Sunday, October 23, 2011

Freedom is Here!!!


Freedom is here for everyone.
Love is here for everyone.
Jesus came for everyone.

I love this song...but especially this version and this video. The main thing I took away from church this week is who everyone is. There are no requirements. There are no life changes to be accepted. There is no cleansing to take place. No ritual or ceremony. You are everyone. I am everyone. Right where we are. 

Jesus came for you and free us from ourselves...and to restore a relationship with God. To free us to live eternal life - NOW. TODAY! Freedom came so we can be free today! 

Live it!!!
Love people!!!!
Serve the needy!!!!
Build relationships!!!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever 
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 
John 3:16

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who am I?

In Christ, I am...

*I am a light in the world (Matt. 5:14)
*I am a child of God (John 1:12)
*I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
*I am chosen & appointed by Christ to bear his fruit (John 15:16)
*I am a slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:18)
*I am a joint heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17)
*I am a temple, a dwelling place, of God (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19)
*I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30)
*I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)
*I am reconciled to God & a minister of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-19)
*I am a saint (Eph. 1:1-2; 2 Cor. 1:1-2)
*I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
*I am a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:6)
*I am righteous & holy (Eph. 4:24)
*I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:12)
*I am a daughter of light & not of darkness (1 Thess. 5:5)
*I am an enemy of the Devil (1 Peter 5:8)
*I am victorious (1 John 5:4)
*I am born again (1 Peter 1:23)
*I am alive with Christ (Eph. 2:5)
*I am more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:37)
*I am the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21)
*I am born of God & the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
*I am to be like Christ when he returns (1 John 3:1-2)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lovely Blog Award!!!!

I received my first blog award EVER! Thank you to Single Mama over at Ready For Take Off for this special recognition. She follows me on my other blog as well and I recently started following her. It is so refreshing to read about and get to know other single moms and how they make it through the day.

Here are seven random things about me...

1) I read magazines backwards - from back to front. It doesn't matter what kind of magazine it is, I just can't start at the front.

2) I wanted to be a Radio City Rockette growing up.I never saw them in New York, but I did see them in Vegas. One of the girls I grew up dancing with actually became one on their National Christmas Tour.

3) I know all of the choreography for Britney Spears' videos from Hit Me Baby One More Time through Toxic. I stopped after that, but I used to be the life of the party when her songs came on at a bar or club (or in a random parking lot.)

4) I am super messy. I try so hard to be clean and I love to organize...I am just not good at it.

5) I cannot carry a tune. I feel so bad for the people who sit around me at church because I am the woman singing as loud as she can though I know everyone around me wants to plug their ears. My worship just may hinder others'.

6) I am putting the check in the mail tomorrow to pay off my car - YAY!!!!

7) I cried when I found out my oldest was a boy. Yep - then I got another boy. Today, I wouldn't trade them in for a girl (sorry friends with girls - I know you love them too.) I just love being a mom to boys.

I am tagging:

Shannon from eatpraylovelive
Kate from Every Mile a Memory
Cassie from More Than Military

Go link up to them and follow them. They all are GREAT!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life Is Good

I just want to say LIFE IS GOOD!

I still don't have ANYTHING figured out, but life is just good.

I thought I'd share.

Things could be much worse.

note: I also got my first blog award, but I am SO tired from Comic-Con that I will post about it tomorrow :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Worrying (adj): Not trusting God

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus
Philippians 4:19 NLV
Wouldn't it be nice if all decisions in life came with a worry-free warranty. 
It doesn't even have to be five years. I'll take a 24-hour guarantee. 

I am officially worrying. Below is my list of worries:
Living with my parents
Supporting two kids as a single mom
The Lakers
Okay, so I am not really worried about the Lakers. They will take tonight's game six and eventually the title. Sorry to all of my other friends who like any other team besides the Lakers. It is just truth. 

The other things I am worried about. I was denied my unemployment today because I quit my job, even though I quit my job to care for my kids.
I am going to petition their decision.
But, thinking about having no money right now reminds me that I have no job right now and then my mind just starts going and going and going...and eventually I start thinking about how I only want to live with my parents for a year - tops. Then, I need to get a job so I can pay off my mounds of debt and unpaid bills since I have not been the greatest at budgeting and not the smartest when it comes to spending.  Then I starting thinking about my spousal support ending in two and a half years and by then I need to have all of my debt paid off AND have a good job to support my kids on Arizona child support though we live in California. So, I can't just get any job right now, but I need one that I can advance in. All of that on top of me being a stay-at-home mom for so long and working from home with a high school diploma-type job. I could go on and on and on more, but I will spare you my long thought trains. 

Today the train went past the "if I were still married I wouldn't be AS worried because I would be treading these stormy waters with my husband." 

That is where God spoke to me.

I don't need my husband back.
He didn't weather the storms we had in our marriage with me. 
I don't need another husband to rescue me.
One day I would like one though. It is still a desire in me. 

For your Creator will be your husband;
      the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
   He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
      the God of all the earth.
 6 For the Lord has called you back from your grief—
      as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,”
      says your God.
Isaiah 54:5-6 NLV

God wants to be my husband right now. 
He doesn't want me to rely on a man for support right now. 
He wants me to rely on Him. 
He doesn't want me to rely on myself.
He doesn't want me to be alone. 
I am not alone.
God is with me always.
He will never leave me or forsake me.
He will hold me tight as the waves crash around me. 
He does not want me to worry. 
He is everything I need.
I am so encouraged after hearing Him speak. 
I pray that I can start to live this instead of just knowing it in my head. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Accepting Me as God Made Me

The past two years have been an opportunity for me to rediscover who I am as a woman. I discovered the little things about me like what food I really like and what genre of movies I really like to bigger things like what my world view is and what I value. See, when I got married, I became the Christian wife I thought I was supposed to be. I wanted to be a helper, a companion, a supporter...I wanted to be my husband's cheerleader in all things as well as be submissive and pretty much keep it all together so he did not have to worry about the home. I put every I was into being a wife and lost everything I was as a woman. In fact, a few weeks before my marriage turned into a downhill race, I sat in the dark with may baby in my arms thinking that I had no idea who I was anymore. I had no idea that circumstances coming up were going to cause me to have to figure it

Finding my identity in Christ was pretty easy, but taking it out of marriage was so hard. All I ever wanted to have in life was a reality...I just wanted to be a wife and a stay-at-home mom. Once I became those, I didn't know how to be "me" at the same time. In fact, I don't know if I ever really knew who "me" was. 

I did a lot of "fun" things to fit in when I was in college. I drank a lot, listened to popular music, watched vulgar movies and shows...even my language was filled with cursing and swearing. I wanted to be part of a group and I let them define me. When I got married, my husband and I decided we wanted to start following Christ again and grow closer to God. It was an amazing choice we both made, but the problem was that we never knew each other when we were following Christ in our past and we both changed so much once we got married. A lot of people say that the person they are married to isn't the person they married. In our case, neither one of us were who we married. Now, seven years later, I realize the significance in that and how we needed someone(s) to guide us through those changes from the beginning.

Back to learning about "me", a huge life changing moment for me was taking the Myers-Briggs personality profile last year. It was an exact match for who I am and being able to understand why I value certain things and why I make certain choices was a huge "ah ha" moment. So many personality traits of mine were what my husband used against me as our marriage fell apart and made me feel bad about. I saw that the person God made me to be was not accepted, but I also saw some things about my personality that were unattractive to me. I was able to take those traits and do something to work with them. Like, I know now that when something seems hard or I tense about making a choice, it is normally the choice that I need to make. Most of all, I learned that there is nothing "wrong" with being "me". 

I have been able to see my awareness of my personality play out recently as I have been volunteering for a non-profit life resource center called Testimony. Check them out here. In a recent meeting, ides being brought up were right over my head. I could not wrap my head around the ideas people had. I mean, they were great ideas, but I had no idea where to start even brainstorming with them. It was like my rain just shut down. I realized that it was actually ok that I couldn't have those creative ideas that the others had. In fact, not trying to come up with those ideas kept me true to who I am. I am not an "outside the box" thinker. I think inside the box. I am conservative. I am responsible. I do what I know and I do it well. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is a place for what I have to offer and I am so grateful for the people who can think outside of the box so I do not have to! 
Here is a list of my personality traits for relationships: 
(if you know me personality, feel free to nod and agree as you read down the list)

Warm, friendly and affirming by nature
Service-oriented, wanting to please others
Good listeners
Will put forth lots of effort to fulfill their duties and obligations
Excellent organizational capabilities
Good at taking care of practical matters and daily needs
Usually good (albeit conservative) at handling money
Take their commitments seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
Don't pay enough attention to their own needs
May have difficulty branching out into new territory
Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
Unlikely to express their needs, which may cause pent-up frustrations to build inside
Have difficulty leaving a bad relationship
Have difficulty moving on after the end of a relationship 

ALL of those fit me, well, all except being good with money, but God knows I am working on that one. I am also working on moving on from the end of relationships, not neglecting my own needs and becoming aware of when I start to isolate myself so I can avoid it. Most of all, I am learning to accept this is who God made me and He made me in His image. All of these things don't mean there is something wrong with me. In fact, I am learning to love "me" and accurately represent "me" to everyone I meet. I am not the person who got married seven years ago. I am not the person I was a year ago. I am a new creation, being molded and changed everyday. I am learning to love and accept "me."
For more on ISFJ or the MyersBriggs test, click here

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm Letting Go...

I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go
Album: My Paper Heart
Artist: Francesca Battistelli

I am letting feels like I am into Your gravity...I'm not afraid
I can't think of a better way to describe life right now. After realizing the things I have been holding onto - my fears, my money, my future, my past, my expectations, I am letting go of them all and placing them at the foot of the cross. Freedom from my own bondage. After all, Christ already freed me from being slave to these things, I just have had a hard time letting go of them. I am ready to be clay. I am ready to be molded and used. I am expecting more tough times, as molding, kneading and shaping a lump of clay into a bowl is not easy or comfortable, but I am ready.

I am ready to let go of my expectations for my life and to just be. Be obedient. Be loving. Be faithful. Be a disciple. Be a light. Be true to who God made me to be. I am ready to be me. 

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen Indeed!

 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 
3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  
4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes 
that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 
5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground,
but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  
6 He is not here; he has risen!  
Luke 24:1-6

Happy Resurrection Day everyone! Today is THE day. Without today, there is no risen Lord. Without today there is no Christianity. Without today, there is no new life. Today is the day He turned the dark into light. He conquered death. As we reflected this morning, we celebrate the past of Jesus' death and resurrection, the present knowing He is STILL alive today and the future of His coming again to make all things new. What a glorious promise to EVERYONE...

But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise. Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.
1 Cor 15:20-22

I spent the morning in my old high school gym, with people I have never met and a church I have never attended. What an AMAZING party and celebration of Christ today!!! I felt as close to home as I ever have...praising, singing, dancing, worshiping, not feeling judged, but truly like a family. I don't remember anyone's names, but they are my family. It was such an odd feeling to feel like you fit in somewhere you have never been. I felt alive. I felt free. 

While worshiping, we also celebrated in prayer and baptism. A man gave his testimony and something he said stood out to me. Something which is true for so many people. He said he thought that by doing whatever he wanted and by living by his own choices he was free. It wasn't until he put his faith in Christ and started reading and following Him did he truly experience what freedom was. The concept of dying to yourself and letting the Holy Spirit take over to make you free is hard for those who have never experienced it to understand. It is something I pray that I would be able to show people through my life and explain clearly because a life following Christ is a life without chains.

So, next week we will be going back to Mariners Church's campus in Mission Viejo to see where we can can get involved and plugged into out community. Life is good. Jesus is alive! And it is all because of Jesus I am alive!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Desperate for a Sign

I would've settled for anything: a burning bush, a parted sea or water turned into wine. Heck, I would've had water turn into coffee. I was looking to stand on the mountaintop I had come to know so well and hear His booming voice from the heavens.

For the past two years, God has shown up in BIG ways. Bigger than I could have imagined and, not only big, but clear. There was no doubt when God showed up in my life and anyone who knew me could see Him too.

But, I have been in this place before. A place where I was so desperate to see Him that I took a circumstance into my own hands and attributed it to Him. As many of you know, my ex-husband had a long term affair. God was showing up BIG in my life during our separations and I knew He was telling me to stay. With every step I took, I seeked His guidance and just wanted my obedience to glorify Him. I grew weary of being a single mom, holding my family, marriage and home together while my husband was out with another woman, but I desperately wanted my marriage to work. I wanted my marriage to be a miracle restoration. My husband came and went a few times during a year and I was finally done, but not really. We had been separated for five months that time and there were a few glimpses of him wanting to come home, so I ran with it. I offered him "one more chance" and he took it. Our family was back together on New Years' Eve and we were going to be together forever. Until we weren't.

The first few weeks were great and there was no denying God was there. After all, I believed and still do believe that God wanted my marriage to be restored. But, the honeymoon only lasted a few weeks and I knew that the only thing for me to do was leave. I was so desperate for God to show up and restore my marriage that when I found an email from my husband to his girlfriend again while we were reconciling I thought God had given up on me. It was only months later that I realized, in my desperation to stay married, God did show up, but it was MY hand that guided my ex-husband home and it was HIS hand that guided me to leave. Some may argue with me and say I needed to forgive seven times seventy as Jesus instructs in Matthew and should have taken him back an unlimited amount of times, but God knew me and my heart. He knew that I would have done that, but also that my husband wasn't going to stop his affair. See, I wrote an email on a Sunday night and sent it to a friend instead of my husband. In it, I said I was leaving that Friday since he refused counseling and refused to keep his girlfriend out of our lives. Again, that was Sunday. I didn't send it to him. God knew that come Friday, I was going to give him "one more chance" and another and another. Monday morning, I found the love email to his girlfriend. Coincidence? I don't believe so.

So, now a divorced, single mom, I saw God work BIG in my life over the past year as well, but lately I have thought He was so silent. I was so used to seeing Him so clearly that I stopped seeking Him and just expected Him. In a months time, I am moving out of my apartment back into my parent's house, my ex-husband moved across the country and the family renting our house is moving out of state as well. There it was...God was showing up for me. I was supposed to move back into my old house and start my family's lives over again there on my own. Well, I thought God was showing up for me. Thankfully, I learned how to stop and be still before making a choice this big and the more I prayed the more I saw that this move wasn't for me. The coincidence of it was not my sign. I was about to discredit everytime God unmistakeably showed up and showed me and I am right where He wants me to be all because I was restless...more than restless, I was lost and desperate to find a way out of it.

So Lord, I surrender it all to you now. I know I am where you want me to be, bur I don't know why or where to go next. If I am to be still, please close doors and open wide the ones I am to go through. I give you my life, my children, my job search, my finances and my ex-husband...I lay them all at the foot of Your cross, I will make a mess of them on my own. They are Yours to use and put back together according to Your will. Thank You for showing up in big ways. Thank you for being there even when you seem silent. Thank you for this week and the celebration of your resurrected Son on Sunday. Thank you for His sacrifice and the new life You have given me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why This Blog?

I have wanted to start this blog for a long time and a lot of conversations recently have given me the final push to start it. I have been talking to one of my bestest friends lately about writing a book. She is trying to figure out what she should/could write about. And me? I've just been toying with being able to write as a career, let alone right a book. She keeps bringing up Christian publishers and places to write about my faith as she comes across them. Funny thing is that she just knows me and I think just knows that is my where thoughts have been.

I went to my womens life group tonight discouraged at the way it has been going the past few months. Actually, very close to being ready to quit. I thought the group wasn't for me anymore. I "outgrew" it. Before it started tonight, a trusted friend mentioned that I needed to look at what I wanted out of the group because it maybe isn't going to be what I want to get out of it, but the reality of what I CAN get out of it. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I wasn't going to get what I wanted to from it, but it had more to offer me and I more to offer to it actually. In discussing it with other women, God revealed to me the amount of bitterness I was holding onto because the group wasn't what I wanted. I thought I had changed my expectations ,but I hadn't. I was holding back from sharing and speaking into others' lives because they didn't expect the same things I was. The more we spoke and opened up tonight, the more I saw how we do need each other. In fact, a conversation in this group tonight made me see other reason why I needed to finally start getting my thoughts out.

"My faith has been in my head and not in my heart."

I "graduated" from counseling (see my other blog for more on why I was going to counseling) and I also stopped processing how God was working in my life...where I was seeing Him, How I was responding...I lost accountability in reading my Bible. In fact, I lost the desire to even open it up after many times of me saying I just needed to do it without the feeling or I never would. Well, I got to the point of close to never. I hope that journaling and blogging will help my start processing my thoughts again, as well as keep me accountable. 

When I do express my thoughts and "revelations," people tend to relate. So, I hope that this blog will help people see they are not alone in their thoughts. They are not alone when they are wrestling with God. They are not alone when they are desperate to see His face. They are not alone when they lose hope. I hope that my thoughts will help people self-reflect and give people hope to continue "fighting the good fight" through life.

The title and my passion to start the blog tonight came to me on my drive home tonight. The song "Revelation" by Third Day came on as I was processing my group's conversations. The song has been an anthem for my life during the past two years. God has shown up in BIG ways and it has been no mistake when He was speaking. I have not been experiencing that lately and have felt a bit lost.  I have been so desperate to to see Him in a big way that I almost mistook a a situation as a "mountain top" experience from Him when it wasn't my move to make. So, instead of trying to put Him in a situations because I need to move, I am going to seek Him for all direction..stay or move. Be still or make a change. 

Give me a revelation
Show me what to do
'Cause I've been trying to find my way
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I've got nothing without you
I've got nothing without you