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.

 

 

 

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Awkward but Unashamed…

“Who do YOU say I am?”

I do not write about God much, though in truth I write about Him all the time.

I use other words.  For instance, when I say “Higher Power, Spirit, Universe etc.” what  I really mean is God.  When I say that I use affirmations, frequently those to me are really prayers.  When I say that I meditate, I’m really saying that I’m trying to shut up long enough for God to be able to talk to me.  (I fail miserably at this and wonder at times how God manages to get through at all.)

I try to write for my specific audience, and to put my thoughts into terms that will most likely reach them on some level.  Most of my writing is business writing, and geared toward life and career coaching.  I write a lot of articles for LinkedIn: all of them are really focused on career and personal development, positivity, creativity, faith and any of the more spiritual stuff I try and couch into other words…even if in my heart they all eventually come back to God.

Really, it all does…I mean, the big everything.  I’ve noticed, though, that if you start using  scary religious-sounding words, people tend to back away.  It’s intimidating.  It can be uncomfortable.  And without knowing your audience, it can be tremendously awkward.  I don’t know how I will be taken, or if people will see something that looks too “Jesus-y” and run if that’s not their thing or something they want to look at right now.

Lord knows I was one of those someone’s for a long time.

Half of the reason I started this blog was that I wanted the freedom to speak about Jesus, to talk about Mary, and to say that for me, whenever I am talking about that universal love or power, or the source of all creativity and goodness, I am talking about God…but it’s nice to be able to use the words.

For me it’s an inescapable conclusion that the source of everything and anything is a power more vast than my limited comprehension or understanding.  I don’t really care who you worship or what you call that power. I don’t care if you are a Buddhist or a Naturalist or a Catholic.  For me, those are just different hats attempting to imperfectly to fit the same thing.

I am not ashamed.  If anything, I am awkward.  And I really want to believe that too, though there is a part of me that feels some guilt that if I am not shouting from the rooftops “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior” that maybe I am hiding.  Maybe I am pulling a Peter. Maybe I am denying Christ?

I hope to God I’m not. 

But I feel like if everything for me comes from God, I’ve got to believe some of the words I am using also then come from that source.  I’ve been given words.  I’ve been given ideas, and ways to express them.

I’d like to think God speaks to people where they are.  I’d like to think He can use me in the very same way to spread His message and to share love.  I’d like to believe that He too doesn’t much care about the verbiage so much as the ultimate opportunity to reach those that maybe feel a bit iffy about calling stuff “God” and back away from the big “JC.”

My God is way bigger than any names we can give him.  I have to believe my God is therefore way bigger than my awkwardness and my weakness and can use those too.

Dear Lord: Let me be authentic and honest.  Let me stand up in faith.  Work in my words, and help me to understand how better I can serve.  Make me brave.  Make me strong.  Take my fragility, and worry of being judged or misunderstood, and use it to Your Good, knowing I’m working hard every day to do better, and to be better.  Amen.

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.