Faith in fire

Sitting in the dark, so grateful for the first fire ever in our new house that I did nothing to earn but was overtly blessed to get, I sit here struggling with faith.

I have so much.  I have a beautiful house, heaf, healthy children, employment: while I’m by no means a millionaire or even wealthy we do well.  

And I am grateful for and I love these things.  I try to share my good fortune. I pray.  I try not to take things for granted.  I know I do not deserve them:

 But it’s difficult.  There are those very close to me going through a seeming opposite slope.  Money is tight, fighting for the basics is an uphill battle and it is as if life is conspiring against them.

And I feel in my heart they are more deserving.  They work hard.  They believe hard.  They pray hard.

I want them to enjoy these blessings too but God has not yet seen fit to pull them out of the fire.  And so I question.  I reach out to God for direction and I get radio silence.  I want to know what God wants me to do next and I cannot hear Him no matter how I pursue.

Dear Jesus, I ask in your name that you guide my next steps.  Help me know what you wanted me; help me know what the next steps need to be.  I thank you for all that you have done, and all I believe you will do.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Flickering faith and shame

I lay here in my living room looking up at the moon through the giant windows of a house I should never have been able to have…

And I am ashamed.  I’ve had a rough week mentally.  The election floored me – I didn’t realize how awful I would feel if Trump was elected but more importantly how depressing I found it that such an elevated role of prestige and respect could go to man who has none for anyone.

I also got some other troubling news that simply landed me on my emotional knees.

All the good things I had been doing – walking, working out, following my diet, not drinking –

All has fallen by  the wayside this week while I crumpled.  I’m angry.  And maybe to some extent I am angry at God. 

Sorry God – I suspect you know if this is the case.  And yet you still grant me tiny miracles like this moon and these beautiful windows.

You see – I’m not ready for the rest or to be tested.  I’m barely onto stable ground.  And listening to podcasts all day and trying to do good things and pray is not comforting me so the shame I feel trying to fill this giant hole of fear with snacks makes it even worse.  I can’t concentrate.  I’m sad and I’m angry and I’m hurting and I’m scared and Lord while I trust in You as best I can there is still a lot of anxious me in there. 

Help me Jesus.  Pull me up.  Pull me forward so I may better walk in the right direction. 

The Bumpy road to Holy

I Believe in God.  I Believe in his Son, Jesus.  I believe He came to save me, and I feel like I’ve been working pretty diligently at trying to figure out what I am here for and how I can help others.

And yet, I am a Hot Mess.

Despite prayer, burying myself in Christian podcasts, trying to go to Church and dragging my family with me, I’ve yet to figure out what peace feels like.  By 8:01 a.m. after getting the kids off to school, and sometimes sooner, I’ve already wanted to strangle my children, have probably cussed (ok, definitely have cussed), and have questioned my purpose on earth at least 3 times – not to mention my worthiness to walk the planet or to be a mother.

I get back down on my knees and pray again (or just sit on the toilet and want to weep.)

I’m a tough case.  I started at an early age as a picker-of-locks and a fairly good thief.  I lied about everything, even when I didn’t want to lie.  I was a miserable kid, felt like I never measured up or fit in, and it set the tone for much of my early adult life.  My coping style was to try and fake being like everyone else, becoming a mimic to try and fit in.

It left me empty.  It left me angry. I was angry at God.  I blamed Him for making me different and so utterly unprepared to be happy or to succeed in this world.  Maybe I’m still blaming Him or resenting Him for my struggles even when I know better.

Dear God.  I want to love You.  I want You in my life.  I know my life has gotten immeasurably better since you came into it: that I am still sitting here today is a testament to that.  If I harbor hatred or resentment, I ask you to remove it.  Help me.

And if you can send some Angels over my house to help protect and keep the rotten out, and maybe help me remain sane for one more day, that would be very much appreciated.

 

 

 

Infections of sin

I went to the adoration chapel this evening while my children were in religious Ed – expecting I don’t know what but wanting to be physically in the face of God.  

I had a vision of sorts of my open – soul?  I don’t know – just envisioned a giant hole in my chest full of puss, and ooze and poison and darkness.  All the Nasty thoughts and wrong beliefs and hates and fears draining out.

All the sin and all the goop that keeps me from Jesus.

Whether it was a vision or a picture brought forth from my imagining I believe, Jesus, you brought your Holy Spirit in to cleanse the wound because I asked for it.   Underneath the debris and crust lies my God-shaped hole.

Please Lord, cleanse me, purify me, and make me whole with your love.  Repair my heart and change my mind in anyway necessary that will help me to serve you.

amen.

Stuck in the Middle

Dear God:

I’ve been struggling in the middle of….nothing.  You’ve blessed me tremendously: we have a beautiful new house, my children are happily ensconced in their new school, work is steady if not-very-exciting, and I am pursuing you daily.  I’m triple-dipping into my Catholic Faith and augmenting with Rick Warren and Joel Osteen, and doing everything I can to figure out what are calling me to do.

I believe You ARE calling me.  But I feel so alone.  I don’t have anyone on this journey with me but my podcasts and the occasional input of my overly-busy best friend, and I feel like I’m childishly waiting for the thunderbolt of inspiration to hit.  What do YOU want me to do?

To You be the Honor, to YOU be the Glory, and I know you have a path for me:

“I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord.  “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you.  I will give you hope and a good future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NCV

Please Lord, I am 44.  Let me know soon, give me a sign, make it very evident.  I love you, and I want to spread your word to help others and to change the world.  Show me how.

Dear God: Here’s my wish list

Dear God:

Heard today to pray to you like it’s my Birthday, and to ask for what I really want with a boldness.  I will ask today with childlike faith, in the face of almost ridiculous odds.

So here it is:

1)Dear God: Help me to find a bigger, beautiful house in an excellent school district that will take care of my son’s needs. I feel he has so much to give the world and I want all the training and support he can possibly get.  I ask for a large kitchen in which I can cook healthy food for my family and feed all my relatives.  I ask for an extra bedroom so I always have a place for others to stay comfortably.  I ask for nature to help bring peace, a neighborhood full of children for my children to play with, fantastic neighbors, and I ask for an office and space of my own in which to work and pray and write.

2)I ask for my book.  I know my book is in me.  I ask that you would send your Spirit into me and help me find my words.  Let me write YOUR words.

3)I ask Lord Jesus, that my current house be sold readily to people who will love and cherish my gardens.  I ask that they will take care of my neighbor Rich.  I ask that they be driven to my house, and that it be the perfect place for someone quickly.

4)I thank you Lord, for healing my son’s legs and removing the sores.  I know this was You.  It was not supposed to happen quickly and they set our expectations for the worst.  You far surpass all expectations.  I am believing that right now you are healing my liver, and that I will live a life long and useful in which I will raise my children and bring joy into your world.

5)I ask Lord, for your continued blessings financially.  You have prospered me and given me so much.  I promise that what I have I will share.  I believe you see that in my heart.  I will use what you provide to spread your glory and kindness.

6)I ask Lord, and thank you for the continued healing of my spirit.  Change me.  Make me more useful to you every day and help me to share Your Love.

7)Finally Lord Jesus, I ask that you heal my sister: heal her home, take away her fear, save her home from the enemy and prosper her and her children.  She does so much.  She is Christ to me and to my family every day.  We know you have our Aunt Judy there with you: hopefully she will help guide you to make my sister’s reach and breadth further than her furthest imaginings.  Heal the heart of my mother-in-law, and help me to be better and more loving to her every day and not take on her pain as my own.

Thank you God.  Thank you God.

 

My Daily Bread (non-carb)

How do you start your day?

Mine for years started with a Panic Attack…and dread…and fear.  I would like there with my stomach clenching, pulling myself out of a nightmare typically, and trying to drag myself out of bed when in reality I wanted to hide under the covers.

I. Was. Terrified. Of. Everything.  And mostly, I was terrified I wasn’t enough.

Some that know me from work, and more casually probably wouldn’t expect to see me curled up in the fetal position at the foot of my bed.  But I was, routinely and for years, so overcome with the monsters my own brain created of the world, that I couldn’t find my way out.  I would get up, I would try to do my job, try to be a great mom, and live my life, but internally and mentally, I was running from the negative thoughts that chased me through my day.

Mornings though, were always the worst…because all those fears chased me straight through my dreams into the terror of the day.  Mornings meant a full-on confrontation of everything that seemed bad and wrong and scary…and then trying to actually function.

My family didn’t understand it.  My friends tried to understand it…my husband definitely had no idea what the hell was wrong with me or what I was going through, except that whatever it was there was nothing he could really do to help.

It’s taken a lot of time to get here, years really,  but my mornings are different now.  I wake with purpose.  I have a plan.

I start with “Thank You.”  Thank you God, for the day, for watching me through the night, for setting me up for a good day and for watching over my children.  Thank you God that nothing today that happens I will not be able to handle.   I am strong.  I am worthy.  My God is more powerful than anything in front of me today.  My God has plans to prosper me and not to harm me.  Good things are coming.  I am loved.

Before I even get out of bed, I grab some water and my phone.  I immediately open something positive.  It can be an app (I have an app from “The Secret” with daily inspirational messages as well as a Joel Osteen daily app) or a podcast from Zig Ziglar.  It can be a video from my home parish church.  It can be listening to an audio book. I will search until I find something that resonates.   Sometimes it’s even a video of my kiddos.  Whatever it is, even if it is 2 minutes of my morning, it sets the tone for everything else.

Today, honestly, I needed an hour of God…but I know that hour will be repaid.

Here’s the thing.

My fears and worries still stalk me in my dreams, but not as often.  Still, even when they do, I stop.  I change directions.  I Declare.  God, you have the wheel.  Jesus, thank you for walking by my side. I may not see a way but you have a way.   Thank you for changing my heart.

My life is getting better every day.  Yes, I have my difficulties but I choose to give voice and to action to what is positive and what is good and what I can be and become and contribute.  I’m changing my words.  I’m choosing my thoughts.  Sometimes, I have to do it 10 times an hour to get myself on the right track or to even get through, but I am doing it.

Dear Jesus.  Thank you for my Daily Bread.  You’ve become it.  Amen.

Birth of a Believer

You would think it would take less than 43 years for someone who was raised Roman Catholic and attended 16 years of Catholic School to call themselves a Believer.

It didn’t.

I may have called myself a believer, but you can’t be a believer if you have no idea what believing actually feels like, or what it is or what it isn’t.  You can’t really consider yourself a believer until you make an active decision to ACT like a believer, to ACT in faith.

When I say I’m a Believer, let me be very clear:  I believe in God.  I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe in the power of love and in the Universe.  I believe that we are meant for many and wonderful things.   I believe that break it down how you will via religion and dogma, but at the end of the day we’re all really in it for the same thing because we are all inextricably part of it.  I’m not here to argue semantics or rules, I’m here feeling it in my gut.

I’ve never wanted my faith so badly, nor worked so hard on a daily basis to change my own mind into one that could accept that life could be more, and that I am more than I know as a part of a grand whole.

I’ve been wanting so badly to write all of this: not wanting to push my views others but happy to share them as I hopefully start to model the things people more want to be.  I want to attract people with my writing and to help them find their own paths, believing it can be done.

This is a leap of faith for me.  I’m stepping out.  Hello World.  I am a Believer in God and in Jesus Christ and I believe that it is when I say that first that everything else can finally begin.  I am born a new person, with limitless potential.

Thank you Joel Osteen, Marianne Williamson, Jen Sincero, Rhonda Byrne, Zig Ziglar and C.S.Lewis for unknowingly and sometimes very grudgingly, leading me to a place of new wonder and gratitude for all that is in this wonderful world.