I Can't Forgive Myself

I Can't Forgive Myself

Forgiveness is not easy but it's also not optional. Our partner in ministry, Beverly Weeks, has shared before so eloquently about forgiveness and how it can be hard to let go of the pain that has been inflicted by others through their harsh words or unkind actions. As I was reading I thought, what about all of those folks who are struggling with not being able to forgive themselves?

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God, Help Me I'm Scared!

God, Help Me I'm Scared!

The pain swooped fiercely through my head. I could hardly bare the throbbing in my temples. My vision grew blurry, and from out of nowhere the severe headache caught me by surprise. In less than an hour, I had gone from laughter and my usual fun, outgoing, quirky self to being knocked flat off my size eight feet with a severe paralyzing, nauseating migraine. I found myself lying in the pitch dark on the sofa crying out to God for some sort of instant relief. Immediately my mind started to fill with panic, what if’s, anxiety, thoughts, and assumptions that had me in an uproar as to what my medical diagnosis could possibly be…

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Hopeless: she wanted to die...

Hopeless: she wanted to die...

We've all got a story, and every story matters. A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend of mine shared her story with me, and I was in tears, realizing where she had been, and so thankful for where God has led and is leading her!

Read her powerful story of life change because she took a chance on a Saturday morning to learn she is intentionally and wonderfully made...

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Girlfriends

Girlfriends

Growing up, we spent weeks of our summers with family in upstate NY, and it always fascinated me how at every gathering, my mother, grandmother and aunts naturally ended up around the big kitchen table, laughing and talking about everything. I was drawn to them as a group. The men were outside or in the garage, smoking cigars and talking loudly. When Scott and I married and bought a house, it seemed the same thing would happen- the women at any gathering were drawn to the kitchen table to laugh, cry and share.

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Just Say Thank You

Just Say Thank You

Around our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband Scott bought me an anniversary band, giving it to me at Christmastime. I was mortified. The thoughts that raced through my head and came out of my mouth unfiltered were so disrespectful, and not the response he anticipated. 'I can't believe you did this. I can't believe you spent this kind of money. I don't want expensive jewelry. What were you thinking?' It makes my heart sad to think about it now. Why didn't I just say thank you?

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Comparison: Who Had I Become?

“You don’t love me anymore, do you?” I could hear the frustration in my husband’s voice as he shouted loudly above the vacuum cleaner. Refusing to acknowledge his question, I continued to proceed with the cleaning. Then with tears flowing down his cheeks, he approached me and asked once more. “Please answer me, I have to know. Do you still love me?“ comparison

My marriage was beginning to crumble and I was becoming someone I did not even recognize. Looking back, I can see where I had fallen deeply into the sin of coveting. There, I said it. It is still so painful to reveal. I was guilty of coveting. I had become self-centered, seeking my own forbidden desires and almost allowed them to destroy my family…….

Just being candid, it took me quite some time to understand that my bondage to what I call the “comparison syndrome” had led to such a crippling sin in my life. I was longing and desiring to feel beautiful. I realize now that I was basing my standards on nothing more than the fake standards of beauty placed on women every day. We see it on the air brushed pages of every magazine in the grocery store checkout line, on television, the big screen, billboards and even facebook. Not many people post unflattering profile pics. Oh I am not judging. Believe me, girlfriend, I love that crop feature better than anyone. It's nice if the derriere is hanging out too far- crop it off!

Pit of Comparison

I mean, let’s get real. In most cases, you will not see a size 12 model on the front page of a magazine; and if you do, her cellulite, unlike mine, is not showing! There are no signs of the  fine lines, sagging boobs or dark circles. It’s all cropped, chopped and airbrushed perfectly. Honey child, for too long I  found myself allowing Satan to take up rent in my mind with thoughts of a low sense of worth and brutal attacks of low self-esteem. The true, sad fact was I had fallen into the pit of comparing my weaknesses to others strengths!

You see, my motivations to look beautiful turned sinful when I allowed them to be so strong that I started to covet the legs she had, or the firm hiney that she had, or the toned tummy she had, her tanned skin… Even more destructive the desires for the fun party life she had, the fun trips, or even the perceived “perfect exciting marriage" that someone else had. I remember sitting at a restaurant table one night with what I call "well-to-do, popular, newly separated ladies." I tried their giggles, the fake laughs, and flirts with the men sitting near by. I knew it was wrong for me to be in that place. It was all just a lie. Who had I become?

Desperate to salvage my marriage and break free from the chains of low self-esteem and insecurities, one night in the wee hours, I found myself weeping frantically at the end of my bed. Oh God, I need you. I can not do this on my own. My marriage has fallen to pieces, I feel ugly, confused,  and I am ready to be free. I need YOU to change my ATTITUDE. Take away this hurt, my fears of rejection, and feelings of low self-worth. Father, I need You to  show me who You want me to be. Help me to trust You. 

Oh yes, I gave the devil one fierce, harsh, crushing blow that night! I refuse to ever fall into that pattern of thinking ever again. I know I messed up Satan's plans big time! I am sure he was out to slowly kill me and destroy my home. I praise GOD for healing my marriage and setting me free from this bondage.

I won't lie to you, it has not always been easy. I wish I could tell you that I never fall into a comparison rut. I do know that each morning, I have to pray for GOD to direct my thoughts and if I find myself falling prey to my insecurities I cry out for  GOD to change my attitude. Father, help me to love the woman in the mirror that you created.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.   Proverbs 31:30

 

GATHER YOUR GIRLFRIENDS!! YOU are intentionally and wonderfully made by your loving Creator to uniquely reflect His beauty to the broken world. The busyness and craziness of this world tramples your beauty, unless you decide everyday to take care of your hearts, minds, souls and bodies. With Shaunti Feldhahn, Beverly Weeks and Sherry Jennings, step out of feeling unseen, unsought and uncertain and step into knowing you are INTENTIONALLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE! Gather your girlfriends and purchase your tickets before it sells out!

IWM 2015

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGE! Join us January 30-31 at the Goldsboro Family YMCA, details coming soon!

AOM

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us- select cabins still available! 

christian cruise

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Overwhelmed

Monday morning. The phrase alone evokes different thoughts, emotions and expectations, doesn't it? It's the start of the week, with all its demands, commitments, obligations, school, meetings, work...I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it. Staying in bed sounds so much easier, safer, doesn't it?

overwhelmed

Until I pull out and read Psalm 139. I pray it, really, since this psalm is written to speak out loud to Jesus....read it with me...pray it with me...out loud:

1 Lord, you have examined me     and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up.     You know my thoughts before I think them. You know where I go and where I lie down.     You know everything I do. Lord, even before I say a word,     you already know it. You are all around me—in front and in back—     and have put your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me;     it is more than I can understand.

Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?     Where can I run from you? If I go up to the heavens, you are there.     If I lie down in the grave, you are there. If I rise with the sun in the east     and settle in the west beyond the sea, 10 even there you would guide me.     With your right hand you would hold me.

11 I could say, “The darkness will hide me.     Let the light around me turn into night.” 12 But even the darkness is not dark to you.     The night is as light as the day;     darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made my whole being;     you formed me in my mother’s body. 14 I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.     What you have done is wonderful.     I know this very well. 15 You saw my bones being formed     as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, 16 you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me     were written in your book     before I was one day old.

17 God, your thoughts are precious to me.     They are so many! 18 If I could count them,     they would be more than all the grains of sand. When I wake up,     I am still with you.

19 God, I wish you would kill the wicked!     Get away from me, you murderers! 20 They say evil things about you.     Your enemies use your name thoughtlessly. 21 Lord, I hate those who hate you;     I hate those who rise up against you. 22 I feel only hate for them;     they are my enemies.

23 God, examine me and know my heart;     test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any bad thing in me.     Lead me on the road to everlasting life. -Psalm 139

My perspective is changed, it is transformed! The day and week are filled with opportunities as I acknowledge Jesus made me perfectly and wonderfully for this day and week, and He is walking it out with me, leading me through each moment of each day. I'm choosing to be overwhelmed by God's love and grace instead of by my schedule and responsibilities.

YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES! You are equipped for the day, my friend. Share this with a friend who may need to hear this today!!

GATHER YOUR GIRLFRIENDS!! YOU are intentionally and wonderfully made by your loving Creator to uniquely reflect His beauty to the broken world. The busyness and craziness of this world tramples your beauty, unless you decide everyday to take care of your hearts, minds, souls and bodies. With Shaunti Feldhahn, Beverly Weeks and Sherry Jennings, step out of feeling unseen, unsought and uncertain and step into knowing you are INTENTIONALLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE! Gather your girlfriends and purchase your tickets before it sells out!

IWM fb

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGE! Join us January 30-31 at the Goldsboro Family YMCA, details coming soon!

AOM

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us- select cabins still available! 

christian cruise

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Do Sexy Wives Come In A Size 12?

I tiptoed mischievously into the master bathroom and skillfully proceeded to fill the tub with lavender scented bath salts and a half bottle of pink bubble bath that I had taken hostage from my nine year old daughter’s bath and body supply. Snickering like a school aged girl, I reluctantly dropped my clothes to the floor and took one fierce look in the full length mirror. Immediately my grown up insecurities and wandering thoughts began to attack my mind, hound me and follow me around like a neighborhood stray dog.

Girlfriend have you flipped out and lost your mind? He just came home from work and you're gonna ask him to do what? It's still daylight! Look at you, it’s winter time and those legs glow in the dark and it is no secret that you are nowhere near  having enough bubbles to cover up that second tummy roll. You can't wear Spanx in a bathtub, and what about that cellulite…  Do you honestly think YOU can be a sexy wife?

sexy

A Stake In The Ground, WHO AM I Moment

For me it was another stake in the ground, a let me remind myself who I AM in CHRIST moment!! I gained my composure. Then out of sheer habit, I sucked my tummy in, held my shoulders up high and pushed back my brown wavy hair. I took one more fleeting look in that bathroom mirror and shouted out confidently, SHUT UP Satan! You ain’t nothin’ but a liar! I am beautiful! I am funny, spontaneous, romantic and my hubby loves me for who I am!!

Gettin’ Real, Size ___ is Sexy

Listen up girlfriends! Gather your friends around the water cooler. Inquiring minds want to know, the word is out and Honeychild, you doggone best believe it, YES YOU CAN!!! You can be a sexy wife at size 12 or any size!

Intentionally & Wonderfully Made

You know in reality, few women are pleased with their bodies. We complain that we are too short, to fat, too thin (I’m still waiting to claim that one), too pear shaped, our feet are too big, hips too rounded, I seem to have been given a pug shaped nose…. Then we go on to convince ourselves that we are not smart enough, funny enough, sexy enough, graceful enough. You see in that bubble bath moment Satan had tried to attack my mind and drown it with nonsense lies. That scoundrel wants nothing more than to steal our joy and intimacy from our marriage relationships. I’m not gonna lie, I shamefully admit that in my past I even allowed my insecurities to greatly inhibit me from being romantic with my husband. Not anymore!

As long as we continue to listen to the enemy’s message and what the world perceives as beautiful we will NEVER be satisfied with how we look. My GOD reminds me in is word  that I am fearfully and wonderfully made !

I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)

Seeing Yourself The Way God Sees You

Ladies we have got to learn to see ourselves through God’s eyes. May I just get candid! Seeing myself naked is truly not my idea of fun. As a matter of fact at that moment I was kinda, sorta, contemplating about grabbing the nearest bathrobe to cover up and tossing the bathroom scales at that mirror! Yet that scripture resonated with me. There is a phrase in that verse that for so long I have overlooked. I will give thanks to thee! WOW, I, Beverly Weeks, need to give thanks to God for the way He created my body.

Seeking God's Forgiveness

I sat in my chair the other night and I totally rethought that verse through.  How dare I take the time to whine and whimper about the dark circles and creeping tiny little lines around my eyes. All the while I have a dear precious friend who has to wear an eye patch because cancer has attacked her eye and threatens to destroy her eye sight.

Right then and there I prayed, Father forgive me of my wordly mindset. God, I thank you for my dark brown eyes, I thank you that I still have my vision. God I thank you for my arms to hold my children tight, for my rounded nose to smell my husband's skin as he lies next to me, for my full sized hips that give me joy when I am dancing, for the funny personality you blessed me with, for my desire to tell corny jokes, my love for the hearts of women, for my desire to encourage others, for making me a size 12 and for creating me to be sexy for my husband, graceful, and delightfully beautiful.

SOOO... Did The Bubble Bath Idea Fizzle…?

Have mercy, sista, I can see my husband grabbing his imaginary nitrogen pills (Peanut M&M’s) as he cries out from his laptop, “What have you gone and wrote about this time!” My only response, honey breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and breathe out…..

I want you to know that spontaneous crazy idea I had in my head at 6PM... that 'hey, honey, while the kids are doing homework, let’s have a little bubble bath fun time' was intimate and tee-totally everything I had wanted it to be. You see, I realize my body is far from perfect, yet I am made in God’s image. My husband loves that I am his gift and for that my dear friends I am truly thankful.

 

LADIES, ARE YOU READY FOR 2015 TO BE DIFFERENT?? Join our own Beverly Weeks and Sherry Jennings as they welcome best selling author Shaunti Feldhahn to the stage at the third annual Intentionally & Wonderfully Made Women's Conference! Are you tired of trying to everything in this do it all world? Learn how to embrace God's design and plan for you, so you'll do only what He's designed you to do! Get your tickets online NOW before they sell out!!

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Bye-Bye Granny Panties!

Hold on to your blue jeans for this one,  here comes a mighty confession! As a matter of fact, someone just might want to call me up and take me out to lunch! Whoodoggie...forget the lunch, just drop by my office with a dozen cream filled doughnuts, a couple of jars of crunchy peanut butter and some chocolate bars. I am coming clean and it feels good. It's a day of revelation! granny panties

It wasn't until the ripe age of 43, {{DRUM ROLL PLEASE}} that I started wearing eye shadow! On top of that, I have purchased an eye brow pencil! Yes, you heard me right. It is one area in my makeup that I have always struggled with. Soooo, I finally went out and made a few expenditures. I know it’s hard not to laugh, and if you see me in public please pull me to the side if I look like I have black raccoon eyes. I'm still experimenting!

Confession Time

Well, here we go! This is the part of the post where I give my beautiful precious, pentecostal, conservative  mom an early heart attack by sharing candid information with everyone in cyberspace.  The next thing on my list is getting rid of these GRANNY panties. Oh, but they feel so good, they are cheap and come in every color! On top of that the elastic in mine have walked with me through three different sizes. They have been stretched from here to yonder!

I just cannot get up enough nerve to buy underwear that come twelve pair in a tube.  Honeychild that is some small underwear. I have been told by my fourteen year old son on more than one occasion that I have a lot of “junk in my trunk!”

God has called me to be more

I believe God has called us to put our best “look” forward for our spouses. In the last couple of years, I have really had to ask God to enlighten me in this department. I am determined to overcome through the blood of Jesus, areas in my life that I have felt defeated in for so long. I confess, I am the wife that would never let her husband have sex unless the lights were turned out! I have prayed like never before for boldness in the bedroom and for chains of insecurities to fall off. Makes me want to stop this post right now and sing out, "There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain, to break every chain, to break every chain!" 

Someone needs to hear this, our husbands are not as concerned with our being a size 8 as they are with us allowing them to see our beautiful bodies. Fill up his Rolo-sex! For so long in my past, I struggled with insecurities, poor self-image, feeling tired all the time, and no energy. I honestly remember one time sitting out in the parking lot of a shopping center and crying out, GOD why can't I be a single digit size! I mean I haven't seen a size 8 since.... I was eight! Let me tell you that I felt the Holy Spirit say to me...

"STOP YOUR WHINING! YOU ARE A SINGLE DIGIT!

I, the LORD, your GOD, think you are number one!" 

My Daddy is the King!

I am a daughter of the King and my body is a temple. I need to take care of it.  I have been making some life style changes. I am placing a stake in the ground. I refuse to allow Satan to attack my self esteem. I will no longer compare myself to the world’s airbrushed photoshopped standards, but I am committing to becoming healthy for my God and for my spouse. SO bye-bye granny panties!!!

The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to HIM of all that I am, and all that HE wants me to be.  ~Elizabeth Elliot, Let Me Be A Woman

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Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 (pending) organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Fill My Rolo-SEX!

Fill My Rolo-SEX!

Do you remember the Rolodex? For those of you who are under 35, it was little round desk accessory that had hundreds of cards in it. The cards held information from business associates and contacts. When you wanted to call someone, you spun through the alphabetized names, picked up the phone (which was attached to the wall/desk by a cord!) and called. We've already established through numerous previous posts that men and women think differently, and even if we hadn't, it's no mystery that we see the world through very different lenses. One writer says that men see the world through blue tinted glasses and women through pink. So just keep that in mind as you continue to read.

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Trusting GOD with Finances

You want us to do what? Are you kidding me momma? You want us to pray around the mailbox? I just gotta know one thing, have you lost it or joined a cult or something? Do you know what the neighbors will think if they see us praying around our mailbox? 

Wedding rings and large bills of money

My thirteen year old son did not know whether to laugh or run, but at that time I knew that God was leading me to have the faith to gather my family around our mailbox to pray for some BOLD things to happen in our home. Earlier that week I had been forced to leave my job because of circumstances beyond my control. At the same time, my husband and I had been praying that God would open new doors for ministry. I just could not comprehend that leaving my job so quickly could even be a part of God's plan. On top of that my boss had written a letter to deny the unemployment.

Just being candid, at that time anxiety and worry began to kick in full force. My mind was being attacked by the what if’s”, darts of fear and the how would we financially make it questions. I had no other choice but to say GOD, I need you to STEP onto the scene!

Have you ever been in a situation so desperate that you knew, that without a doubt, there was NO way out BUT GOD?

My husband and I gathered our children around that mailbox and we prayed and cried out to God for what seemed like an hour. “Father, You own the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine and we are asking You to have mercy on Your children. God, we need You to take control of the situation with the unemployment and have financial favor on our family. We know You did not bring us this far into the ministry for us to fail!” We even started to pray for the junk mail. That’s right! I knew that God could bless us with coupons and promotions to help lower our expenses.

A few weeks passed. One morning, I was online paying our bills when I stopped to look at the balance in our account which was puzzling! How could I have paid the bills and still  have money in the account? I immediately called up our bank to speak with a service rep to explain the situation.  She explained that the money was "real," and yes, it was ours. The Employment Security Commission had direct deposited a check into our account! I broke out in tears! The service rep probably thought I had lost my mind, so I explained to her how God had not only showed up, BUT showed off and that this was a result of our family praying some mighty BIG BOLD prayers. We were having church right there on the telephone!

Not only did God reverse the decision with the unemployment, but friends His favor did not stop there. We received a statement from childcare and I was keenly aware that I would need to pay $500 for their services for that month. The invoice read that we had previously overpaid and they owed us money! How awesome is that?

Let's not forget the prayer for the junk mail...within days I opened two letters from an insurance company to shred and looked inside. I broke out in a  glory dance for JESUS, there were two unexpected refund checks!! That glory dance caused me to bruise a few  things and swing a hip or two out of place but that is a whole notha' devotion! For a while I felt no pain, I just knew MY GOD had heard my cry and he had come through!

God had it all under control even before we breathed the first word of those prayers. He just needed me to have the faith to trust HIM to work this out.

Are you in the middle of a crisis? Is it your broken finances, a broken marriage, illness, a prodigal child? My heart breaks for the many couples we have spoken with just in this last year who are struggling in their marriage because of financial hardships. Friend, there will be times that you just have to fall to your knees, cry out to God, saying,"Lord, for the mortgage, for the car payment, for the credit card bills, doctor bills, whatever it is... GOD, I trust You!"

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.  -1 Peter 5:7

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 (pending) organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

 

 

Promise of Restoration

Running is my prayer closet. Early in my running days before I knew Jesus, it was the place I could escape for a short time, a place of freedom and solitude, where it was just me and the road. When I came to know Jesus, He became my running partner. My runs became a place of guidance, peace and revelation from God. From simple prayers of thanking Him for guiding my feet as I ran around puddles and trip hazards, thanking Him for the puddles He allowed me to step into for my sharpening and His glory, to knowing that peace which surpasses all understanding in the midst of my husband's adultery. In recent years, running has become a place where I spend time with the Father, crying out to Him on behalf of family, friends, missionaries and sometimes the families in the houses I'm running past. Something I've started doing to remember new friends in my life to pray for is to write their names on my hand before hitting the road, a simple act of praying as I write their names, then praying as I pass under street lights and read their names on my palm.

restoration

Writing the names of friends on my palm has been powerful. After all, God wrote MY NAME on the palm of His hand!

See, I have written your name on the palm of My hands. - Isaiah 49:16

Why does God say this? He tells us this as a way for us to understand that we are before Him always, we are always on His mind,  He loves us more than anything and He has not forgotten us. It is a promise of restoration! Check out Isaiah 49:8-26, He tells us what He will restore! God feels our pain and hurt, He hurts with us and for us, He cries with and for us. God knew us before He created the planet, and chose us and loved us despite the things He knew we'd do. He wrote our names on the palms of His hands knowing we'd choose to not love Him, not submit to Him, not obey Him, not believe that He loves us.

God wrote our names on the palms of His hands knowing He needed to send Jesus to die to save us, knowing Jesus would take nails through the palms of His hands for our sake. God wrote Scott's and my names on the palm of His hand even though He knew the adultery, alcoholism, pride, control, selfishness and divorce that we would choose in our lives...He loved us anyway and had our restoration in mind. And He wrote our names on His hands knowing His promises of redemption are for us.

No matter what you choose to do today, no matter how many times the enemy may whisper "The Lord has abandoned you, He has forgotten you," the enemy is a liar. Your name is written on God's hands, your name is before Him. He won't let you go.

On what promise of restoration are you waiting? Tell us so we can pray with you....

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGE! Mark your calendar for JANUARY 30-31, we're partnering with the Goldsboro Family YMCA!

AOM

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

What Kind of Day Will You Have?

You know those perpetually happy people. The kind who look like they don't have a care in the world, every day they are always happy, upbeat and positive? The natural upper Part of Isar River in Winter, Bavaria, Germany

I have been asked this question a lot lately: "Billiejean, how do you stay so positive all the time? You always seem to be in such great spirits and full of energy. What's your secret?"

I always sort of freeze when asked this because I don't have any secret or special remedy that I can share. I was raised to believe that we all have aches, pains, fears and struggles but you don't need to walk around showing this every day. I am so thankful for having a strong, loving mother. I was taught you just get up, get dressed, put a smile on your face and work hard. You don't bother or bog down anyone unnecessarily and you don't have pity parties. (every once in a while it's allowed..lol).

So having said all that, I am no different than you. I don't naturally wake up smiling, doing jumping jacks all the way to the kitchen, skipping and singing. However, I will say I am a morning person and feel I am at my very best first thing. When I wake up I try to set the tone for the rest of the day.

I decide what kind of day I'm going to have.

I am not going to let my struggles from the previous day or the pain I deal with because of my illness dictate how my day will go. I will not allow myself to dwell on things that are out of my control. If I feel like I am struggling with this then I bring it up to GOD and I ask him to HELP me. He speaks through His Word:

 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. ~Colossians 3:23

 When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God. ~1 Corinthians 10:31

And 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 

Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. ~Ephesians 6:7

I don't put every little thought that I have in a post on Facebook and wait for all the replies and people who will be on my team. You know what I mean here. I pray to GOD and ask that I can keep my eyes and my heart focused on HIM . And I try to be a blessing to someone else every day. Helping others is the best medicine and a great mood booster.

This is why I LOVE being a Life Coach. People reach out from all over with ALL kinds of issues. And I am fortunate that they come to me. They want me to help and encourage them. It's such a cool thing. How could I not wake up every day and be excited to help them. Other than taking care of my wonderful family, helping others is my greatest blessing.

So let me just say this--no matter the struggle, the pain, the fear or concern you need to choose HAPPY! You need to know that it's okay to smile, it's okay to open those blinds and let the sun in, it's okay to reach out to strangers that might be going through what you are and share with them but also be looking for that light inside of them to help ignite.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 5:13-16

Just The Way I Am

"That's just the way I am is not an excuse for anything." just the way I am

I've shared this phrase with others several many times through my life.

It's not too difficult to tell my friends, my family they're not allowed to use this excuse as a limitation for why they can't do something. Or as a reason to continue acting in a manner that has become customary for them when it proves to be ineffective in their relationships with others. Or for just being a jerk.

But it's another thing for me to point the finger back in my direction. I'm rather very resistant.

I've been a husband for 22+ years. And over that time, the Holy Spirit has definitely used my wife as a means of rubbing off many of my "rough edges". Not that I have it all together, I can still be pretty dramatic at times, I will admit. But my wife tells me I'm nowhere near as "edgy" (harsh) as I once was.

I've been a dad for 15+ years now. I've crafted my "Dad" persona pretty carefully. And really, without patting myself on the back too hard, I feel like I've become pretty decent in that role.

I've been "me" much longer. Almost 3x as long as I've been a dad, and over 2x as long as I've been a husband. And I've really worked to be a me who is likeable, gets along well with others, is encouraging to others, well grounded in the Bible, and who behaves in a fairly reasonable manner in the face of almost anything.

In other words, I've felt pretty "in control" for a long time now.

But then we went through the paperwork and training to become a foster family. And earlier this year, we welcomed one and then two teenage young ladies into our home. I won't go into much detail, but their life experience and general manner of relating to the world does not match up with ours. With mine. With me.

I have a certain way of doing things. Of relating to others. Of being a parent. Of being me.

And over the past few months, I'm catching onto something:

My way doesn't always work well with these young ladies.

But - did I mention? - I'm pretty set in my ways. And as much as I like adventure and change, I'm pretty resistant when I am required to change. And really, come on...it's not like I'm even doing anything wrong. In fact, maybe the problem is really their problem, not mine.

And then I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit (did I mention He often speaks through my wife?):

"That's just the way I am isn't an excuse for anything."

Ouch.

So, I'm growing. Or, rather, I'm asking God to teach me how I need to grow. And it's painful. And I don't like it. Is it worth it, though? I think so - I pray so.

And, I think, this is what family is supposed to be. It's about growing, adapting, changing. Never being satisfied with status quo, especially when it doesn't really work for someone else within the family. And why? Because that is what we are all called to do.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4