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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Start looking up, not down.

It’s easy to get discouraged.  If I were brutally honest, I can go from okay to completely bummed out in a very short period of time if I am not vigilant in guarding my thoughts.

I literally need a hall monitor for my brain.

Here’s a trick I’ve learned: look up, not down.

Look up at the things you love, look up at the things you’ve been given, look up at every single positive and good thing that God has put in your path today: got up?  Great!  Remembered to brush your teeth?  Thank you God, that I have teeth to brush!  Showered? Thank you God, that I have adequate water in which to bathe – was the water hot?  Hallelujah!  Have a job to go (no matter what it is) where they pay you enough to afford food and shelter?  Lord, I am infinitely Blessed.

Feeling unloved or alone?  Look up…at the cross.  Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel sad.  Feel, instead, amazed that someone loved and valued you so much that He Gave Up His Life for yours.

(Yeah, okay.  I always get a little teary still.  I know I’m not worthy.  I know I didn’t deserve it.  And I’m still un-learning that God’s love has anything to do with what you’ve done or what you have.  That’s the human, broken down sinner mentality I’m learning to shake off in favor of the “yeah, I’m not perfect but God still loves me where I stand” one.)

We choose which way to look in every moment of the day – head and not the tail, heavens and not our feet.  Only one of those choices will keep us on the right path and help us to create everyday joy in our lives and appreciation for all that we are and have.  Yes, life is difficult at times.  We have challenges and crosses.  We can’t change anything but our own perspective and vision…but when we do, we have the power to transform our world.

Help me Lord, to always look up to keep life from pulling me down.

love2

 

 

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.