Let’s Be Frank

I am just one person out of billions on earth.  Surrounded by powerful forces all around and in society, I often feel totally powerless and insignificant.  My temptation is to simply fall into a comfortable routine and try my best to be happy.  But I know that’s not right.  I also know that God is all powerful, much greater than any group or institution in the world.  He has given me talents, gifts, and abilities to invest wisely for His glory.  I want to use them to truly make a difference, even if that means one person at a time-nothing grand-just God and me working together to change lives.  However, I have been told recently that I have developed some bad habits, harmful to me, my relationship with God, and the people around me.  My first response was denial.  Then I made excuses (and am still making excuses), rationalizing my behavior as normal and expected, especially for someone in my situation.  But I know I am just trying to convince myself, which is easy because I am a qualified manipulator and as gullible as they come…

Seeing another person’s problems is easy-it’s obvious.  However, it is also easy to be blind to our own issues and shortcomings.  I know that the only way to start working through that is to simply realizing where you are, and I do; at least I think I do.  I feel as though I am realizing more and more, each day, where I am, and where I would like to be.  I have come a long way in the last year (and even the past 3 months), but I’m still seeking my temptation, more than I am seeking truth.  I absolutely know where I need to be, and how that looks, but I don’t long for it as passionately as I have in the past.  Previously, as I have entered into a new season of my life, I would have this undeniable drive and motivation, but for some reason, I still feel jaded.  Quite frankly, I really haven’t flipped the passion switch on yet, but I am driven to some degree.  I see certain elements as a perfectly clear options, and most of which encompasses truth, but for some reason, I keep thinking that it’s what other people want for me.  That it’s really not who or where I want to be.

Image

You see this little girl?  This little girl was very imaginative.  She had a lot of ideas about who she wanted to be and couldn’t wait to take on the world!  She wanted to grow up, be a teacher, get married, have a wonderful family, adopt a golden retriever, and live happily ever after in her amazing home with a front porch and white picket fence.  Wow, how Americanized!  Well, this little girl soon learned that world is a shitty place and that good people have very dark sides…Over time, she felt misplaced and confused and bound by fear.  She never knew what the night would bring, and it scared her to death.  She was often caught in the middle of horrific, violent, physically and verbally abusive arguments between two people where supposed to love each other.  In most situations, she was the target of their anger and frustration.  She never had anyone to talk to about anything that was going on, so she just endured.  She lived…She hoped…and she desperately desired to become the opposite of what she was given.  She never realized, though, that tucking all that pain away, would only result in her becoming exactly what she despised…

Over the course of my life, I feel as though I have been stripped of traditional experiences or ‘unofficial milestones’ of life.  And because of that, I have attempted to pursue those ridiculous en-devours, at the wrong time, only causing more disappointment.  I know that the temptation I currently seek is wrong.  Completely and utterly inappropriate and meaningless.  I guess I think back to this little girl.  How she wanted to be carefree, but was burdened by circumstance.  She was never taught (or even able to process in a healthy manner) how to emotionally and psychologically handle those experiences.  I think about how I jumped into marriage at the age of 21, completely oblivious to reality and blinded by my heart.  I was filled with a distorted filter of what marriage is and overflowed with unrealistic expectations of myself and my husband.  Over the course of our marriage, we did a pretty good job of hiding what happened behind closed doors and ignoring the real issues.  Now, that we have exposed ourselves to most of our family, friends, and professional counselors, I feel overwhelmed.  Maybe because things are getting real?  I don’t know, but I feel this desire to experience life in a way that doesn’t fit in my marriage.  Am I doing this because I feel trapped and unsuccessful, or because I want to be reminded of the absolutely wonderful man that I have?  I don’t know, honestly.  I look at us and I feel as though we are doing fantastic individually, but what about together…?

I definitely feel that a lot of this is only proof that I have become stationary in my faith, even though God has warned me about the enemy.  Despite popular representations, he is real and dangerous, a devouring “lion” often disguised as something good (1 Peter 5:8).  God calls Satan a liar and the Accuser, and he uses both tactics in bombarding me, lying about God and reminding me of my failures and sins.  I have felt under heavy attack, with the devil’s accusations swirling about in my mind and obstacles being placed in my way…The crazy thing is I KNOW the devil is no match for God, but I am still struggling to stomp on the enemies ideas, and move closer to God.  I mean, how foolish is that?!?  I KNOW that I am supposed to love my enemies, resist temptation, give godly counsel, stand for truth, serve others selflessly, steward my resources wisely, and more-all only possible by God’s grace and through his strength (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).  BUT WHERE IS MY PASSION TO OBEY THAT?  It’s like I want it, but I don’t.

Anyway, I will leave you with this; my only prayer at this point.  Holy Spirit, please empower me.

Until next time…adios!

-S-

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A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words…or 879

Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

This image was pulled randomly by WordPress, when I clicked on a link that said, “inspire me”.  I was curious to see what would happen.  When the picture appeared on the screen, I first thought, ‘What the heck?’  Then, I looked at it for a little bit and started to think about Haiti, a country I visited in December of 2012.  Mental images of my experience in Haiti started flooding my mind.  I began thinking about the people I met (especially the children), the environment that surrounded them, and how I felt during that time.  My heart was so open and extremely self-less.  I could have stayed there, or traveled to several other countries, if I had the ability.  I was so passionate about serving others.  I had no problem speaking about our money hungry, materialistic, ego driven, American ways, in comparison to the humble, God filled, altruistic, grateful Haitians.  Then, I started getting busy in my life…

My husband and I had packed our weeks and weekends with church, friends, work etc.  We were very busy and very focused on each other.  At that point, we had decided that we were going to be more proactive about ‘trying’ for a family.  After trying for a few months, I discovered I was pregnant.  We were excited, and I immediately went to get blood work to confirm.  Almost instantly after that, I started having issues.  I knew in my heart that the pregnancy was failing, but I was denying that and remaining hopeful.  After going back for more blood work, I came home and tried to rest.  I began pleading with God to give us the opportunity to know this baby, and to let this baby develop and live.  I have never wanted something so much, as I did in that moment.  When I got the results back, the nurse said that my levels were extremely low, and that they don’t even consider that being pregnant.  Exceptionally offended, and emotionally overwhelmed, I hung up the phone and cried my eyes dry.  After that, I had to return to the doctor to get another blood test – just to confirm their previous findings.  When I was called, to hear the results, the nurse (very unsympathetically) said, “Your blood work came back negative for being pregnant.”  And just like that, I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  It literally felt like I was pregnant for all of 2 seconds…what a crock!  In that moment, I could feel my heart harden.  I was devastated.

After that, I began losing myself at an accelerated rate.  I was not the same person that had lovingly visited Haiti to be with Godly centered people.  I mean, honestly, I was struggling at that point in my life anyway.  I was mentally overwhelmed with so many family dynamics; both with mine and my husbands.  Before this recent miscarriage, I had always struggled with ‘family things’ because it triggers a lot of my personal pain from my past.  Personal pain that I never really dealt with until I started affecting the people around me.  Which, unfortunately, was right around the time that this miscarriage happened.  I thought that going to Haiti would center me, and bring me to a different level with God.  You know, allow me to feel confident in my struggles going forward… But after coming back, and feeling like an opportunity was literally ripped from me with that miscarriage, I could no longer function in a stable manner.  It probably didn’t help that this wasn’t my first miscarriage (but that story is for another time).  I was gone…and nothing that anyone could do at that point, was going to help me.  I needed to fall on my face, and seek for help, like a big girl.

Anyway, I sort of digressed while talking about Haiti and what followed in that next year.  My point in this post is to acknowledge that not only does this picture remind me of Haiti, but it also reminds me of myself (maybe even blatantly displaying how I am two different people within about a years time).  Honestly, I feel tarnish and misplaced; just like that safe.  I mean, after living a life of constantly feeling emotionally defeated; to completely breaking down because I had, had enough; to being hospitalized, placed in treatment, and put on medication; and then facing my family and friends in an undesirable manner – yea… I had been exposed in the most abraded way possible.  And it wasn’t just me looking in a mirror and being disgusted by what I saw.  No.  It was me standing in front of a window, so that everyone could gawk at me, at my most vulnerable, unattractive state, and listen to their judgments and opinions being thrown at me.  Actually, it wasn’t like a window.  I take that back…it was like throwing me into shark infested water, covered in blood…yea, that’s more like it…

Anyway, like I have said before.  I am hear to write, because I still feel lost.  For the past several months, I have been trying to implement what I have learned, work hard at letting people in (and not personalize their perspective), and spiritually figure out where I stand.  I’m just not sure who I am right now, but I can feel pieces coming together.  Yet still, at this moment, ‘I don’t know’ are my favorite words…

Until next time…Adios.

-S-

Eat, Pray, Laugh

Alrighty, so I have made two blog posts!  Now, my third…wow – I am on a roll!  Awesome.  I am very glad to be writing and I have found that this is most definitely helpful!  I am feeling very elevated today and much of that credit goes to my friends.  I have had a great weekend laughing and feeling relaxed with a couple of different people – and it was refreshing (and did I mention full of laughter?)!

Speaking of laughter, I looked up the definition of laughter and this is what came up, according to Google:

Laughter: The action or sound of laughing.

Umm, ok… really Google?  You can’t be a little more specific?!?  I mean really, that’s the definition you have!?  Oy Vey…So, then I kept looking and I found this definition by Dictionary.com:

Laughter: an inner quality, mood,disposition, etc., suggestive of laughter;mirthfulness: a man of laughter and goodwill. 

OR

an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement.

Okay, okay…getting better…but still not a very good definition. Then, I found this one…thanks to Oxford Dictionaries.com:

Laughter:  to make the spontaneous sounds and movements of the face and body that are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement and sometimes also of contempt or derision.

Alrighty!  I like that one!  Much better, and more detailed!

Anyway, after having fun looking up different definitions of the word, laughter, (yes I actually enjoyed doing that) I decided to make my own definition.  After this weekend, I was reminded of how it feels to really laugh and I owe it all to my wonderful friends.  Thanks guys 🙂

So here is my definition:

Laughter:  The physical experience and expression of vocalizing true joy and pleasure from deep inside your heart.

What do you think?  To cheesy?  Eh, I don’t care!  It’s my opinion and I like it! OHHH snap!! Haha, I’m just kidding… No but really, I like it…

Moving on!  My point in this post is to acknowledge the pure fact that our lives just wouldn’t be the same without the companionship of great people.  Our world is so messed up and so many things happen to us on a daily basis.  We were made and created for relationships, to be in community with others…

Personally, I don’t know where I would be without my Friends.  In my book, God comes first, then my husband, then family and then friends.  During 2013, I had a mental breakdown and I just needed to release everything inside.  I was so heartbroken and very, very lost.  Well, actually, I am still very lost.  I am trying to understand myself and follow where God wants me to go.  However, until recently, I was still very angry with God.  I know, who am I to be angry with GOD!?  But He wants to hear our honest hearts, not just some mumbo jumbo…I mean, He knows…everything…don’t get me wrong, but He wants us to acknowledge what’s inside of ourselves, to Him.  So, I have been nothing but honest.  I have opened up my heart to God, and many people around me – most of which have been my friends.  I would say, for the first time in my life, I have been completely raw and unbelievably real in every way.  I have not liked this process of refinement, but I have appreciated the insight I have gained, up until this point.  We grow and change on a daily basis, but this past year, it was much more intense for myself and the people around me…

I am very fortunate to be given the opportunity to have such wonderful friends be along side me, and my husband, through all the ‘up’s and down’s’ of this life.  The kind of people who never give up on you, even when your the bitchiest, most stubborn, thick-headed brat possible…I have friends who know my heart, and who I am – even when I don’t.  Friends who will tell me how it is, even if it hurts.  Friends that are intentional about showing their love and their commitment by spending quality, meaningful time together…I have friends that I love very much, and I wouldn’t change anything about our any of our relationships…

So, this post is for you, friends.  Thank you, for being more than just ordinary, but rather, extraordinary people in my life.  Thank you for loving me, encouraging me, supporting me (and Adam), and for always being there.  You are truly an inspiration to me and I wouldn’t be who I am without your help.

By the way, check out this song down below…it fits perfectly!

Count On Me

Until next time…Adios!

-S-

Well, if it isn’t Friday…

Alright, here we go.  Day number 2!  Wow, I am actually writing on this site again.  I am still very confused about many things relating to this blogging thing, but I am learning!

So, today is my last official work day off of ‘winter break’.  Monday I have to return to the salt mines!  Just kidding, I love my job.  I love what I do and I love going to work.  I know, that’s a rarity these days, but what I do is not a job…to me.  If I am going to be honest, I have to say, it’s God’s way of breaking my heart every single day, and allowing for love and compassion to be put in place of cracks and roughness.

Before I left work, for our break, I spoke with a supervisor of mine and when I return to work, there will be some changes beginning for me.  It’s all good, and I am ready for these changes, but I am now starting to get anxious…Now that it’s almost time to return, my anxiety level is rising and I worry about what’s going to happen!  Just a few thoughts like, ‘Will I do well…how could they think I am capable of this?…I can’t do what they expect of me…I am going to fail…what about my student?…the new person isn’t right for her…she’s going to have such a hard time…’  Like I said, just a few thoughts…Oh, by the way, I have an anxiety disorder (according to those so called ‘professionals’).  Ugh, that’s a whole other ballpark…just wait, I’m sure I will get into that soon enough…

Anyway, back to today.  Nothing really going on in my world today.  I just watched a ton of T.V…Mystery Diagnoses (or something like that).  I don’t know, I fell asleep during a few episodes, missed several messages and calls on my phone (because it was on silent!  Ugh the silent button!), and meandered around my place trying to find something to eat (which was unsuccessful – boo).

Alright, well, I suppose I should do responsible things like, take a shower and OH, take my meds (I’m pretty sure that’s an important one…).

Until next time…when I have something more tangible to write about…Adios!

-S-

In the beginning…

So, this is what it’s like to blog…Well, maybe not.  I just started.  I’m here because I need to share what’s on my mind, and I like to write.  All those other forms of ‘sharing’ just became too much.  You know, like Facebook.  I mean seriously, the constant posts and pictures of other peoples lives can just overwhelm you sometimes; especially when you are already feeling overwhelmed with your own life!  At least for right now…

Okay, so where do I start?  Do I just start sharing what’s on my mind?  Oh, maybe I should give a brief summary of my history: where I was born, where I grew up…etc. etc.  Eh, no – this isn’t some dating site (which wouldn’t apply to me away because I’m married) and that lay out of information is the classic move…I think I will just tell you about today.

Right now, I am currently not working.  No, I am not out of work, I am just on ‘winter break’.  I work at a school, so we get two weeks off during the holiday season, which is nice.  I enjoy having time off to ‘do nothing’…but I also like the pace of a routine schedule and right now, I am sort of finding myself itching for that…

Anyway, so today is the day that I have begun my blog adventure and decided to take the plunge into an area I really know nothing about.  I honestly don’t even read blogs.  I have read blogs that friends and family created, but I’m not an avid seeker for this kind of thing.  Which, unfortunately, means I will probably not be very diligent with this blog I have created for myself.  I created it because I need an outlet that isn’t typical, but I also need something where I can have a shared dialogue.  I must warn those who are reading.  I think I am actually going to be honest about sharing…not that I am not honest, but I mean, I’m not going to hold back.  I don’t know, we’ll see where this goes…I’m still questioning if I should have decided to do something public like this, or do something more private, like a personal journal.  All I know is I like to write and share…

So, until next time…Adios!  (by the way, I don’t speak Spanish…)

-S-