matthew's and my three year anniversary.  Below is what I wrote to him this morning. Our relationship has flourished.  In our obedience, patience, trust, faith and hope in God's will for our lives, we are joined together, ready to commit to Him and serve His purpose for His glory.

May 23, 2013 - Happy Anniversary Matthew
Trials force us to put our faith in something bigger than ourselves or another person. 
Our FAITH is in God.

Obstacles motivate us to dig deep for strength in something stronger than ourselves or another person.
Our STRENGTH is in God.

Losses invoke us to reach and cry out toward something more comforting than ourselves or another person.

Storms inspire hope as we clutch onto something greater than ourselves or another person.
Our HOPE is in God.

The only way to do life together is with God as our Rock; God first and above all else.

As we build a relationship on a foundation made of rock (God), it will withstand the trials, obstacles, losses and storms of life. We will find peace in His presence.

As we get knocked around, beat up, tossed about and flooded with adversities, although we feel depleted and exhausted, we remain standing, clinging to the one who will deliver us with his faithful promise to never abandon us but pull us into his loving arms - Our RESCUER is God. 

Our walk together is only possible through God’s will.  As we surrender to His will and build our relationship upon Him we frame a foundation that's strong and stable in Him.  Our faith, hope and love remains in Christ's promises and presence. Through our obedience we will be abundantly supplied with endurance to face what is placed before us. A life and relationship built on the Word of God withstands the storms and challenges of life. 

For Jesus teaches that we must be wise and build our lives on a solid foundation.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
Our life together began three years ago……

We've had amazing times filled with laughter and new experiences. But far too often, we turned a blind eye to the trials and storms we encountered, masking them with empty promises and an illusion of happiness. We deceived ourselves thinking we were growing closer to one other but in reality we were growing further apart, resulting in a painful separation from each another. We tried to control what was out of our control but once we handed ourselves over to Him; His will and His way, we were able to see things with a new set of eyes; with clarity. 

It’s only by the Hand of God, that He has reconciled us, and today we point each other upwardly toward Christ; handing one another over into His care and trusting Him to do His will in our lives. 

Hand in hand, side by side, we walk the same path; God leading, you and me following.

Today we celebrate three years together.  Three years of change. The most rewarding part of these years is that it lead us back to Christ. I find peace and joy in my heart, anticipating the blessings that lie before us; the adversity that will strengthen us; and the grace, love and mercy we will receive through Jesus Christ.  I am overjoyed for this new beginning as we continue to seek God's truth, point each other toward Christ and build a relationship with Him as the foundation in our lives – OUR ROCK♥ 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mom, Mama, Ma, Mommie, Mamasita ~

One of the most priceless gifts I've had the pleasure to experience was having a little human grow inside my body, not once, but three times. 

VINCENT came into my life when I was still a baby myself; barely 18 and a Senior in high school.  He taught me quickly how to be responsible, to grow up into a mature woman and what it meant to love unconditionally.  Our relationship today isn't as close as I hoped, but I have faith that God will restore it to be exactly as it should, in His time.

RYAN came a few years later.  He showed me patience, how to have fun, laugh at myself and stand up for what you believe in. He was the most difficult to bring into this world and it brings joy to my heart to see the grown responsible young man he has become and who does "little things" for his mom to show his love and affection.


TAYLOR was the last of my three.  She taught me perseverance through difficulties, forgiveness and how to restore relationships when pain and broken trust were involved.
The transformation in her life in the last two years shows pure inspiration that regardless of circumstances, with the grace of God's hand, change is possible.  She has become confident, kind and thoughtful, often putting others first.

As Mother's Day has passed I am filled with love in my heart as I think of my three children; what they taught me, who they helped me become and what a blessing each one is in their uniqueness. They are all have a piece of me, yet they are all very different.  Every day is Mother's Day for me. Everyday I am thankful be called, "Mom, Mama, Ma, Mommie, Mamasita" or whatever other nickname my kids give me at that moment.

I keep close to my heart the joy each child brings to me. I remind myself often what a perfect creation from God they are.  Thank you my Heavenly Father for the three gifts of life you've loaned to me.

Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 ~

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Little People have Loud Voices!

Who would ever want to admit that they lacked character, integrity, morals or values.

As a parent, would you ever want to admit this? And what if the person  who revealed this to you were your children?

I know I didn't want to admit my lack of parenting skills.  Yet for so many years, this was me and in the end my greatest teachers were little people in my life.

They taught me how damaging taking that extra drink of alcohol was as one of them would pick up the bottle at an early age.  They showed me how my  unhealthy relationships effected their relationships with others.  They opened my eyes to how lacking respect and love for myself, resulted in a lack of respect and love for themselves. They showed me how I spoke and responded toward them, when I saw how they responded and spoke to me or others.  They pleaded for me to love them and when I didn't they learned how to isolate. All along, I thought was loving them, but in reality I had hurt them.  

Sometimes the greatest teachers in our lives can be "our children."

As I began my journey and turning away from a life of unhealthiness, the results of my choices from my past came with some very big price tags.  My selfish ways of life, living for me and what benefited me, left long-term damaging issues that may never be resolved or may take a lifetime to repair.  My children endured unnecessary suffering at that time, but today I do have hope that it will be used for good.  It hurts my heart, I feel a lump in my throat and my eyes well with tears as I write this because I can feel the pain they must have gone through.

This morning I read something from Rick Warren: 

~ Hope isn’t the same as optimism. It isn’t the belief that something bad will turn out well. It’s the absolute confidence that every part of your life ultimately makes sense regardless of how it turns out this side of eternity ~

I have hope that through my selfishness, through the hurt and pain I've created toward others, that God had a miraculous plan for it. I have faith and hope that He has a plan for restoration not only in my life, but my children; and now is my time to work to restore those relationships.

What we do as parents impacts our children's lives do deeply.  Love them. Speak to them gently. Hug them. Praise them. Pick them up when they fall short. Do not condemn them. Teach them Integrity, Love, Values, Morals and Honesty.  

Of my three children, God has blessed me with a mini me. A miniature Tyza who has been unfortunate to experience a lot of my personal life hardships in her short 15 years.  She by far has been the most visually and vocally of the three to open my eyes to the pain I created because of my choices; and that is a sobering feeling.  Today I'm amending my past by the choices I make today.  I can't change what has transpired in the past, but I can be a woman of integrity today and for the rest of my life by choosing to live my life differently.  Thank you Boo Boo for the Love you give me each day, even during a time when I was difficult to love.  God blessed me with you on PURPOSE!

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” ~ Romans 8:28

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I am the D-A-S-H

Growth is painful.  Letting go of the familiar is uncomfortable.  Being vulnerable is risky.  Love Sustains.  Forgiveness Heals. Faith Creates Hope.

And all of these are what creates the "D-A-S-H" in my life. 

My birth was not determined by my parents.  I was not an accident.  Have you ever wondered why we were born on the day we were?  Why weren't we a day earlier, a week later?  And what is more amazing is that regardless of my choices (my dash), I have no control over the date of my death. I sometimes may think I am this all mighty powerful being that controls my environment, circumstances, and future but realistically, it's not up to me. Even the time I chose to make an attempt on my life, God intervened and said, "Not Yet, I'm not finished with you."

If I think I have control, I am fooling myself.  Sure, my choices may result in the way some things turn out, but they don't turn out that way because of me. They are purposed in my life to create character.  When I think of that, sometimes I get angry and frustrated telling myself, "Then what's the point?  Why even try to be a good, kind, and loving person if regardless of what I do, I still may end up miserable? What's the point of being a person full of integrity if it makes no difference to others? What is the point of moving out of my comfort zone? Why allow myself to open up to others? Why have faith or hope in anything if I'm only going to be disappointed?"

WOW - As I just typed all that down, I could hear one thing.  Can you?  It screamed -  ME! ME! ME!

So, WHY? Because all those things do matter.  They matter to the only one whose opinion really counts. Not mine. Not those who we love most. Not those who we want to impress. No!

They matter to the one who was so loving, so selfless, so humble, so patient, so faithful, so gentle, so kind that he gave up His life, so that we could live.  Do you know anyone who would do that?  I'm sure there are people who have said, "I would do anything for you," but if that were the case wouldn't we be living in a perfect world without deceit, lies, anger, jealousy, insecurities, pride, and self destructive behavior? News Flash - We clearly do not.

So then what's the point?  The point is I want to be that person. I want my "D-A-S-H" in this life to be full of love, full of selflessness, full of humility, patience and kindness, and so full of joy that when I look in the mirror the reflection I see is Jesus. I will never do it perfect, but because of His grace He is the only one who will ever accept me unconditionally.  He will never condemn me, He will never belittle me, He will never tell me I'm worthless, He will never leave me.  He will only love me ♥.  Today until the day I die is my dash, and I'm responsible for that.

I'll leave you with this, something I heard in a sermon from Greg Laurie and the inspiration for this blog, "God is responsible for the beginning and end of my life. I'm responsible for the dash."