Featured

Ya Gotta Have Faith

Faith wouldn’t be real faith if we only believed when things are good. It’s the times where you hung out in the darkness but faith and hope picked you up off the ground, knowing believing was the only thing you had left. I went through many phases in life where I thought believing just couldn’t exist anymore. I’m sure you have too. As you know, I grew up in a household where Jesus was taught but my belief in him became questioned in my mind over and over when the sexual abuse became clearer and clearer. The negativity in regards to who I was or the dirty person I thought I was became louder and louder. That untruth began to defeat the real truth that I was grounded in. Questions began to scream at me, how can I believe when something so horrific was done to me? Why? Why should my faith be stronger?  Do I really have faith? I made a choice. In the end, I made a choice. I could either let it kill me inside and become dead OR I could choose life. I could choose to fight. I could choose to believe. 

As we swirl around in this crazy time we are in right now, where is your mindset at? It’s easy to start heading down a dark alley internally when we are just hanging at home with no place to go.  That’s definitely dangerous for me. It’s now more than ever that we need to look for the good and beautiful truth about ourselves, about life. We are killer men and women! No judgement that we haven’t showered for days or our kids have been wearing the same clothes since last week. (Ha, maybe that’s just me.) In every area in life, we are doing the best we know how. Whether that means through this crazy pandemic or different chapters in our lives. We fight the good fight with a strong, loving Jesus by our side. There will be days that you don’t want to fight anymore. Days where the negativity is laying on thick in your mind.  It’s those days that you take out this verse. Matthew 19:26, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.”  If our feet are planted on solid ground that speaks life into us, we can overcome the circling noise.  We’ve gotta train our minds to be stronger than the negative emotions that want to creep in. 

Here is your truth.  Christ is your foundation.  Not this world, not other people, not things but Christ.  He’s got you, me, and this world. I can’t end this without giving you the real truth, you are a rockstar friend. 

“Fight the good fight of faith.  Not just for the prize at the end of the race, but treasures along the way.”

Featured

Where’s Your Safety?

My daughter is 14.  I’m pretty sure I’m at that phase of life where I’m learning more from her than she is from me.  I woke up this morning and this is what she posted on her Instagram last night. “With what is happening in the world, I’m learning to put my stress and anxiety in the Lord’s hands.  He’s where I feel safe and I know I can trust Him. Life gets hard, there’s bumps in the road, but He has guided me around those bumps, like when the door is locked, there is a window, or a back door.  Just reminding you that He is always there for you, anytime of day.” Drop the Mic. Girl has a point people! 

It’s crazy to walk through this experience together and watch the emotions that each person feels. I mean, it’s not like we’ve ever gone through anything like this before so the territory we are walking on is not common. There’s no right or wrong way to feel it or experience it. For myself, I go from what can I clean next to nah, I’ll just sit and binge watch Greys Anatomy. Ha.  I’m starting to debate on asking my kids to just stay in the same clothes for like 2 or 3 days so that laundry doesn’t have to enter my vocabulary each hour of the day. I mean, it’s not like they are getting dirty or anything. Also, pretty sure I’m becoming a ‘yes’ mom. Kid, ‘Mom, can I have a Hershey bar?’ Me, ‘Did you eat a carrot? It totally evens out then. Go for it.” 

Ok, but let’s get back to the deep thoughts by Heather haha. Bottom line, you can never be isolated from Jesus. I know, I know, super cheesy but it’s true right?  I mean, my daughter is preaching it to you right there. Our safety is Him. We are gonna get past this craziness in a few months and begin life as usual and what’s gonna happen?  More storms will come our way. More doors will close where we wanted them to open. Social media won’t be so nice anymore ha and we will feel isolated in other ways. He’s never letting go though.  Many times it’s us that’s loosening our grip onto Him because we are scared, unsure. Now is the time to strengthen that tie. Now is the time in our unusual circumstance to jump into Him. I mean, it’s not like we don’t have extra time on our hands, right? 

Where are you at with Jesus?  Maybe you haven’t cracked open your Bible in years.  Maybe praying to Him feels weird. Maybe you are questioning if he even exists. Maybe just maybe in those places you are, you feel this tug, like there’s more because there is.  Maybe you’ve got a killer relationship happening but this situation in the world has caused fear, loss of belief, and just questioning. It’s so ok. The best part about our Father is he loves it when we come as we are.  You know why? Cause He’s our knight and shining armor that swoops in and saves the day. It gives Him a chance to show off and do His thang. Keep your heart open. He will meet you there. Just spend some time with Him. 

“Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”

Featured

We Shall Overcome

So here we go friends.  Not only will I be at least 15 pounds heavier by the end of hibernation but I’ll also realize I was not meant to be a teacher. Ha.  God bless all of you that deal with our children on a regular basis for the sake of education. In all honesty though, this is hard, scary, unsure, uncommon ground, unknown.  I’m not a big fan of any of those words. I was telling my hubby the other day, this really isn’t good for anyone that struggles with mental issues. This is all completely out of our control and no one knows the outcome or what’s next.  Yea, extra drugs may also be needed throughout our close time together. I’ve decided that it’s one thing to choose to walk into the unknown territory but when thrown into it without being asked, it leaves room for fear to creep in ahead of peace. 

I don’t know what these days of crazy brings for you. It could stir up fear but also anger, sadness, frustration. Not that this isn’t totally huge, but the way we react to this situation in our world should be no different then the way we react or want to react when it comes to those hard storms we encounter every day. This seems bigger though, I get it, but at the time, so did losing your loved one, or the loss of your job, or walking through depression, or abuse, and the list goes on.  Here’s the thing, the core of our being exists solely on the peace and hope of Jesus if He’s what we are focusing on and looking toward. I don’t have the answers. I’m frustrated that more than likely I’ll be cancelling my Spring Break trip, I’m angry that this is happening cause it’s cramping my style, but I’m also sad that there are so many that don’t know where to go with those feelings. We’ve got a Jesus that we can cling to, knowing He’s got a plan even if we can’t quite understand it right now. This is a beautiful time to speak truth into so many and especially our rock’n children. This is truth and power right here.  Isaiah 48:13, “My hand founded the earth; my strong hand spread out the heavens.  When I call to them, they all stand up.” Dude, think about that.  His power exists over all things.  This is HIS world not ours. If we keep some of that in check with our minds, the anxiety level of what’s happening goes down a couple notches. 

We’ve got this, friends.  Bags of chips and all! 🙂

“The best part of life is not just surviving but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.”

Featured

He’s Got It

I was behind the stage and I thought for sure I was either gonna pass out or throw up.  I had a big solo and had been practicing for it all week. I was young. My legs were shaking it.  I remember praying my brains out like, God, please just let me make it through and not screw up. It was a big production put on at camp and I was starting to begin to see that performing was what I loved, singing and being on stage was my gift. It was now time to let it all go and give it away.  I had to know that I did my best to get this far and He has got the rest. I stepped on that stage shaking. I can still physically feel everything I felt but I killed it. I mean, not to brag or anything but heck, when you spend that much time preparing and more time flipping out, it’s nice to know it ended well ha. 

John 16:33 says, “I’ve said these things so that you will have peace in me.  In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”   If you haven’t heard, there’s been a few things happening in our world lately.  Unless you are living under a rock, which actually may help you at this point, things have kind of hit the fan. This has really hit my oldest the hardest so far.  He has a germophobe issue in the first place and loves to research and keep up with everything happening in the world. Needless to say, it has brought some high anxiety for him.  Yesterday he wore gloves to school all day. This being said, I’ve looked my kids straight in the eyes and told them, we believe in a HUGE God who has got our back. This doesn’t mean all the bad disappears but it does me he protects, He can give us peace when instead of focusing our eyes solely on the problems around us, we begin to look up.  I’m gonna say the same to you. We’ve all hit scary points in our lives and I think when the world collectively hits scary, crap hits the fan and we aren’t sure what’s up or down. You aren’t walking this alone. We aren’t walking this alone. Yes, we need to do the right precautions and do what’s best for ourselves and each other but remember that the creator of this world is hard at work.  He already knows the outcome. He already knows what tomorrow will bring. I personally would rather put my faith and trust in that then the unknown. Again, this doesn’t minimize what is happening and the truth of what needs to be done but I don’t want to sit in constant fear. In this truth, there can be peace. He has already overcome the world which means that peace lives inside of you.  He has already conquered this! Now good luck and God speed on finding your toilet paper and Clorox wipes! 🙂

The Light of God surrounds me.

The Love of God enfolds me.

The Power of God protects me.

The Presence of God watches over me.

The Mind of God guides me.

The Life of God flows through me.

The Laws of God direct me.

The Power of God abides within me.

The Joy of God uplifts me.

The Strenghth of God renews me.

The Beauty of God inspires me.

Wherever I am, God is!

(Written by James Freeman, a soldier during World War II)

Featured

A Fishy Tale

So here’s a story for ya.  We had a fish. His name was Finnball.  Actually the fish was my youngests but he very quickly forgot it existed and I was the one feeding it. He was a feisty fish but held on for a good two years.  A few weeks ago, he was upside down. His time to be with Jesus had come. Thinking he would never know, I prayed Finnball down the toilet and called it a day. Not smooth. A few days ago, Cooper jumped up on the counter to say ‘Hi’ to his friend and well, things went downhill quick. At first, he tried to play cool.  That lasted for about 30 seconds and then he lost it. He was a mess till he went to bed, praying to Jesus before he fell asleep to tell Finnball he said ‘Hello.’ My heart is now officially ripped out of my body. 

As he was falling asleep next to me with swollen eyes, I began thinking, we are so quick to assume we know how people should or would react to certain situations. Cooper is my super soft heart, emotional kiddo.  I assumed by just taking care of the situation myself, he would never know or it would be easier on him. That definitely wasn’t the case. We all walk this life with so much we’ve already wrestled with or fought through. When you read quotes like, “You never know what someone is going through, be kind,” there’s so much truth to it. The battle that we are fighting each day or that others are walking through is not written all over everyone’s face.  We have a way of reacting or seeing things differently than the person next to us or even our best friend. There’s no right and wrong so there needs to be more grace, more understanding, more kindness. My other kiddos were quick to want to chuckle at him and I shut that down real fast. This hurt his heart when for them, it was just a fish. We need to step back more and maybe even close our mouths before we decide to judge how someone is trying to fight through life.  I know I’ve written about this before but I’m so passionate about it. Battles in life are happening to each individual and for some it might be a fish that died and for others it could be going through a divorce, abuse, depression, loss of a child, a loved one but no words are spoken. Instead they may end up losing it over a comment you said or just the way you looked at them. Pain has a funny way of showing its face at the worst times but if we combat that with compassion, sympathy, and some understanding, we could completely change someone’s life. Ephesians 4:2 says it best, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  Side note, this applies also to your own heart. You’ve fought, you’ve cried, you’ve won, you’ve lost, you’ve endured.  When you have a day, cover yourself with love, compassion, warmth, grace, understanding because that’s what Jesus is doing for you already.  We need to follow in His footsteps. 

Don’t worry, another fish was purchased the following morning. His name is Finny and I’m sure my son will feed it for a few days and then forget he’s even there but you know what?  Compassion and understanding is what we left him with. No, suck it up! or, you did this! No pointing fingers, just trying to show love. Go out today and show love to not only those you make eye contact with but also the one you see in the mirror. 

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

Featured

Grab On

Is it a bad thing that your kids come home with their report cards, have straight A’s, and say, you wouldn’t know what that feels like mom, would you? Ha.  No, No I wouldn’t. I tell them constantly to not follow in my footsteps when it comes to school. I was the kid who smiled really big at my teacher, batted my eyes, and begged for a C so I wouldn’t get in trouble at home. I’m honest with them and say, I didn’t try very hard.  School didn’t come naturally for me so then I just assumed I couldn’t do it. When I felt defeated, I threw in the towel. I realize now that there were so many other things internally that brought down the confidence in who I was but back then, it seemed like a battle I just couldn’t win and didn’t feel like fighting. 

How often do we get to that point, right? We hit these roadblocks, these challenges, these moments of, that was not supposed to happen, and next thing we know we are throwing in the towel. Waving the white flag sometimes looks a bit easier than facing the ugly head on. There are a million times that I’m like, God, what are you doing? Ok, more like a billion times and maybe it’s more like, God, why would you have that happen?  The picture that He sees and the picture that I see don’t seem to measure up on a regular basis. In Proverbs 3:5 it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”  Boo!  I know this is truth and I know His ways are better than mine but there are just days.  There are days when it’s just hard to see what He’s doing. I know you’ve been there or you are there.  It can be hard to lean on Him, to trust Him, to realize He truly does have our best interest in mind. He sees things we don’t.  He knows the future that will better us and we don’t. I’m realizing it’s a matter of getting to a complete surrender place. That surrender comes deep inside our souls because dear lord, our minds like to play games and tell us a different story some days. The heaviness that we end up feeling with the overwhelming situations in life is because we let go of His hand. When we loosen our grip, we step into the fear, into the unknown, into our own way of solving things. Pretty sure we’ve all seen what happens when we start playing god. 

Just in case you were wondering, I wasn’t a complete failure throughout my whole educational career. By the time I hit college, which is crazy that I even made it in but we won’t go there, I let go of everyone else’s expectations, including my own. I dug down and started to find the truth that Christ planted inside of me. Instead of always trying to fix everything myself, I started letting go and passing it over to Him. I started to believe. We need to believe that good things are meant to be in our lives.  Sometimes we get stuck in thinking bad will always be around the corner. It’s just not how God works. You are meant to do amazing and beautiful things, filled with a life of love and joy. Just give him your hand. He will guide you through the unknown. 

“When you let go, something magical happens, you give God room to work.”

Featured

There Are Days

There are times when I get flashbacks so bad that it stops me in my tracks. I’ll be at the store, driving my car, cleaning the house ,and I’m frozen. The pain rushes back through my body and I physically can’t move. The faces of my kids, my bedroom, all these triggers that my eyes see what happened again have a tendency to spiral my thoughts in a million different directions. For a moment I’m back there.  My safety is gone. My innocence is lost. A piece of me is stolen. Inside I’m screaming for help and no one hears me. 

Ummm…so that’s depressing, you say.  Ha, I’m not gonna leave you there in my yucky place, don’t worry.  We’ve all got a piece of our souls that got hurt, that were torn out, that were so gut wrenching that we think we aren’t gonna live another day.  It’s in these moments that I feel as if we all should be allowed to move to a beach far far away, right? We all wish, but instead we’ve gotta fight through.  For a long time I hung out in this feeling, I’m not a gonna lie. It was easier to just sit in this pain then claw my way out but I learned and I’m still learning that I’m bigger than the pain.  I’m more powerful than what happened to me. If we stay in the agony we feel, it will disable us and not allow any movement to move forward with our lives. I literally visualize me placing all of that which is inside of me at the time in my hand and literally throwing it, whipping it across the earth.  Maybe I’m throwing it into the arms of Jesus because in all honesty, I just can’t carry it anymore. 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is enough for you, because my power is made perfect in weakness.”  We will not be defeated in our painful situations or with what has inhaled our hearts with hurt. The pain that you feel is inevitable but suffering in it is an option. You decide. Jesus is there to pick us up when we have days where walking out of the house seems like torture. Jesus is there to take the heaviness in our hearts and fling is across the earth.  You just gotta give Him a chance. You just gotta let Him in. 

Yes, we need to feel our pain.  We need to find the truth behind why it hangs out there but let it change you.  You are so brave in waking up each day and conquering the thoughts and feelings that could swallow you up. Change isn’t black and white.  Change doesn’t happen overnight. (Hey, I just rhymed ha!) The journey is slow and scary at times but so worth it. 

“I have no power to control the weather.  But I can bring an umbrella.”

Featured

Seriously Though, Stay In It

There’s value to your lane. Stay in it.  Her body is not supposed to be your body.  That job was not meant for you. That friendship built outside of you wasn’t meant for you because there’s another bff coming in your lane.  That perfect life portrayed on social media has its flaws you know nothing about. Stay in your lane. Here’s the thing, when we start jumping ship and flying into the next lane we are gonna hit some serious traffic and potholes. We aren’t meant to drive in someone else’s lane. Your beautiful life was shaped just for you.  The job that you are sitting in wondering why you are even there has a purpose. The unending piles of laundry we are forever folding has a purpose, or does it? hahaha. You get where I’m going with this. 

 Man, it’s so easy to compare and think what it would be like if I could just have so and so’s life or so and so’s body or so and so’s job or fill in the blank. We miss out on what’s sitting right in front of us if we are constantly looking into the lane next to us.  It’s never gonna happen. It’s not meant for us so why do we keep drooling over it? At some point, looking straight ahead and allowing our minds and hearts to focus on us, the good that resides around us, needs to be it. Period. Yes, we’ve all got some serious flaws, rough relationships, scars for days, living paycheck by paycheck, kids screaming but look ahead in your lane. What’s there?  What have you accomplished? Look at how far you have come and what you have achieved. You are perfectly created and beautifully made. Your lane consists of intimate details that only you can conquer and follow through on. Your dreams and your desires are only found and met in your lane. Your Jesus is walking with you in your lane. He can’t meet us where we need to be met if we are all swimming in another lane and flying somewhere else, ya know what I’m saying? Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  We’ve gotta delight in Him all over the place while walking confidently beside him in our lane.  He knows what you need, what you desire, what your heart is longing for and he desperately wants to give it to you but He can’t if you aren’t standing on the sidewalk with your name on it. 

Don’t miss out on what you’ve got going for you because you’re too focused on what’s not meant to be yours.  My lane consists of pink hair, lots of tattoos, scars for days and the list goes on but that’s me, not you. You might be deathly afraid of needles and pink hair makes you want to puke.  I’m ok with that, I think ha! Honestly though, You are made perfectly flawed just for your perfectly flawed lane. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t need our perfect Jesus. Now go get your drive on. 

“You can only run your own race.  Stay in your lane. Don’t look at what others are doing.  Those that look back in the race usually fall off.”

Featured

Time to Get Out

I love closets.  I know, you’re like, what?  But hear me out. I think we’ve all been there and used the closet as an escape. There’s something safe about being enclosed. Well, I guess you might not enjoy it as much if your closet is a hot mess but each to his own ha. No one could touch me there or so I thought. I’ve cried in there, journaled in there, escaped screaming children in there, cut in there. It’s a place where, for some reason, it just feels like no one can see you. It’s a place where I feel or often felt like the world outside stood still for a second while I tried to pull everything together.  The closet wasn’t going to tell everyone I lost it, or I couldn’t get my crap together, or that I was failing and fearful. 

In the end, I eventually needed to come out. I needed to face that fear or that failure head on. The closet is ok to get lost in for a time but eventually when we step out, what we are running from is still there. My cutting escaped the four walls of a closet and kept getting worse, fear and sadness still met me when I opened the door. Here’s what I’m learning my sweet friends.  Yes, we need to meet those ugly emotions head on but also, coming out gives the opportunity to grab happiness and joy instead of sitting there waiting for it to come to us. We need to open the door and allow it all to pour out. We need to allow the ugly to come to the surface so that we make room for the good that’s waiting on the other side. What brought you into that closet does not define you. What brought you into that closet doesn’t have to control you.  What brought you into that closet needs to be crushed by the hand of Jesus. He gives us this promise, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has a passed away.” Revelation 21:4.  There’s nothing too dirty or ugly or smelly that God can’t completely wipe away or give to goodwill. You’re precious heart is held in His hands daily.  Every second of every day He sees you and walks beside you. It doesn’t matter if you are hiding in the closet or screaming from the roof tops, He’s there. 

How long have you been sitting in the closet beating yourself up?  How long have you been hiding in there thinking that everything around you will disappear?  I so get it, like so get it BUT the sooner you step out, the sooner you step into grace. You will be surprised that you aren’t alone in where you hide or sit. We’ve all been there, so together lets walk out and seek our truth.  Let’s all step out together with our shields up and fight. 

“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”

Featured

Embrace What Is

Change. Sometimes you just want to flip it off, right?  Maybe it’s just me. It can break you. It can spin your brain into a million different places until you land on what’s really the right direction. There can be change in circumstances, relationships, your body (hello 42!), your emotions each moment, and the list goes on. Sometimes we are the cause of the change and sometimes change happens without us even being asked. It can cause your whole life to transform in a blink of an eye for better or worse.  There are times where you can control which direction it goes and times that your hands are tied. 

Consistency has not been common in my life. People have broken my heart in two, unexpected crossroads has made me question which direction life is really taking me. My sweet daughter came home from school the other day and you know what she said to me? “Mom, we were talking about eating disorders in health class today.  Actually, we’ve been talking about almost everything you’ve dealt with in health class. You really lived a rough life.” Sweet baby girl. Guess what, I know each of you have had a rough go too. I don’t say that to make anyone feel sorry for me. Truth, it actually empowered me. Here’s the thing, change normally doesn’t have a pretty face on it in the beginning. We question why, what’s happening, what do I do with this.  Then we go, we embrace it because, I mean, we don’t really have a choice, and we change with it. Life has taken so many unexpected turns in my life, especially these past couple years that I’m almost surprised I take a shower ha! Can I tell you something though? I think God protects us in the change. There are things we don’t see. There are conversations and situations that He can only witness and protect us from.  Many times we think that our road is paved out and we are walking all confidently but little do we know there’s a massive fire crossing over the path. Psalm 121:7&8 gives us this promise, “The Lord will protect you from all evil; God will protect your very life.  The Lord will protect you on your journeys–whether going or coming–from now until forever from now.”  Sometimes change happens because remaining on that path will cause pain that will almost destroy us. He knows that before we can even see it.

I shut down.  That’s what I do with change.  I think I’m protecting myself when really I’m delaying the blessings that God has in store for me in the change. What’s happening in your life right now?  Are you in the middle of change? Is change on the horizon? You are brave and courageous my sweet friend. Together we need to build off the new instead of fighting to get the old back. We need to jump into the new chapter with some new dance shoes on, embracing the possibilities of what could come. 

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.”

Featured

A Time for Everything

16. My son just turned 16. The son who was spinning on the floor when he was 1. We thought it was just funny and cute but little did we know that he would have an uphill climb when diagnosed at 3 with autism. The things I’ve learned from him have not only helped me learn to look at myself with more grace but more importantly, to look at life with humility and joy. I will say I had my definite mommy bawl moments on his bday because seriously? 16? How does this happen? I know everyone talks about time flying and enjoy each stage but man, it hit hard that day.  It made me step back and look at the time we’ve had so far. I only have a few more years with him and, from what he says, he’ll be moving to France. Yep, that’s right, welcome to the world of a genius. He will be able to do anything he wants and right now, as he moves forward with French classes, he’s in love with it. This child is gonna make a difference in the world and I can’t wait to see it. 

Time. I step back and I ponder on how precious time is. Not only from a standpoint of children growing up or life flashing before our eyes but from a standpoint of healing, walking through the trenches of life. We can’t forget the important moments where we need to allow ourselves time. We are too quick to put our game faces on and plow through life like nothing is hitting us when in reality, we are only making time move faster without breathing.  Time for my son is incredibly precious. He has a routine that helps him stay calm. He chooses to move in such a way that makes sure he is ok, that he is level. He doesn’t rush. He doesn’t allow life to swallow him whole. I love Ecclesiastes 3. It talks about a time for everything. God gets it. There are 2 verses in there that I love. Verse 4, “a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing.  Verse 6, “a time for searching and a time for losing, a time for keeping and a time for throwing away.”  Do you see what I’m saying?  There is a time for us to cry and allow ourselves the pain that we experience. There is a time for us to mourn what could have been or pieces of our life that just aren’t going the way we thought.  There’s a time to search for what is around the corner. There’s time to let go of the heaviness that has weighed us down for so long. There’s a time to cry yourself to sleep but also a time to wake in laughter and love. Allowing ourselves to have the time needed in each season of our lives is so important. We want to dismiss the ugly instead of looking at it head on. Time can heal.  Time can allow the space needed to renew our minds and souls. Time can be for us and not against us if we sit back and allow it to move along side of us. When we fight against the time needed to heal, we are only hurting ourselves. I encourage you to allow yourself to sit back today and take time. Take time to journal, pray, talk with a friend, cry, love harder, hug it out, laugh till you are crying but no matter what you do, allow it to be authentic and real.  Allow yourself to be. Allow yourself to feel. In the end, time will tell you when to move forward and when to stop. 

“Healing is an art.  It takes time. It takes practice. It takes love.”

Featured

Seriously?

I pulled out the email again.  Probably super stupid on my part and not even really sure why I saved it.  Maybe it’s because I can’t believe it exists or maybe because I just can’t let it go. I won’t go into all the detail but there’s one line that I’ve struggled to release, “I’ve supported you in all your bad decisions.”  This was referring to my cutting, attempted suicide, etc. It’s who wrote this email that just messes with my head the most. Maybe I reread it because I want to believe that the words on the page aren’t real, that if I read it again it will say something different. Referring to my struggles as bad decisions is like saying when you swerve out of the way of something in your car, you are making a bad decision.  Yes, would swerving just for kicks get you in trouble, probably, but swerving to survive from getting hurt or hurting others would not account for a bad decision. 

There are things in our life, decisions that we make, things that we do that others aren’t gonna understand or agree with. In the end, we can’t expect them too.  I don’t expect anyone to fully grasp the things that I have walked through and I will never see or feel or understand what all of you have walked through BUT we can never decide that we will judge or tear down others because of it. There’s a reason that Jesus died on the cross and rose again for us.  He provides freedom and grace in our lives. By deciding to point fingers and assume wrong thoughts, we are then not walking in the light that Jesus has provided for us. Instead we are spewing out darkness into someone’s life that could actually make or break their next step. What does this mean for those of us who have had it happen?  I read this quote the other day and can’t stop chewing on it, “You cannot heal in the same place that you were harmed.” We cannot continuously surround ourselves with a toxic environment and expect to walk out feeling like a million bucks. We’ve gotta separate ourselves from those who have hurt us, put boundaries around the pieces of our past that keep coming around.  We can’t learn to love ourselves, rebuild our future, walk in healing, revive our souls if we are constantly putting ourselves back in a toxic environment.  Psalm 4:8 says “I will lie down and fall asleep in peace because you alone, Lord, let me live in safety.”  You guessed it, He is our safe place. 

Stuff like this gets me fired up inside, I ain’t gonna lie. This email came out after the truth of the sexual abuse I held onto for 30 some years came out.  Even after that, the understanding of what I walked through was not shown by this individual. We are called to love others and show the love of Jesus to others through our words, action, etc.  I’ve made it a point in my life to really show that moving forward. I encourage you to do the same. If you are on the side with arrows coming your way, know that your truth and worth are not founded in false words or negative thoughts.  You are deeply, deeply loved. You are a warrior. You are a beautiful child of Jesus, loved unconditionally. Rockstar status, each and every one of you. 

“Your environment determines what kind of life you’re going to live, what kind of people you’ll attract, and what kind of expectations and standards you’ll set for yourself and others.”

Featured

Real Communication

“Ok, so we had a soft lock down.”  Not the text a mother feels like getting on a regular basis but it was the rest of it that made my heart at peace.  “We were about to take a quiz and I prayed like I usually do before it and also prayed for us to be safe, then they called the lock down off.”  Bam. Powerful.  

Childlike faith. Simple. Prayerful. I think sometimes we make faith complicated especially prayer. I vividly remember when I was a little girl in the middle of the abuse, staring at my holly hobbie walls, just saying his name in my head, Jesus, Jesus. I didn’t know any big words to put together or use to make everything disappear but I did know that speaking his name would bring me to a place of light in the darkness. You don’t need to be reading the Bible every other minute or even fully grasp who Christ is to pray to Him.  You don’t need these big words or extravagant phrases to be heard. Heck, I think he loves when we are raw and vulnerable. I’ve touched on this before but it’s so important, be real with Him. I’ve had moments when I’ve screamed out to Him in so much anger, not understanding why He put me in situations or had me walk through hell and back. I’ve had moments where I’ve cried and couldn’t say a word. Jeremiah 29:12 says, ‘Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and I will listen to you.”  He hears you no matter where your heart is at. He hears you no matter if you have this crazy awesome relationship with Him or you are just trying to figure out if He really exists.  He hears you in the car, the shower, the toilet, wherever. 

Sometimes showing my kids prayer and the power of prayer is all I got. Between my potty mouth, anger spouts and the lists goes on ha, I’m not sure if I’ve got much else going for me. They get it though. You know why?  It’s nothing I’ve done. It’s the connection they feel when they use it. Suddenly they don’t feel alone, afraid, sad, nervous. Their childlike faith is honest, truthful, real, trusting. We need to learn from them. The honest truth of prayer is what allows us to keep living in hope. Open your heart to Him. Let Him see all of you.  Let Him hear all of you. You won’t feel so alone. Your weakness becomes His strength. 

“Sometimes all it takes is just one prayer to change everything”

Featured

Bring on the Dumpster

The phone rang and it was my daughter. She was upset. She was at church for high school group and things went wrong. She was leading worship and the lyrics got screwed up which totally threw her off. She felt she did horrible.  I reassured her by telling her the time I was leading the whole church, the words were up on the screen and I totally lost my place. I had to stand there for what felt like a year before I found my place and kept going. We all have our times when we screw up but she wasn’t done. She then went into how her day was just hard.  Friends got together without her, she was overwhelmed in general, and the list just kept going. That’s when I knew everything was just crashing all at once for her. “You are loved!”, I told her. I couldn’t fix the heartache that she was feeling in the bathroom that night but man did I know exactly where she was coming from and sometimes there aren’t enough words to undo the bad days.  I was so grateful she called me. She felt safe. There may have been a few more face time calls from the bathroom before she made her way out and faced the world again. 

She wanted to beat herself up.  She wasn’t a good enough worship leader, or friend, or student.  The girl just felt defeated. Been there? Being enough in the moment, exactly where we are at, is something we don’t always allow. Bad days can become bad weeks and the next thing we know, we are in a bathroom bawling our eyes out trying to figure out how we got there. We have these set expectations on ourselves, higher expectations that many times are beyond our reach. We expect ourselves to suck it up and keep on moving when in fact we will continue to hit ourselves against a wall if we don’t start bringing down this perfection piece we are constantly reaching for. There are pieces in our lives whether physical or emotional that we need to say goodbye to. We become so fixated on our imperfections that we send ourselves into a spiral of anxiety, fear, and micromanaging the world around us. Maybe just maybe if we allow ourselves to let go of the handle bars, we will be able to keep pedaling and live freely. 

Friends, as I’m writing I’m totally listing all the things that need to go in the garbage. Someone better get a dumpster to my house cause dear Lord in heaven, I’ve got a few things I need to say goodbye too in order to not find myself back in a stall again, ya know what I’m saying? Ephesians 4:22 & 23 says, “You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all it’s bad habits.  Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.” I have no idea what Jesus is talking about here.  I have no bad habits!! Joking! (Insert eye roll) There are things in your life, my life, that aren’t working. Maybe we need to set up more boundaries, maybe we need to let go of the perfectly cleaned house so we can have time to ourselves, maybe just maybe we need to stop the negative, nasty thoughts constantly rolling around in our heads of defeat and replace them with kindness, love, words of affirmation (whether you believe it or not).  If your desire is to move forward, to not end up in the bathroom (other than to do your business, sorry, I had too ha), then learn to say goodbye to what’s not working so that you can open up a world of new possibilities that are yet to be yours. 

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”

Featured

What’s in Your Bucket

I went upstairs after everyone went to school and entered my oldest room. I stopped and had to make sure I was in the right room for a sec because his bed was made.  That hasn’t happened in 15 years. Okay, not that he could make it when he was born but you can feel my shock factor. I didn’t say anything because lord knows I didn’t want to jinx it but, what? The next morning he was like, “I’m gonna make my bed now.” I totally acted all cool like it didn’t even phase me and was like, “Awesome, thanks.” He says, “You do so much around here I feel like I can at least clean up my room a bit and make my bed before I head to school.” I wasn’t sure if there was like a, this is what I want, coming or he genuinely was for real.  I was at a loss for words which doesn’t happen often until I was like, “So can you share this with the rest of the household? That would be great.” hahaha Truth be told I gave him big hug and told him how thankful I was. I couldn’t believe how much it meant to me until I stepped back later that day and thought about it. I was validated. I was recognized. I was seen. It filled my bucket. 

Not to sound crazy cheesy but why not, what’s in your bucket?  What do you fill it with? How do you fill it? This is a conversation I had recently with my therapist which really got me thinking. Is there positive coming in there or is it top heavy with negative? I’ve been in a funk lately, we all go through our moments, and in those times I just can’t always seem to put my finger on why.  Although winters in Chicago sure don’t help but there was more. Aside from the usual working through the deep, hard stuff in my life, I seem to have just hit a blah place. I realized though that I’m filling so much of my bucket with negative and literally dumping it in there that there’s no room for intentionally putting positive in. Here’s the kicker, most of the time you don’t even realize the effect it’s having on you until it’s too late. Your bucket is literally sinking and you are going down with it. We need to purposely choose what goes in. So what is it for you? Family, time with friends, time with God, music, time with you fur babies (as I sit and cuddle mine now), journaling, whatever brings you glimpses of joy and peace, do it. It’s a no brainer but I’ll say it anyway, there’s no room for negative if you’ve already intentionally put goodness in that bad boy.                           

Proverbs 17:22, “A Cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Okay? I mean, the description is spot on. When we are crushed and weighed down by nasty, we are physically and emotionally dried up and have nothing left. Yuck. A cheerful heart, friends, is what we are aiming for.  All Quinn did was make is bed out of an act of kindness, but now it’s my turn to take that and dump it in. I need to allow that recognition, that validation, that kindness to seep into my bones so that darkness can’t win. So today, go out and find that goodness, that positive, that ‘thing’ that fills you. No sinking allowed on my watch.

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadow falls behind you.”

Featured

Peace Out

We had a tree in our backyard.  I remember loving to escape to it. There were only a few branches that you could really hang out on so once you got your spot, you needed to stay put. Many thoughts, tears, internal conversations happened while up there. The one constant thought when making my way up was, you’re totally gonna feel me on this one, what if I was a bird. I could fly anywhere I wanted at any time. Then your mind would wander into, where would those places be?  Now, as an adult, let’s talk about how that place would be a beach…..the end. Can I get an Amen?! 

Escaping…..seems easier than facing the reality of life sometimes. Everyone has their way of doing it. Numbing it, ignoring it, laughing it off, whatever it may be, we all do it AND we all know deep down, it isn’t helping us. There’s no way to move forward into what Christ has in store if we are constantly shoving down the very thing he’s trying to heal. Strong men and women are made by the storms that they walk through, not by dodging the lightning or thunder that comes with them.  The hard conversations that needs to be had, the tears that need to be shed, the band aids that need to be ripped off, the honest truth that needs to be faced head on, blows. I’m just being real. It sucks at first BUT the outcome far outweighs the heaviness that first needs to be walked through. How can we ever hit that place of seeing true beauty in everything when we are sitting in pure ugh. There was a piece of me that honestly didn’t want to allow anyone into my cutting. It was my numbing, my escape, it was MINE!  If I allowed the truth to come out, people would help me overcome it and maybe I wasn’t ready. Sounds crazy I know but I’m pretty sure you can relate on some level. What is it that holds you back from living a full life that God has created you to live? What are you holding onto? I love this and had someone share it with me when I was going through some tough times, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”  James 1:12.  

It’s not the trial that our eyes need to stay focused on, it’s who’s walking along side of us in that trial.  It’s then that our eyes don’t stay fixated on the darkness but instead the light that the future holds. None of this is easy friends.  I’m preaching to myself like always. I’m awesome at shutting down and numbing any and all situations but I’m learning that doing it, lets the darkness win.  I’m so not in the mood for that to happen so change needs to take place. Who’s with me? 

“We don’t develop courage by being happy everyday.  We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Featured

Break It Down

Walls.  Easy to put up and difficult to knock down.  Am I right? I have one or two…..okay maybe like 1500 BUT I recognize I have a problem.  Isn’t that the first step? Ha. We get burned, hurt, brushed aside, downgraded, defeated and with each one a wall goes up.  For a long period of time, a wall went up with Christians for me. Okay maybe just people in general. I’ve touched on this a few times. In my deepest pain, the ones who ran the fastest were Christians. Those closest to my core threw me for a loop when truth was spoken about the sexual abuse, and they were Christian. I grew up in a Christian home, how can pain strike so heavy if that were the case.  Wall after wall after wall came up till I got to a point where I questioned any and every relationship. In the end though, the walls hurt us. We block any healing or healthy relationships from coming into our lives. We think we are protecting ourselves when in the long run we are slowly pushing everyone out. 

These walls we built start to seep into our everyday lives.  Walls that started only with a simple brick have now manifested into a full blown house. The core of the issue is trust and I so totally get it.  Once it’s broken in any capacity, it’s flip’n difficult to allow back in yet at some point we’ve gotta overcome that fear with courage. The courage to allow others in.  The courage to see that others are human too. We’ve gotta let go of judgement towards others and honestly let go of judgement towards ourselves in order for each brick to slowly get knocked down. Now, there’s no problem in having boundaries.  Many times they are needed. I’m not telling you to go and run the streets naked, becoming friends with every person you meet. I mean, if you do, each to his own but be careful…..haha. What I’m saying is that it’s okay to be on your guard and protect your heart. That’s where prayer comes in. That’s where you’ve gotta trust that Jesus has your back. 

I always fall to peace.  In John 14:27 it says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  Walls do not equal peace.  Walls equal anxiety, fear, sadness, pain, things that aren’t from Jesus.  As we begin to tear each brick down, we begin to allow the peace of Jesus to enter into our lives.  I quickly needed to let go of my need to put a wall up towards Christians, towards people in general.  I mean, I was one so that was an issue, but more importantly, it was hurting any opportunity I had to build new relationships.  No one could get in. I wouldn’t let them. I still struggle with it today, I think we all do. It’s natural to protect ourselves but in the end, we need to continue to throw grace our way while hammering down one brick at a time. 

“Anyone can try but the only person who can really take those walls down, is the one who put them up.”

Featured

Time to Say Goodbye

Everything changes.  It hangs different, looks different, sags different.  What we saw 15 years ago, heck maybe even one year ago, just isn’t showing up in the mirror anymore.  Stinking getting older. We should be able to go to target and purchase a magic pill to fix this, ya know what I’m saying? It’s got everything else and lord knows no one can walk out of there without spending at least $100.  They would put amazon out of business if they could figure this one out. I digress, let’s focus Heather. We change inside too. Circumstances change us. Life changes us. Tragedy strikes and the person we once knew has officially left the building. I’m wondering if letting go of the old self would do us some good though. You needed to be who were at that exact time yet who you are today is also needed even more.  

You’ve been betrayed, rejected, beaten down and who you were before then is who you are trying to find now, yet that beautiful soul was only meant to carry you so far. When hardship strikes, it can change you. Moving forward may now look different and honestly, that’s ok.  God is working on you and healing you which in turn, helps you become the soul He needs you to be now. Truth be told, you have more insight now than before. You see things different and face the world from a different perspective than you did before hardship came your way. We need to use that to shape the being we are becoming  instead of grasping to find the person we were yesterday. You didn’t have the strength that you have now or the knowledge of God’s ridiculous grace. Your joy will now shift to fit you and only you now. Proverbs 4:25 says “Focus your eyes straight ahead; keep your gaze on what is in front of you.”  Letting go of what you once knew yourself to be could allow your heart and soul to bring you to another level of freedom and peace. We need to start looking forward, allowing yourself to mourn what could have been or what you think you lost and see the amazing person you are becoming. It’s not gonna be the same. I’ll tell you straight up. But the longer you live trying to find the old you, the shorter amount of time you have to enjoy the new you. 

“Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”

Featured

Swinging It Through

In college, the heaviness really started to creep in. I could feel things starting to come to the surface but I had this image to still put on. I was known as the worship leader, funny girl next store, always be there for you type of gal so losing my crap at that time just wasn’t an option. Down the street from where my dorm was were swings.  I would walk down there all the time and swing my brains out. If I did that now, I’m pretty sure I’d throw up. Oh the joys of getting older, ha. This was my place where I could just let it out. Scream ‘why God’ at the top of my lungs and just cry. 

You’re there or you been there.  You feel like if anyone really knew what was going on they would be floored so heaven forbid you just let yourself go and be what you feel.  You assume the world would probably come to an end. We think we need to keep it all together in order for this world to keep spinning. We’ve got a job to do, a family to uphold and if we lost it, what would happen.  Well, what would happen? Maybe just maybe, you’d be free of many things that have been holding you down. We’ve all hit these points of ‘Why God!’ We scream in our minds, why the heck is this happening or why did that happen to me.  You’ve gotta give yourself permission to break. Holding onto my abuse and not speaking my truth was slowly killing me inside one day at a time. I felt like I needed to protect so many people so instead of protecting my heart, I took it upon myself to focus on everyone else’s.  Because of that, things just got worse, the cutting, suicide attempt, everything inside of me wanted to get out but I held it until I broke. Can I be real for a second? The most difficult part for me was being surrounded once again by so called spiritual folks. I grew up in a Christian home, I went to Christian schools, and now in a Christian college.  At this point in my life, I wanted to punch someone in the face if they brought up any scripture or say they would pray for me, etc. At this point, I had a hard time understanding why this great God would allow me to be abused and why in the heck am I hanging out in some serious pain. BUT, big BUT here, it’s at this point that I found my own personal love for Jesus.  No, He didn’t make everything disappear but the more I screamed out in pain to Him and let me just tell you, some of that was big time anger toward Him, the more I wanted to come back to Him. He met me there. He sat with me on the swings and listened. 

Psalm 46:1,2 “God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble.  That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart.” You may be feeling like your world is falling apart and honestly, I’m not gonna sit here and spew scripture (except that one ha) at you or be all spiritual.  I am, though, gonna tell you to tell Him. Driving in your car, in the shower, having coffee, swinging on a swing, shout it out. Jesus can take it. You are not meant to walk this life alone. Allow Him in. 

“Emotional pain cannot kill you, but running from it can.  Allow. Embrace. Let yourself feel. Let yourself heal.”

Featured

Time to Get Out

It’s time to let go of the victim card but every piece of me wants to hold on. What he did to me took away pieces of my soul that I will never ever get back. It took me into dark corners of my life that I thought I’d never get out of.  I walked around life assuming I was trash but you see, hanging on to the victim card only validates it more. Playing victim means I can hold onto the anger of anyone involved which in all honesty only hurts me in the end. You go from feeling like the victim to becoming the victim and then you can’t get out. I have to start accepting the reality of my sexual abuse in order to step into the freedom.

I’m literally speaking this in present terms right now cause I’m living this reality as we speak.  It’s just a difficult truth. It’s so easy to sit in the pain of what has happened to us and not get out.  Whether it’s because it’s comfortable there or we just don’t want to move. There may be a fear of the unknown.  What will it be like not holding onto the past? What will the future look like? But as I type those questions, there’s a piece of me that gets excited for you and for me.  What if we did let go? Imagine what could be written on our new chapter, the one we decided to start this new year. Screw all the stupid weight loss programs that the world is throwing at us.  Let’s instead go from the inside out which is 110% more important anyways (sorry, had to put a little dig into all that BS haha) But seriously, when you really take an honest look inside, do you sit in victim mode? I do. I find myself constantly going back to things like, but you have no idea what I’ve been through, or I feel like the same things are happening over and over again. Dude, just typing that makes me cringe.  This girl needs to get it together. Thankfully, we’ve got a Jesus to help.  Psalm 60:11 “Give us help against the enemy; human help is worthless.”  Truth!  We just get in the way.  We need Jesus to just step in. 

With the help of our awesome Big Guy, we can take responsibility for our own life regardless of who had a hand in making it the way it is now. There are so many situations that are not our fault.  We need to see that for what it is but then move passed it into a place of acceptance. Stepping out of the role of a victim means no one gets control over you anymore. Isn’t that freeing? You have the power to play the hero in your life, not the victim. 

“You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Featured

New Year

Twenty years ago knives were flying people. I can see myself sitting in my apartment with a piece of broken mirror in hand. Blood pouring from my arm.  It was New Years Eve 2000 and little did I know it was approaching one of the hardest years of my life. My approach going into a new year was just to survive.  Nothing more. The good news is……..I did! Ha! After that year, I’ve always had a difficult time with New Years. This whole idea of restarting or resolutions was difficult for me.  A lot of pressure. It got me thinking. Maybe the approach of the New Year needs to be a bit different. 

Why can’t we carry with us the courageous person who brought us into the new year, YOU!  ME! All that hard work to get us to where we are now deserves to be celebrated and brought into this new year.  I’ve talked a ton about our lives being chapters in a book and that is how I want to approach each new year. I do think it’s refreshing that we get to turn a page and start a new chapter, a new year but without the pages before, we would never understand the depths of the character, the path that was walked, the freedom that was discovered, the experiences that made that character stronger.  Who you are right now, who I am right now is rock solid amazing. If we want to reset a few things or be a bit more mindful, awesome, but bring with you pieces of the old you that carried you this far. Don’t leave that person behind from 2019 who fought like a champ on those terrible days to make it to the next. You rose above circumstances that you thought for sure would knock you to the core yet here you are.  Take that with you as you begin this new year. 

Now, on the flip side, I do want to encourage you to shed any negative drama that you feel as though encompasses your life and brings you down. I’ve said this before, not sure if I’m just getting old or what, but I’m so done with drama.  I’m trying desperately to step back and understand what truly feeds my soul in life and what doesn’t. I encourage you to do the same. Whether it’s certain individuals, social media, circumstances we can control, business of life, whatever.  Get on your knees and start praying. God is really good about making that stuff pretty clear. He is a God of peace and wants that for you in this coming year. Make room for Him, make room for family, make room for you. 

2020 here we come.  Let’s do this. 

“Happy New Year!”

Featured

And I’m Done

And then there were words.  Spewed in my face. Harsh, filled with anger, not kind, not what I needed.  After a hard week, the last thing I needed was to walk into an anger filled soul that needed a sounding board, but ya know…….it happens.  I’m gonna believe that this person didn’t mean to devour me with words but in the end, I just wanted to wave the white flag! Done people! I surrender to all humanity! Ha! 

Been there, done that right?  All of us have. Man, it’s crazy how that saying can totally feel true, when it rains, it pours. I am normally one who can be like, ok, you’ve got your issues so I’m just gonna walk away but no, the flood gates opened and I lost it. So now what? It’s easy to sit in the defeated when we get knocked down over and over in a weeks time or even a day or a years time.  Throwing in the towel sounds a lot easier than putting on our big girl pants and trucking forward. That’s where our control can come in though. There are many situations or people we can’t control or fix but we can decide how we will move forward and react. I love how Isaiah 43:18 puts it so bluntly, “Do not remember the former things. Or ponder the things of the past.”  Jesus knows us so well.  We sit in all the crap. We let all the past events swirl around in our brains until we are sick with trying to figure out how to make it all better.  He’s like, you done yet? Because in the end, it’s His to take. We will just mess things up even more. 

You see, sometimes it’s as easy as seeing the bigger picture.  And what would that be you ask? There’s more positive than negative in your life.  Don’t shake your head at me, it’s true! You’ve just gotta make sure your eyes are looking at the right thing.  Happiness is a result of your approach to life, not necessarily what happens to you. Let’s make sure our souls are attached to the beauty of goodness not the negativity of nasty. 

“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward….Just take the next step.”

Featured

Pull Me Through

My daughter stopped the noise in the car and said, “We need to pray for mom quick.”  We were heading into painful territory for me and little did I know, my kiddos wanted to make sure I was covered and loved.  Gosh darn those loves. Tears. She did just that. Lifting me up. Asking for strength as I walked through the day. My husband and I lost it. Not two seconds after she says ‘Amen’ did one of my boys pop to the front seat to show me a funny YouTube video. “This will totally help you mom!,” he says.  Hahaha. Gotta love em.

I don’t understand why we need to have painful territory, or depression, or abuse, or loved ones passing, or jobs lost, or relationships burned.  What I do know is that without faith, without a belief, without a Jesus to pray to, those gut wrenching parts of life could kill and destroy us. Even children can see that. Can I be honest a second? I don’t walk around my house with a Bible in hand and a perfect non potty mouth ha! But my kids know, when crap hits the fan, you better get on your knees because He is the only one who is gonna pull you through.  That is the biggest thing that I want them to see in my own life. As you can see through my devos, I’ve got some days that aren’t so pretty. They see them. I don’t shy away from being real with my kids but I make sure they know how I walk through those hard days. There may be a few curse words before finally walking into a ‘come to Jesus’ moment but hey, we’ve all gotta do what works for us. I love love how Psalm 18:16 puts it ‘He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he pulled me out of deep water.”  How many times does it feel like we are drowning, soaked in the heaviness of what life is throwing at us? He is right there to grab a hold of our hand through the raging water and yank us from the storm. There’s not a single soul on this planet that can do just that AND transform our heart and soul at the same time.

I don’t know what you’re facing today and as you walk forward.  I can only speak from what I face or have faced. Hope is not a four letter word that should be thrown around loosely. We need to grab onto the sucker with all our might because in that word rests our better days ahead. Hope is knowing that our painful territory doesn’t have to be so painful anymore. Hope is standing on the fact that even just one minute from now, your heart can begin to beat toward a peace driven place of happy. 

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”

Featured

It’s Christmas Time

Merry Christmas my sweet friends.  May these next few days bring you glimpses of joy and moments of happiness. For many of us, it can stir up different emotions and maybe even cause sadness whether it’s because of broken relationships, deep pain reignited, a loved one not around and the list goes on. You know what though? Christmas didn’t exist because of the perfect gift that was bought or a perfect relationship or a perfect life that was led.  Christmas exists because of the brokenness of the world. Christmas exists because we needed love to come into the world to meet us exactly where we are at. Christmas exists because that baby boy needed to come and tell you and I that we are loved. 

We are all beautifully broken people.  Every time we break, we become a little more alive and every time we break, we allow Christ to show us why He decided to come and walk the earth.  He wanted to know your brokenness. To feel your brokenness. To heal your brokenness. So celebrate that in these next few days. Let your soul rest in the beauty of why He came, for you. 

Love you my friends.  I’m forever grateful to you for allowing me to have a place to unload and be real. Now go get cookies and milk ready.  Santa doesn’t like to be hungry. 🙂 

Featured

Your Move

He bought the ring. The ring. The one I wanted yet it was too late. This was after I had tried to commit suicide and things were starting to really heal. Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend at the time was super there for me through some super hellish times but also decided to fling it up towards the end with someone else so……..  Once he saw how well I was doing and what Christ was doing in my life, the ring appeared. My new beginning looked different now. He had to understand that. It was a hard conversation and heartbreaking but in the end we both have beautiful lives that God had intended in the long run. 

Sometimes we have to realize that moving forward means that we need to let go.  It could be letting go of things, ideas, people, etc. Going back to what we’ve always known only puts us back into the darkness we’ve been trying to constantly fight our way out of. The relationship I was in was needed at the time. It was one of the darkest times of my life and he was there but as my new beginning began, I was in a different place. You see, sometimes you will heal and move forward and find yourself in a different lane than others. There isn’t a right or wrong lane but there are definitely different paths that we each walk.  This is when you have to step back and say, what do I need? Who do I need? What feeds my soul? Who feeds my soul? I know, this is killer cause we actually have to think of ourselves. Honestly though, maybe it’s because I’m getting older or something, but I’m so tired of stupid. I’m done with the drama. I’m just ready for the simplicity of love and kindness that feeds into my life. You and I have worked our lovely butts off to get to a place of healing and truth that I truly believe we are allowed to decide who is walking on our paths. Ha.  Proverbs 3:17 “Her ways are pleasant; all her paths are peaceful.”  Yes Lord!  I want a path of peace. Can I get an Amen! 

Moving forward.  New beginnings. It’s important to remember that God’s got you. Although everyone’s path is different, there’s always one thing the same, Jesus is walking with each of us.  That’s where our simplicity is. That’s where our love and kindness rests. That’s where there’s no drama. Do you realize how loved you are? Do you realize how incredibly powerful and strong you are? Well, I’m here to tell you that you are. Keep your head held high as you walk your dream. Hold on tight to Him and watch what He does. 

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.”

Featured

Been There

Talk about feeling like rockstar status. Years ago I had some good times singing in bars and restaurants. I mean, as a musician, this is where you kind of find your niche for a while ya know? AND…..we all know this is totally my kind of people. Real, down to earth, few too many drinks and we are all singing and dancing…..well…..that began to be an issue for sure. I was still looking to numb anything that came up in my life and let me tell you, well some of you probably already have experienced it yourself, drinking will numb anything that comes your way.  Late nights turned into late drinking turned into coming home late turned into a hot mess. My kids were super little and hello, someone still needed to take care of them the next day. Things quickly escalated and everything blew up. I quickly realized that things needed to change but not without sitting in some serious shame. Oh shame, the name of the game. 

This was a dark time and the dark time made me sit in the guilt and shame for a while. It makes me angry because it’s so not from God.  The devil takes this and runs. Yes, we screw up, everyday, but there are new mercies every morning. His grace covers us every step of the way.  Isaiah 54:10 says, “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you…..”  It’s not like we screw up and God’s like, well now we can’t talk to each other for a few days cause I’m super ticked off. God isn’t fickle like humans can be. His love is unconditional. We screw up and when we come and be like, dude, I totally screwed up, he’s like, yea I know, gives us a big hug and moves on. It would be our doing that places the shame and guilt on ourselves.  Yea, so let’s stop doing that. Guilt and shame kill and destroy. It brings on other emotions like fear, anxiety, sadness, emotions that don’t lead us anywhere good. There are times that we need to look into the mirror and say, we did what we did, thinking it’s what was best, and now we move forward. Isn’t it crazy how if a friend would come to you pouring out their soul in regards to a tough past situation, you’d hug and love on them saying it’s ok, but yet that same kindness, you or I don’t show to ourselves.  No, not right. It’s time we treat ourselves with truth. The truth of kindness and love that others and Christ show towards us. 

Another thing, you have the power to make your light at the end of the tunnel.  In this time of my life, it’s what I was looking for. I was allowing others and other things to be the light at the end of my tunnel so to speak. You need to light that baby up yourself. You get to choose what’s going to bring you joy and rejuvenate the inmost depths of your soul or what is going to knock it down.  Don’t allow someone else or something else to light that candle for you. You’ve got the power to shine bright and follow that light to the end. Go get it! 

“Within you is the power to rise above any situation or struggle, and transform into the brightest, strongest version of you EVER!”

Featured

Turn the Page

The chapter needed to end.  The page needed to be turned and quickly. The monster that had taken over my body for so many years had to be destroyed. A few months back I came to a breaking point with my eating disorder. It was destroying me and I had to look it straight in the eyes and tackle it head on.  I knew it was the last piece of the healing puzzle. It was also the piece that the devil was using to hold me down. Being able to see my body as a beautiful image of God is so foreign and, I thought, out of my reach so I just constantly attacked it. Undoing the thoughts that my body was an object, no good, not enough, ugly, and the list goes on from the abuse that never left my mind, seemed like it was beyond my reach. There came a day that I lost it. The control that it had over me came to a quick reality.  The circumstances around me were gonna leave me with choices I didn’t want to make. It was time to end the chapter. 

We’ve all been here too many times right? We know we need to start writing chapter 3 yet we are stuck in chapter 2 because if we let it go, we don’t know what the next page will bring. The unknown is scary.  Crap friends, this past month and a half has been nothing short of…….bring me back to chapter 2 please!! Haha. The freedom only lies on the other side. I have seen that in my own healing time and time again and I’m sure you’ve seen it in your own life. We hold onto what we think we can control and what will serve us in the end.  In reality though, it’s stopping us from moving into another chapter of blessing and healing, the next level of joy and peace. For me, I just don’t want to be a prisoner anymore of things that don’t serve me toward a better future that I’ve worked so darn hard for. I want that for you also. In 2 Peter 1:3a “By His divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life……”   If we rest in Him, like truly give it, He provides everything we need. I want to control everything around me, ha.  Imagine that. When in reality, it ends up hurting me in the end. We end up questioning our worth. We end up questioning our future.

My heart’s desire for you and me is for us to see ourselves as Christ sees us:  Beautiful, intelligent, strong, confident, enough, bad arses (cause he does), and warriors. This is the truth that we are gonna stand in.

Our next chapter will be titled, Look At Me Now!

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.”

Featured

To Better Us

No we don’t need to hold a burning ball to better us. Ha! Although I’m sure we all have a few things we’d like to burn and throw but that’s for another devo. I did come across an article though that really struck a cord with me and I wanted to share some of it with you. Maybe you’ll be like, ok Heather, already been there done that. Just humor me then because there were a few things that I really needed to hear and maybe it will open your eyes too.

As I was scrolling through my feed on fb, I came across an article that intrigued me so I opened it. It’s title had something to do about the choices we make and how it affects our lives. They had simple yet deep steps to really be able to use each day to better ourselves. So here we go.

  1. Let Go of the Past: Blah! This one is always a hard one for me. It’s easy to have it rear it’s ugly head when things are triggered yet I feel like that’s normal for all of us. Instead, how about when it does come up, we acknowledge it and then release it. Not only does this pertain to back in the day but also to like yesterday. Holding onto grudges or things that just happened to us can eat us up inside and destroy our happiness. Like we’ve talked before, the past does not define who we are so why are we holding onto to it.
  2. Don’t Take Things Too Personally: I literally laughed out loud at this one. I take EVERYTHING personally. My assumption is everything and everyone is out to get me. This one really hit home with me and one a really want to work on. A lot of it has to do with our confidence and what we are grounded in. Is it in Jesus or the outside world? We overthink everything, or at least I do, which in turn makes us take things personally. No one is out to get us. Everyone is in the same boat, dealing with their own hardships.
  3. Choose Less over more: I like this one. Declutter baby. In every aspect of your life! Things, people, activities, social media, etc. What serves your soul and what doesn’t? This one has me really and truly thinking. This is a journaler (I don’t think that’s a word but it is now!) Need to make a list and process this one.
  4. Appreciate What You Have: Being grateful. We’ve heard this over and over. The more we live in gratitude for the things we do have, the less we live in negativity. You begin to appreciate the things around you instead of seeing all the things that you wish you had. I want to focus more on the people I love and the opportunities that are before me. It can get so lost when we live in a negative world but we have the power within ourselves to choose thankfulness. God’s really given us some pretty amazing things in our lives.
  5. Stop Worrying About the Future: I don’t know what you are talking about. I never do this. Says no one ever. Ha! I’m just gonna leave this one right here. I’m just gonna be like, you need to give that whole future thing to the Big Guy upstairs. He’s got it. Preaching to myself.
  6. Realize That You Yourself Are Enough: BEST ONE EVER!!!! YOU ARE ENOUGH!!! Look in the mirror today and say that over and over again. Tell that voice inside your head to go home. You are amazing and you/I need to start loving and accepting ourselves for the incredible rockstars we are. And scene.
  7. Be Kind: Not much more to say with this one. If you want people to be kind to you, you’ve gotta be kind to others. No matter if you agree with them or can’t understand where they are coming from or what they stand for, they are still made in Christ’s image, love them and be kind.

Love you guys! Have an awesome day! 🙂

Featured

Grab On

So I may or may not have worked at Ed Debevic’s in downtown Chicago. Ok, I did. After I graduated college, I took my big degree and went to work at a restaurant hahaha. It didn’t last long.  I knew eventually I needed to actually get a real job but it was fun, dancing on tables and stuff. My name was Fu Fu. Pronounced Foo Foo but spelled F-u F-u. Do you get my joke? I thought it was funny. I was young.  Let’s just chalk it up to that. Although it was totally filled with crazy and music, which is totally me, it was still definitely stepping out of my comfort zone. It was a completely different crowd, different surroundings.  I needed to be grounded in who I was and what I stood for. In the end though, I’m so grateful I did it. I’m so grateful I didn’t think twice or live in fear of what I was maybe walking into. 

I have a tendency to hibernate in my four walls when crap hits the fan.  Can you relate? Like instead of stepping out or reaching out, I go inward. I think we have this weird thing inside of us that we assume no one wants our baggage or we are too much too handle. We don’t want to be a burden OR we believe we can handle it all. Such lies! Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone and reach to those that love us in the hard times of life. We are not, I repeat, ARE NOT meant to walk this crazy life alone.  God wasn’t like, I plopped all you peeps here on earth and now you just go about your business till I come again. Yea, no. He formed us, created us to build relationships in order to survive the hardships and good times that this life brings.  Proverbs 17:17a “A friend loves at all times.”   We need to remember that.  The people in your life love you right where you are at.  Grab onto that. Even when you don’t take a shower for days, or your face is swollen with tears, or you’re so angry you can’t even speak, they still want to sit in the crap with you.  Get out of your comfort zone and your four walls and text, call, reach out. We aren’t meant to walk this life alone. We are meant to be together, hand in hand, arm in arm, warrior to warrior.  Shields up together my friends. 

“Sometimes asking for help is the bravest move you can make.  You don’t have to go at it alone.”

Featured

Who Cares

I had scars. Deep scars. Scars that would be questioned if I wore short sleeves when I was in the thick of it. I wore long sleeves, obviously, all the time. Pants were needed when the knife hit my leg. I never thought about where I would cut, it just happened and it wasn’t until after the fact that I needed to process through how I’d approach the next day at work or with people.  I had to pull my crap together because what would people think. How would I answer all the questions. How do I explain the depth of the pain inside from holding onto the abuse, the secrets, and so much more. People who didn’t even really know me wanted answers but that’s how people are right? They ask but aren’t ready for the real truth. Usually they just want some gossip. It wasn’t until healing really began that I started to really rock my scars.  My story was powerful and filled with Jesus. The ‘what will they think’ turned into ‘who cares what they think.’ 

How many times has that rolled around in our brains.  What will they think? What will people say? Because of the assumed answer, how many of your dreams, wants, desires have been crushed or forgotten.  Why? Why do we put so much worth in what other people think? It kills our insides and diminishes who we are and how we value our true identity. I am not defined by my scars but I will never EVER regret having each and every one. They tell a story along with each tattoo that sprawls over them. People question my scars, people question my tattoos but in the end, I only care about what Jesus thinks of me.  Am I doing things and speaking my story for His glory? Then that’s what matters. My identity is not defined by others, by my scars, by the abuse, or anything else this world says. Friends, we are not defined by others, our mistakes, our failures, our past, our hardships. Instead, we are defined by how we moved out of our storm and into the arms of our Father. Ephesians 2:10a “For we are HIS workmanship (His own master work, a work of art) created in Christ Jesus…..”  What people think is not your problem.  I know, easier said than done. This is another moment of preaching to myself.  We cannot control what others think or feel but we can control how we react and move forward.  Will we decide to let it crush what God has called us to do and be or will we stand tall and walk right up that mountain. It will always be our choice. Don’t let anyone else have power over your beautiful soul. You are meant to do amazing things, beautiful scars and all. 

“Our self worth is not determined by others”

Featured

Time to Rewire

swm02125

My flippin Christmas tree fell down.  Like, totally fell down. We have like a 12 foot, real tree and the sucker fell.  I couldn’t believe it. I just got done decorating the whole thing and not 2 hours later I’m standing in the kitchen and BAM, to the ground it went.  I was so mad and truth be told, it had just been a long week already so this topped it off. Needless to say, I texted my hubby with some not so beautiful words.  I was like, we aren’t having Christmas, it’s over. Nothing like a bit of drama on my part right? Leading up to this though, there’s been so much negative inside of me.  My thoughts, my feelings have just been…..ick. It’s not like it was my husbands fault that the tree fell but I just exploded negativity because, well, that’s what was hanging out in my brain. He did completely put it back up but we may or may not have had to anchor it into the wall but hey, the bad boy is up and looking nice.

How do you see yourself? This question popped into my lovely mind this morning as I now realize the nasty that I brought. Is there so much negative inside of your mind that you begin to believe it?  I’m seeing that the way we see and feel about ourselves sets the tone for what kind of relationships we end up having. When you look in the mirror, what kind of words come back at you? Ugly, stupid, strange, unworthy, not enough or beautiful, strong, fierce, determined, warrior. When I allow the negative thoughts to continue to roll inside my head, I then carry that with me throughout the day, throughout my life.  The way I end up responding to others and connecting with them totally turns ugly fast. The reality is, what kind of relationship you have with yourself, determines what kind of relationship you will have with others. This is a hard one for me. I’m sure it can be for you as well. We easily believe the lies that are rolling inside of us because they become so strong. We want others to tell us how wonderful we are, or beautiful, or smart, and the list goes on. Here’s the thing though, in a matter of 5 minutes, those awesome compliments will be long gone once one lie rears its ugly head once again.  Totally not saying to not compliment and love on each other but if we determine our worth by what others are saying to us, we are going down a slippery slope. We were created so specifically, so uniquely by God that we need to rest in the fact that we are the bomb. The negativity that stirs around inside your head is nothing but junk from the devil. He knows how to get to us and the only way to kick him in the butt is to start believing the truth. 

It’s time for us to start rewiring our brains. When negativity starts to seep in, hit it straight on with words like, I am enough, I am a fighter, I am a warrior, I am beautiful, I am a Child of God, I am a kick butt son of a gun who will go and do some serious damage with my big bad self in this life. We’ve got this.  Together we can shift our thoughts so that those we love around us will know how much they are loved. 

“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself”

Featured

The Blame Game

Someone tooted in the car.  You just can’t do that. Not with 6 people in it. Yes, that’s right, this devo is starting out with someone tooting and there will be deep thoughts ha. We blamed my oldest cause well, as my middle explained it, it smelled like his. Hahaha.  He, of course, is like, don’t blame me, I didn’t do it. We go on to be like, oh, ok. Next thing you know, my youngest chimes in, ‘he didn’t do it!’ (Enter in smirk face) We all bust out laughing and of course, give him the hard time. 

I don’t blame. I can’t.  There are some days I want too but it does me no good. For a very long period of time, I blamed myself. Shaming myself. Thinking something was wrong with me. I’ve talked about this in another devo but forgiveness happens inside of us so that we can move forward and heal.  It allows what happened to you or to me to move from a prison into a place of freedom. When we continue to blame, we continually bring ourselves back into that prison. It’s hard for me to write this because I’ll be honest, I sure as heck am not perfect at it everyday, but I try. Things get stirred up, people say things, or images get slapped back into my brain and I just want to lose it. In the end though, I get hurt.  It hurts mine and your heart because those that have hurt us, have their own pain to deal with. They have no idea what is happening inside of us. God is a God of mercy and also a God of justice. In Colossians 3;25 it says, “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.”  I’m not trying to be all harsh and stuff cause Lord knows I’ve done my own crazy not-so-good stuff but with the abuse that was done to me, this brings me peace.  It allows me to forgive and not blame because God oversees justice. It’s not my job. The outcome of horrible situations in your life you can’t change or make go away but you can control how you react and move forward.  Obviously, you need to allow yourself times of anger, sadness, grieving, and the list goes on. I still go through phases of these but for me, knowing that Christ has the ultimate say on what goes down with those who have hurt me or you, is comfort.  

We need to stay in our lane. We need to stay focused on how far we’ve come.  We need to see the beauty that rests around us because of what we’ve already overcome.  Rome wasn’t built in a day. Although I do feel that if women would’ve built it………..ok, I won’t go there! Haha. Surround yourself with the beauty of truth.  God is the ultimate judge and you, you are the ultimate fighter. 

“Blaming puts others in charge of your happiness.”

Featured

Be Real, Be You

“Mom, STOP!” Those silent but deadly words were being spoken to me while I was jamming out to Britney Spears at Bdubs one wonderful day with my kids. Maybe, just maybe, I was moving and grooving to some serious tunes before getting our delicious boneless wings.  This doesn’t surprise them in the least but they do keep trying to tame me down hahaha! Something to do with being embarrassed or something. I ask them to join in but it still hasn’t happened yet. Maybe one day. 

It’s me. It’s authentic. Becoming who we truly are and being grounded in it allows others to gravitate toward us and feel safe. My kids probably question their safety! haha! This, becoming who we truly are, has been a learning process for me.  I’ve always been more of the, let’s just say, outspoken and eccentric one of the group. This wasn’t always accepted with open arms growing up. It made me question if I was suppose to change, be something that I wasn’t.  Doesn’t help that this world puts labels on people, puts us in a box of what we should and shouldn’t be depending on our culture or religion or color or status, or whatever. That’s just a bunch of BS. It gets me a bit fired up.  God created each one of us so incredibly different and unique. No one gets to have a say on what’s right or wrong or who is better than who. Not sure who died and left anyone else king but I’m pretty sure there is just one King that I know of.  Isaiah 64:8 “We are the clay, and You our Potter, And we all are the works of Your hand.”  He doesn’t make crap and He doesn’t make anyone the same.  Stand in who you are. You want to dance? Dance! You need to cry? Cry!  You need to swear sometimes? Let it go! Just maybe give a warning to your kids. Ha! You see where I’m going with this.  Yes, our God is a God of boundaries but He is also a real and true God. He wants to see you be you. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Here’s the coolest part of my story.  Not a few hours before my Britney dance off did my kids see me balling my eyes out. I had a therapy session that dug deep into the heart of my abuse. They asked if I was ok and I told them what was up.  I was real. We hugged it out, went to eat and then I danced it out because friends, life is too beautiful to hide behind. Life is meant to be authentic, genuine, and alive. Whether it looks messy or all the pieces fit together, it’s real. If we all learned to live in the beauty of it, we will all start dancing to Britney together. 

“Be real…….Be YOU!”

Featured

Credit is Due

 Ladies and gents, this momma had a real rock star moment. Let me just fill you in.  I was so ready, so on it. Another headache was on tap for my 8 year old in the back seat and when I turned around, total pale face.  I knew exactly what that meant. We had been in the car for at least 12 hours at this point and we were so close to being home. You see, my fam road trips everywhere.  With 4 kids, there is no way we are paying for plane tickets anywhere so if they wanted to see somewhere other than the flat lands of Illinois, than welcome to my wonderful SUV for the next 2 days! Hahaha. Any who…..back to my rock star moment. I told him to just lay down for a bit, after giving him some medicine, to see if that helped.  While he tried to rest, I got everything ready. I put about 6 target bags inside of one other and got some freshener spray prepared. After about a ½ hour I hear a moan….. I turn around…….. I see a wide eyed boy…… I put the million target bags under his mouth…….he lets loose….…..I tie it up and whip it out the window (don’t tell the police)……..then spray a bit and BAM…….life resumed as if the rainbow in the sky had never left the building. My other three were so impressed with my skills they were speechless.  SPEECHLESS I tell you. They also couldn’t stop laughing because I threw the puke out the window but what’s a women suppose to do? There were 3 hours left. Ain’t no way I was hanging out in the car with puke. Nope! Nada! Not happening! 

So now you are all like, great story Heather, but is there even a point to it?  Maybe or maybe I just wanted you all to know how incredibly amazing I was. Joking. I really do have a point. When I stepped away from this situation, I was like, dude, I don’t give myself enough credit for what I can do or what I’m able to do or what I’m capable of doing or what I’ve already done, and I guarantee, neither do you. Let’s dig a little deeper than a puke episode. We are stronger than the words or daggers that are thrown at us. We are bigger than any stupid social media post that rile us up.  We are more powerful than the unknown, the loss of a job, depression, anxiety, abuse, and so much more. We HAVE already overcome heartache that has been thrown our way as we’ve walked through life so far, so what makes us think we aren’t capable of plowing through what lies ahead. Here is the kicker, we don’t even have too. It says at the end of John 16:33, “In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous, I have overcome the world.”  Our rock star moments exist every freaking day because we have the overcoming power of Jesus Christ living inside of us.  Whether it’s an amazing idea of throwing puke out of a window or having strength to fight through deep rooted pain, we can and we will because of Him. 

You are incredible. Moments that wreck you, empower you.  Moments that throw you into a whirlwind only make you stand taller in your next storm. Rock star status. That’s you! Don’t forget it! 

“Life is not about how you survive the storm.  It’s about how you dance in the rain.”

Featured

Step Out

I had a beautiful, beautiful soul share this with me:

Feel like everything is falling apart, but in reality everything is coming together for your highest good.  You’re being pushed to evolve and get out of your comfort zone so you can live and experience your true greatness.  Welcome change. Trust the process.’

I’m pretty sure I’ve read it a thousand times.  Different words, phrases popping out in different ways, on different days. Welcome change!  That’s a big one for me. I’m sure for some of you too. Change is hard but can be oh so good and freeing. Things can be falling apart around us but are they?  In reality, are they really just piecing together the way they were always meant to be? They were maybe glued together the wrong way in the first place right? We’ve gotta continue to press forward.  Fight. I think of the words at the end of Philippians 3:13 where it says…”but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” As long as we continue to attach ourselves to our past, even to things that happened to us just yesterday or a few minutes ago, we are denying the things that Christ wants for our future.  It’s almost like we are putting our own road blocks up ya know? 

Please understand, I’m like not wanting to write this right now cause then I’ve gotta do what I’m preaching ha ha! It’s hard to let go. It’s hard to step out of our comfort zone.  What does that look like for you, stepping out of your comfort zone? Therapy? Reaching out to friends? Trying something new? Being honest with yourself? Stepping out of your comfort zone usually makes you want to puke at first.  Just saying. But in the end, it’s the most fulfilling and life changing experience. 

True greatness is inside of you.  True greatness is inside of me. God will not let go. He will not let go.  When I hold onto my past, sometimes I get stuck in asking, where were you? Where were you God?  Why? Why did you let him hurt me? Why did you let bad things happen? Why didn’t you save me? And the questions go on and on until my face is swollen with tears. I won’t sit in that though because I know that God was crying with me.  God was hurting with me. There’s evil in this world and we still have flesh and free will. There were wrong choices made and I was the one hurt in the end BUT I NOW HAVE THE VICTORY because of Jesus. You have victory too. Trust the process. Your true greatness awaits.

“In the waves of change, we find our direction”

Featured

Here We Go Again

I couldn’t breathe.  I almost woke up my hubby but then I was like, nah, I’m ok.  Because that’s how we roll right? We all don’t ask for help very easily.  I honestly thought maybe it was just an addition to the cold I had. My thought was it was probably heading into my chest and I just needed some medicine.  Let’s fast forward to after the cold went away and the elephant on my chest still remained. I knew exactly what was going on. Crap. Here it is again. Anxiety.  Panic attacks. Ugh. Rough. They are rough friends. Anxiety blows. I truly believe everyone has experienced it on some level. There are a few of us that get kicked in the butt a bit harder.  

When things outside of our control start to feel like they are spiraling, I find that’s when the elephant likes to rear its ugly head.  As I continue to dig deeper into the loss of pieces torn off my soul from the abuse, I realize I’m in this unknown territory, hence the feeling of no control. What does life look like without the hurt? What do I feel about myself? What am I gonna do when I grow up? haha BUT step back friends. Let’s step back a moment. Unknown territory. This could be exciting. When we hit a place where we let go of what’s causing the elephant to exist in our lives, we get to start a new chapter.  Fresh pages. Nothing on them. It’s really not a loss of control but yet a new control. It’s all in our mind set. How we look at our moving forward will determine how our next chapter will look. I know I’ve used this verse before but I really don’t care cause I love it ha! Isaiah 43:19 “Be Alert, be present.  I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?  There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” Brand new!  New chapter! Fresh start! He’s doing something.  Stupid elephants, tigers, and bears will come out and try to steal your joy but in the end, you will not be defeated.  For your ending is well, never ending because it’s got a Jesus stamp all over it. 

Shifting our mind set is huge.  What are we truly seeing? Fear is a liar. Fear traps us and makes us believe we can’t move forward.  Fear stops us in our tracks so the next chapter of beauty, renewing, joy, can’t be written. Fear can control you.  Don’t let that dirty jerk of a thing even see the light of day in the name of Jesus. You deserve everything Jesus and this beautiful earth has to offer.  Big things are in store for every chapter in your book. Remember, every chapter, each season will look different yet has purpose and can have joy depending on how you read and perceive it. 

“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s junk.”

Featured

Pick It

You need to pick your weeds.  No, you don’t need to pick your nose.  Although, on a side note, do you ever look over while driving to find your spouse halfway up their face and you’re like, did I know this about you before I married you? Hahahaha.  Ok, back to God stuff.  So maybe saying, you need to pull your weeds, would be better.

There are some weeds out there that are actually beautiful.  Like, they have some beautiful flowers that you wouldn’t even expect them to be weeds. They mask themselves pretty well.  Then there are some that you curse at when going to pull them out cause those prickly things get stuck in your fingers. You see where I’m going with this.  There are things in our lives we need to get out. Some may look beautiful on the outside but truth be told, they are killing us deep within. They aren’t allowing us to grow.  They aren’t allowing us to heal. Back in the day, I never said ‘No.’ I filled my life up so much that I couldn’t breathe yet the world saw me. It felt good to be so acknowledged and needed but did it?  It looked great on the outside, but it ended up making me crabby, tired, weary, and leaving my family by the wayside. Not cool in my eyes. Beautiful weeds, they needed to be plucked. The prickly weeds.  The ones that just keep coming back, ha. The ones that you know are hurting you yet you keep allowing them to hang around. Dude, that crap needs to go. Whether it’s a toxic relationship, maybe social media spirals you, those negative thoughts, I mean, we’ve all got them, it’s just a matter of facing them and yanking them out. We’ve chatted, well, I’ve chatted, about all kinds of prickly weeds in my life.  Truth, I may pull them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t try and grow back. It doesn’t mean that when crap hits the fan, I don’t think about cutting sometimes or falling back into victim mode from my past but friend, that’s when you get that weed killer out and you’re like BAM, no way, I’m moving forward, and kill that sucker. 

Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”  I want that.  I want to weed out all the crap so that every seed I have worked so hard to plant grows so strong that those darn weeds can’t even show their ugly heads anymore. I want to be living in the fullness of joy with my Jesus.  Let’s do that. Ready. Set. Break. Oh, and FYI, in case you didn’t know, you are pretty killer. Like, you’ve got this. Warrior status, my friend, warrior status! 

“Don’t let the tall weeds cast a shadow on the beautiful flowers in your garden.”

Featured

Just Be Nice

What we say influences people. How we treat them, love on them, look at them, speak to them, can make or break the reality of thoughts that are going through their minds. We are able to build up or shake down those that are in our path and in all honesty,  what we say and how we say it makes a huge difference. The reality is, we never know what’s going on behind the walls of their lives. We have no idea what heartache was walked through before they even came into our paths. 

I’m working through some hard steps in life right now about body image, learning to love my body, finding the beauty again, seeing that at an early age I was an object, my body wasn’t really mine. (More devos on all that goodness to come 🙂 So one of my assignments was to go back and recall all the different times about what I felt towards my body and write it, whether good or bad.  I had one pop up in my head which I couldn’t believe how much it affected me and stuck with me. I was a cheerleader in high school for a few years. Yes, I know, crazy, but hey, when you are goofy and loud who wouldn’t want you on their team! Anyhow, we were all getting our uniforms and the one girl told the coach, ‘She (pointing to me) will need a bigger size.’ As in, the rest of us are small but she’s bigger so………  Holy crap balls! So mean! But I just internalized it and went on my merry way, putting a game face on and continued to just make everyone laugh to mask the pain inside. Do you see what I’m saying though? Like, maybe she was just being super practical. She was right, I did need a bigger size because I wasn’t a -000 (eye roll) but she obviously had no idea all the other yuck that had gone on in the past or what I was carrying inside that would make that comment affect me so deeply. 

Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.”  We have the privilege to be part of someones amazing healing journey.  There are so many times that God places certain people at certain times in our paths to speak just the right words. We’ve all been there. Jesus uses everything around us to say, ‘Yes, keep going, you’ve got this.’ Imagine being able to be used as a tool in a beautiful souls life to say just that. We all walk so many different paths with so many different angles of hardship but in the end, we all want deep down soul healing. What you deeply desire in your heart from others, give out to those around you.  I promise it will come back to you. God don’t play games. Word! He knows what you need at just the right time. Be kind, love, be a light in someones life and don’t tell anyone they need a bigger size, I’m just say’n hahaha

“There will always be a reason why you meet people.  Either you need to change your life, or you’re the one that’ll change theirs.”

Featured

Truth

This was sent to me by a beautiful friend. Such truth. Read it over and over. Cling onto it. Let it sink in. Allow it to become what keeps you going today and then go kick some serious butt.

God is Bigger Than

  • YOUR PAST
  • YOUR DEPRESSION
  • YOUR PAIN
  • YOUR HATE
  • YOUR ANGER
  • YOUR DOUBT
  • YOUR FEAR
  • YOUR SHAME
  • YOUR ANXIETY
  • YOUR SCARS
  • THIS WORLD

“You were made to do hard things, so believe in yourself.”

Featured

No You Didn’t

OMG!   You just saw a text come through and your mind is reeling.  Did they really mean to say that? There was no emoji with it.  Does that mean they are mad? They only responded ‘ok’. There are always a few people that stir you up right? Texting can always be the worst anyways.  You never really can grasp what anyone truly feels through it which leads you to believe the worst. Let me go back to the line I just wrote though. There are always a few people that stir you up RIGHT?  Hmmmm. Why do you allow that to happen? Obviously, we all do it and it’s so human, but we also need to step back and protect our hearts, our souls. 

My daughter got her haircut a few years ago.  I will never forget it. She came home so upset. One of her, so called friends, looked at her on the bus with her new haircut and said, ‘I need to turn around.  I can’t even look at your hair!’ WHAT?!!?!?!? Dude, don’t make this mama bear whip out her tattoos and make me come at ya. McKenna, my daughter, has such a sweet soul and all she could think of was how to make it right and what she did wrong.  Because getting a cute haircut was wrong? I can’t even. When she got home, she texted this friend, asking why she would say that AND continue to talk about her at school. Of course, she denied all of it. At first I was like, give me the phone and I’ll text her but then I cooled off,  put my big girl pants on, and had an honest convo with my girl. I told her that sometimes we just need to distance ourselves from people who just aren’t feeding our souls. Some are so broken and are dealing with their own pain, which is the only way they know how to treat others. It’s easier to hurt others then to build them up.  With people like that, you need to love from a distance. 

You see where I’m going with this.  It’s ok to take care of our heart and soul first. It’s also ok that there are seasons in our lives we can handle a lot and sometimes we can’t handle much. Your beauty, your worth does not get to be defined by a comment from another, or a look from someone, or a conversation that went south. Sometimes this world can leave us feeling kicked and beaten down, questioning our value but Christ stands up letting us know we are worth more than gold.  Psalm 19:10 “They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.”  

Yep, easier said than done, totally get it. Baby steps.  I tell myself that every day. The next time you feel a tinge in your heart over something that hits your gut hard, remember to take a deep breath and smile, yes smile.  Take back the power that is yours to have. This chapter of your life does not have to be defined by others but instead set in place by you and the one that created you. 

“Know your worth, then add tax.”

Featured

Yes We Can

Ok, let’s try that again. We are allowed a redo. We are allowed to restart.  We are allowed to try something new. We are allowed to search for what we truly desire outside of the fact that we keep running into closed windows or bricks walls. Joy is ours to have and happiness is in the making. I had a beautiful time in therapy the other day.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, ya’ll need to hit up a therapist. It’s so good for the soul. There’s a reason Jesus puts these wonderful people on earth. We discussed our frustration over people just saying ‘be positive’ or ‘just let it go’ as in how easy that would be. Shoot.  If that were the case, we’d live in a world where everyone only pooped flowers and hugged all the time. Can I get an Amen? It’s just not that simple. 

Here’s what I’m learning. I’m digging into some hard stuff right now.  I’m in the middle of some serious yuck, to put it nicely. Ha. I’m sure as the weeks move forward, I’ll share more and more but right now, this is where I’m moving towards. Choices need to be made each moment, like each second. We each have a need, a longing in our hearts to reach peace, acceptance within ourselves, a deep desire for love, a want for change out of circumstances that keep bringing us back into darkness. We need to fight against what we know. We need to fight against what makes us comfortable.  We need to fight against the ‘I give up’ mentality and see ourselves worthy of what our hearts desire. We need to be brave enough and courageous enough to chase the positive in our lives. As I plow through this time in my life, I remember what my son told me months ago. When I had opened up to my kids about all the cutting, suicide attempt, sexual abuse etc, he said, ‘but you’re good now mom, right?’ I remember thinking, I am because I chose to be by the grace of God. I have to keep choosing that and so do you. 

Sweet friends, this world can make us out to be believe that we won’t make it or worse yet, that this is just how it’s gonna be till we croak.  Yea, no. That’s not truth and I’m not gonna sit here and believe it. We are gonna live life to the fullest. We are gonna fight for beauty and love in our lives toward ourselves, others, and our Jesus. With God’s help, we have the power to choose. We will fail at times, maybe a lot, but we pick back up and try again because you know why, we all deserve it. 

Psalm 30:2 “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”

Featured

And Then There Was Silence

Silence can feel like death or silence can be freeing.  People can be in your life one moment and then become silent, making you question your worth. Silence of death. Your home becomes silent because all your kids are now in school and you jump for joy. Silence of freedom. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me! Ha! I was a, go ahead be gone now, kind of a mom. Don’t get me wrong, so so so love my kids, but so so so loved them even more when they went to school! 🙂

There was a silence that almost destroyed my heart a few years ago.  Before our sweet pup Ivy came into our lives, we had a sweet girl Mulligan. She was a gift from my boyfriend at that time who became my husband.  My beautiful chocolate lab had been my healthy replacement for my cutting. I was in an uphill climb with my healing and wanted to focus on something healthy. The unconditional love of an animal is irreplaceable.  She went with me everywhere. She was all my kids knew because, well, she was there first. Then my sweet girl needed to go see Jesus. The first day that I took all the kids to school and didn’t come home to a wagging tail at the door, I thought for sure my heart fell out of my chest.  The emptiness was almost loud. Is that possible? I don’t know how else to describe it. That whole day I remember thinking, no person should ever have to feel this. I know each of you at some point have been there, each on their own level of emptiness, each of you experiencing silence from a loss.  Hope seems like it was there yesterday but disappeared the moment you opened your eyes. The truth is, it never left you. It’s in the core of who you are. It clings onto the unfailing love of our Jesus. Psalm 33:22 ‘May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.’   Shoot, Lord knows we don’t always feel it. Sometimes it takes everything just to put two feet on the ground but guess what, that’s two feet full of hope right there. 

Silence, emptiness, pain, crappy days, we can’t make them disappear and if I find a magic way for that to happen, it will be in big letters on my next entry, I promise. In the meantime, we look to our right and to our left.  We realize the hope that sits next to us and around us. We realize that the God that created the beauty of this world walked it and lived the silence and the pain you have or are experiencing. Hope doesn’t always look like fireworks and rainbows.  Sometimes hope is the next breath you take and the sweet smile you see. 

“Hope does not need to silence the rumblings of crisis to be hope.”

Featured

Just a Little Something

I read this. It hit home. I wanted to share it because maybe some of you needed to read it today too.

What Do Boundaries feel like?

** It is not my job to fix others

** It is okay if others get angry

** It is okay to say no

** It is not my job to take responsibility for others

** I don’t have to anticipate the needs of others

** It is my job to make me happy

** Nobody has to agree with me

** I have a right to my own feelings

** I AM ENOUGH

BAM!!! Right? Now you go and have an awesome day friends!

Featured

They Don’t Get To Decide

I don’t believe things happen by accident.  I don’t believe that people come into our lives by accident whether we want them to walk in or not.  Each person or each instance shapes our story and molds who we become. In the end, we decide how we react to it.  

It was the summer between my junior and senior years of high school.  I auditioned to tour with a christian singing group around the US and throughout Europe.  Pretty sweet right? At the time, I was dating a hmmmmm……what should we call him……..so many words but shouldn’t speak them, so we shall say, not so nice boy, ha, at the time. BUT, he had me wrapped around his finger. We’d been dating for a few years and there had been abuse there so needless to say, leaving was good for me, just didn’t see it till later. Our group stopped at my church, he came, and she came.  Yep, you know that gut feeling when a friend of yours sits down next to your boyfriend and you just know. I confronted him in the short time I had to see him and total denial. Yea, ok. I believed him because I was completely like that and toured the rest of the summer. Got home. Got dumped. Found out he was cheating on me with her the whole time I was gone. Surprise! Surprise! And why you ask? She gave him what he wanted if you know what I mean. He had to fight me to get a very small amount. I had boundaries. Was I devastated?  For sure, but man, I truly believe that was one of the biggest steps I needed to realize it was time for me to stand up for ME. That wasn’t love. I didn’t deserve what I was in but assumed that love looked like that. I needed a big slap in the face in order to see it. 

I love how this happened to me right after I had this amazing experience with my Jesus, singing all over the place.  You are never prepared to be broken but I knew I could fall back in the arms of my Father. Psalm 91:4 says, ‘He will shelter you with his wings, you will find safety under his wings. His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall.”  Situations, people, circumstances, they come, and we don’t have a choice.  Many can mess with our heads or lead us to believe we are lost or broken or walking down a wrong path but I’m here to tell you that we decide what that outcome is.  We get to decide how we react to the challenges that we didn’t ask for. Will we allow them to break us or will we rest into the arms of our Creator and be like, dude, you are gonna need to run the show cause this one through me for a loop.  He is all over it. Truth be told, He does a much better job. 

“Don’t get upset with people or situations.  Both are powerless without your reaction.”

Featured

Not Happening Alone

I was sitting next to her with tears streaming down my face.  I couldn’t control what I felt as she played. You could see it written all over her, how it felt to have her hands on those keys, and to think years ago that was me.  I knew exactly what she was feeling and it connected us. I said long ago I’d never teach my own kids piano but obviously God said, yes you will. The connection with us is growing stronger which makes me cry as I sit here. As she played, all I could think was, sweet daughter, I’m so grateful that you don’t carry the anguish I did while playing at your age.  Music can be an escape in the best way possible but torture when it reaches the depths of your soul into the pain of secrets. I’ve gotten to a place where music is freedom, she’s already there. Being the only girl in our family, I connected her with my pain from the past. I’m just gonna be real. I’ve written this before but yesterday it hit again. Every time I saw her, I saw him, I saw the abuse. I felt it.  To think that a few years ago, I could hardly look at her or touch her because of what was done to me as a little girl. It killed my heart more than a thousand swords yet healing came little by little and now I’m sitting by her, connecting with her in the most deepest way, with our soul healer…… music. 

Now to lighten the mood cause I went deep, quickly. I did tell her she needs to practice more.  As I came out of my lala land of connection, I realized she was biffing most of the song. Ha! Amazing what a song can sound like when you are all crying and mushy. 

We are not meant to be the fixers. Although you all may have some amazing super powers, you still can’t fix the gut wrenching hidden deep inside.  Ok, let me rephrase, we can’t fix anything on our own. Guys, when I look back, there’s no way I could’ve reworked my heart towards my daughter by myself. There’s no way I could’ve learned to put the knife down mid way into my skin by myself.  Here’s the thing though. In many of those situations, I wasn’t like super spiritual and all up in Jesus business. Here comes another real moment, cause you love it! There were many of those times I was not even thinking about Him. I was pissed. Mad at Him. Mad because I couldn’t understand why things weren’t better or why my circumstances were crumbling at my feet when everyone else was flying unicorns and eating rainbows. (can you eat rainbows?) I came to realize, Jesus isn’t asking us to come to him all perfect and happy.  He wants us to come always but most importantly when the crap hits the fan. Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  He works best when we are crushed because that’s when he pulls you out from the depths and the only thing you can say is, that was Jesus. Honestly, we don’t always see it at the moment.  It’s not like I always walk away being like, and Jesus just saved me. I wish I could and He does, but sometimes my blinders are on. Many, many times, because I’m a little slow, I don’t see what amazing things he has done in my life until I look back. Until I’m sitting at the piano with my daughter. 

He’s working friend. Maybe right now you can’t see it and it seems like you are treading water, alone.  You aren’t alone. What He is gonna do in your life is far beyond what you can imagine so He needs you ready. Jesus is working behind the scenes, you just need to keep walking forward, one step at a time. 

“Sometimes God will bypass what you hope for to give you what you really need.”

Featured

Credit is Due

Picture it, I’m on stage, worshiping, singing my brains out and I totally get lost in worship and lose my place. Like, literally I had to stop singing.  For those of you that don’t know, I sing at church and lead worship. Love it. So great. I have a tendency to get wrapped up in worship and get lost ha.  We have lyrics in the back of the church for us worship peeps to see so we don’t, well, do what I just did. Like honestly, had to hold off singing for like, what felt like 5 minutes of my life, staring blankly at everyone before I could start up again at the second verse.  Back in the day I would’ve lost my poop. Would’ve crazy worried about what everyone thought and if I would do it again. Ok, so I did worry for a bit afterwards what everyone thought but then I quickly came to, ya know what, everyone makes mistakes. Hold the front door, Heather is actually processing through this quickly instead of falling into a dark hole!  There is a God, people! Jesus is real! Haha

But for real, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for actually surviving some serious events in our lives. We also don’t realize how far we have come to get where we are today.  We so quickly jump to the next thing and dismiss the amazing work that we have done to move passed some real gut wrenching pain in our lives. There are many people who already know my story but when there is someone who doesn’t and asks for the rundown of what Jesus has done in my life, I step back and I’m like, wow, God and I have really worked this stuff out.  I know that many of you could say the same thing. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the here and now of what we are sitting in but take a moment to realize how far you’ve actually come. Step back and realize the strength and power you have gained from surviving the depth that you’ve walked through. In Ephesians 3:16 it says, “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”  That’s what I’m talking about.  Deep in the gut of ourselves lies this strength and power that only He can give and we choose to grab on and run.  The more and more we hang onto that, the more and more making a mistake on stage doesn’t take over my brain, or making a mistake at work, or hurting someone we love, and the list goes on. We have the strength to look at the ugly in the face and be like, nope, not today. 

Don’t dismiss the moving forward that you have worked so hard for but also, do not beat yourself up for the times you feel like you’ve stepped backwards. Sometimes what we see as a giant mountain that can never be overcome is really just a wave that is going to fall at any moment. 

“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.”

Featured

Get out of the Way

As I was sitting in the parking lot with my husband, I knew that my whole world was gonna change after this moment. Once I walked through those doors and spoke my truth, nothing was going to be the same again. God had opened the door to stand up for what had happened to me and I knew it was time. In the end, I couldn’t change how people responded or how they felt.  In the end, I had to accept the fact that things will never go back to how it used to be but is that a bad thing?  

I lived in bondage most of my life.  Carrying this dark secret of sexual abuse. I had to play a game of pretend……always. There were times even months I could shove it so far down that my brain would just turn it off, like it never existed, but then their would be one trigger and my world would spin.  I now got to speak what I’ve wanted for so many years and there’s this picture in your mind that everyone will rally around you, loving on you. In the end, not everyone did. I had to accept the fact that things will never go back to how it used to be but guess what, it’s ok!  If we aren’t suppose to live in our past, why are we wishing to bring it back? Things change for a reason. Although if God could just fill us in a little bit when it happens, that would be lovely. There’s always better things to come as we walk through life so if we constantly look behind us to pull those pieces back to the front, we will never see what the true blessings are in front of us. In James 1:17 it says, “Every good, every perfect gift comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.”  Thank goodness!!!  At lease we can lean on one thing that doesn’t change!  Can I get an AMEN! 

No, we can’t go back.  We can’t go back and fix something we’ve done, we can’t go back and sit in the simplicity of life before, we can’t go back to how it used to be instead we can hope in today.  How about instead, we accept where we are today so that it can open up the beauty of what this life has to bring us. Man, things never usually turn out the way you think right? Maybe there’s purpose in that.  God has His finger on all things friend and maybe just maybe, the way you saw it would’ve hurt you in the end. Maybe just maybe, your amazing future is gleaming with excitement and joy, you just need to step to the side and let Him work. 

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Featured

I Ain’t Trash

I was sitting around a big ole table, not knowing what the response was gonna be. It was a few months after I had tried to commit suicide and that truly was my ultimate turning point.  The point where the light of truth was shining so bright that I was sprinting to it. I was offered a job as a music director yet I still needed to spill my guts to a table full of men…..elders.  It was my understanding that some felt maybe I wasn’t ready, or that maybe my baggage was too much. I unloaded. Speaking truth about the cutting, suicide attempt, and all stuff in between. I knew I was ready cause I was saved by Jesus but for those on the outside, it didn’t always look the same. I was questioned.  I was drilled a little. You could tell they really wanted to ask me, ‘so will you fall apart when the crap hits the fan?’ Ha. It’s normal. I got that a lot. People walking on eggshells around me, not knowing if I’d lose it or whip out some knives from my pocket like a ninja or something. In the end, I was hired. But I’m not gonna lie, it left a mark in my heart for sure.

Just to get my story straight, we all have baggage right? Again, it’s amazing how when your scars are visible, somehow you are far more damaged then the person sitting next to you.  Guess what, there’s more to me and you then meets the eye. People want to question or maybe judge based upon what they see yet little do they know the strength that lies within us. At the time of this meeting, my scars were definitely visible and fresh but I wasn’t hiding them anymore because you know why?  Sure you do, Christ lifted me out of the darkness and now those scars are shining lights. Those scars are war wounds of a battle I won and can tell about. Those scars are signs that show I’m not broken anymore because of sexual abuse or pain that is was ruling me inside. Those sitting around the table and many others want to see them as evidence of damaged goods. Nope! Nada! Lies! In Romans 3:10 it says, “There is no righteous person, not even one.”  There is not one person who is better than the next.  There’s not one person who hasn’t had issues, or walked a hard life, or screwed up, that is walking this earth.  Don’t think for a second that what you see on social media or the masks that some put on is truth. We all do it because sometimes it’s easier to hide but our Jesus is the only perfect, righteous, beloved soul.  

There’s so much worth that is happening inside your beautiful self.  Situations like this that have happened to me and I’m sure to you, make us realize how important it is to listen, to understand, to step back and take a minute before we go judging and stuff. We are not damaged goods, but instead we are beautifully written masterpieces that all play to a different beat.  Shoot, I think the broken pieces inside of us show the world just how killer rockstars we are. 

“She is not broken anymore, she is stronger, wiser, and more beautiful than before because God took her broken pieces and made her new again.”

Featured

Well That Stung

Words can be painful.  Gossip blows. Things spoken behind your back are like daggers coming at ya. Man, it makes you think twice about ever doing it to anyone else, doesn’t it?  The sinking, horrible feeling you get when you find out someone said something unkind about you, makes your spirit collapse. 

I just had this happen to me.  I was up tossing and turning about it, not understanding why anyone would say hurtful words about me, especially when it’s someone so close.  I was being there for a friend. They had reached out to me. She’s going through a transition in life and finding which direction this crazy world is taking her. It’s hard. It’s new, scary, exciting, frustrating, and we make mistakes sometimes so i wanted to make sure I was there to listen, to love. Someone close to both of us responded with, “She’s the last person you should be reaching out too!”  Ouch! Now, if you know me, and pretty much all of you who haven’t met me personally know my guts from these devo’s so, you know me and could semi see I’m not a villain, or some crazy lady. Well, I guess some could fight me on that ha. But I am real, and I do allow emotions to be had without guilt and shame.  I’ve spent too much of my life shoving reality down and putting on this mask. I’ve spent too much of my life not being real with what I’ve been through out of guilt and shame so I’m not gonna sit and make anyone do that or feel that. First of all, those two nasty words are not from Jesus and second, they will kill and destroy you if you stay in them.  Ummmm…..so why would I allow someone else to sit in that. Nope. In the end, my heart hurts. I’m absolutely positive you have all been through a situation like this. Someone has judged you behind your back not even knowing the truth, you were talked about, made fun of, or thrown under the bus and you sit there lost, hurt.

I came to Jeremiah 17:7 which says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord.”  My/our eyes need to be taken off of what was done to me or said about me and put back where they belong.   Somewhere in my gut of guts I need to trust and believe that God knows what’s going on and that He will take care of it.  I don’t need to get my big ole tatted up muscles out and get all defensive. Instead, I need to give it up to Him and ask him to do His will. Everyone has pain and at times, speaks out of their pain. It’s not ours to carry but His. My hope needs to come from Him, not from false words out of a humans mouth. I/WE need to believe and stand firm on how Christ thinks of us not others. Super crazy hard yet when we get to that place, nothing can hit our souls so deep again.  

“Hope………Sometimes that’s all you have when you have nothing else.  If you have it, you have everything.”