The View is Breathtaking

I’ve been struggling. Why did I think this would be easy?

I had a dream I cut loose a monster. I then spent the rest of my dream trying to leave to get away from the monster. There was a man running around trying to get me the best, most nutritious food possible before I ran away.

The monster is my feelings. I started this journey of living and feeling, but it frightens me. I  run back to my escapism ways. God coaxes me out of hiding with fresh revelation. He continues to poor his grace and mercy on me by giving me hunger for more freedom. He gives me hunger to live instead of sitting around waiting to die.

Sometimes I forget how far he has brought me. I started going back over my old post, even as far back as January of 2014. I have to say, there some good food for thought back there.

I’m so glad I wrote down a lot of what I’m learning. It was so helpful today, to go back and read it – to revisit my journey. It hasn’t been easy. I shouldn’t have thought it would be. That’s okay. There are many a journey, physically and spiritually, I would never had started if I’d know how long and arduous it would be. However, the end result is always worth it.

The view is breathtaking.

This brings me back to: You Make Me Brave


God is a Tree Hugger.

God is a tree hugger.

I am a deep, strong Oak

When the tornado comes

and I’m on the ground

My roots are taller than any man.

it may seem over

as i lay there


The Gardener comes

In the cool of the day.

He picks me up

Plants me

Puts a hedge of protection

around me.

My roots grow again

stronger, deeper, thirstier.

The wind whispers through my leaves.

It says:

You are mine,

You are loved,

You are magnificent,

You are powerful,

You are strong,

You are the center of My universe,

You are the only thing I see,

You are my creation,

God is a tree hugger.

Luke 15 NIV

A Specter Called Shame.

Shame is the sensation a person receives when they do something wrong, like the morning after they’ve drank too much and realize they made a fool of themselves. As long as they recognize the shame, learn from it and use it to spur them into a better direction, such as not drinking too much, it can be a useful tool.

Shame is defined as:

“a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.”

If shame, as a tool, could stay in its rightful place on the shelf until needed, it would be okay. But shame rarely stays in its proper place. It’s not shame’s fault. We as people take the tool down and misuse it.

I have done this frequently with my past mistakes. Every time a memory comes up where I acted foolishly or made a wrong choice, I feel the sting of shame creep up on my face. I push the memories back down and say it is covered by Jesus’ death on the cross. That is true, but because I push the memory away due to shame, I never learn what God wants me to learn from those memories. They can not be fully redeemed.

There is one shameful memory that keeps coming back to me over and over again. It is something I have never told anyone ever, not even my husband. This one memory has haunted me and fills me with shame every time it pops up.

The last few months I have been on this journey of not hiding from my feelings. I am on this journey of allowing my feelings to rise to the surface, exam them and then let them vaporize and blow away instead of stuffing them back down.(1) I was walking along the seawall one morning and this memory came to my mind once again. The familiar shame crept like a shade to the surface. I pushed it down as usual stating,

“I’ve been forgiven for this. I don’t have to think about it anymore.”

That is true, but it wasn’t allowing me to learn what I needed to learn from that mistake. It wasn’t allowing me to feel the feeling and let it go. I took the memory and asked God what he wanted me to see when I remembered it. What did he want me to feel? How did he feel when it happened and how does he feel now about it?

I put the memory in a glass box and examined it from all sides. I felt the shame still there, but not as strong. I began to look at the girl who made the poor choice. She was so young and desperate. She had all this hurt, which had not been dealt with. She was so strong for even functioning. Yes the girl, me, did make a mistake and it was my fault, but there were so many other circumstances surrounding that choice. I thought about if it were someone else’s life? What if I was reading a book, from birth until this poor choice. I would actually expect this choice of that person. It would not have come as a surprise and I would have wanted to hold that person, comfort them and tell them they were just looking for answers in the wrong place. Looking for something that only God can supply.

In doing this examination, I felt such sympathy for the young girl. I felt sympathy for me. The shame disappeared. Love filled the hole that shame left. I learned many more things from the examination. I’m no longer afraid of the memory.

It is no longer a specter lurking in the shadows.

I couldn’t think of a good song from this topic, but I like this song: Come Away From Jesus Culture


Am I Bipolar?

Am I bipolar?

I seriously asked myself this question. It is in my family. It would not be unheard of. The reason for this question is my stop and go motion in my walk with God and towards emotional and spiritual maturity. I get a revelation and I go forth with a burst of speed. Then things tend to wind down and I fall back into some old ways.

I prayed about it and asked God if I was bipolar. I listened to what He had to say. I knew he wouldn’t pull any punches with me as he never has in the past. I believe bipolar is a real  medical condition and not demonic or something a person just has to get over.

I felt like he told me I am not bipolar. What happens is I let my gut reaction take control. My gut reaction is abandonment. I feel I will be abandon by Him eventually because he will finally see me for who I am.  He will give up on me since I’m not changing fast enough. I give up hope.

Hope is necessary for just about anything. Why work on wholeness if there is no hope of it ever happening. I googled hope and two definitions came up. 1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. 2. (archaic) a feeling of trust.

If I don’t have the expectation that I can and will become whole, I won’t. I also saw that my lack of hope is a lack of trust. Hebrews 11 and 12 are such awesome chapters on hope and trust. Jesus said he would never leave me or forsake me. I have nothing to fear. But do I believe that? Do I believe he is good?

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”(Mark 9:24)

This is an amazing song I like to listen to when I tire of my questions. When I just need to be still: We will not be Shaken by Bethel Music

I am the Fonz.

When I describe myself I say things like: introvert, quiet, hate meeting new people, feel intimidated with people who are prettier, richer, more educated than myself. I’m more comfortable with men than women. Women scare me. I use to say Women are more catty. Men are more honest and simple. All these things describe an insecure person. How did I become this insecure person?

When I was five, I thought I was the Fonz. I would run and then slide on my knees going Ayyyy with my thumbs up. I behaved just like the Fonz. I remember looking in the mirror one day and feeling great disappointment because I did not look like the Fonz. His persona is who I related to. I felt he was most like me. I thought about this for a while asking God, 1. Why did this memory come back to me and 2. How did I go from thinking I was the Fonz to who I am now.

I thought about what the Fonz persona is. He has a solution for every problem. He is tough, but can be vulnerable. He is confident in who he is most of the time. He is different than everyone else around him, but is very okay with that. He is charismatic. He loves good and hates evil. Mostly though he is very, very confident in himself. He is cool and in control.

How did I go from taking on this persona of cool and in control to mostly feeling out of control and insecure. It can’t be blamed on my mother leaving because that happened before the feeling of being the Fonz.

While thinking on this, I remember the VeggieTales show about some town with little creatures who carried backpacks. They drew pictures of how they saw each other and put them in the other person’s backpack. They were suppose to fly, but the negative pictures weighed them down. I saw my backpack full of negative pictures that people had drawn of me and I had taken on the lies as truth.

The most recent one was the word dishonorable. It was not true. The person said it without having all the information. They said it twice. You are dishonorable. Even now I feel the weight of it and the total injustice of it. Then I start to doubt and wonder if maybe I am dishonorable. This has been a heavy weight.

As a child, I did not feel welcomed in any house I lived in. I was the youngest in a house of strangers. If I displayed any vulnerability, it was seen as a sign of weakness and attacked. I felt like a burden for my mother when I left my father to go live with her. I was ten. My father even said he was glad I moved out of his house so he could leave his current situation without worrying what to do with me. I love my father and mother and anything I say is all in the past, but these things added to my outlook of myself.

I don’t really know who I am. I want to. I want to see myself as God sees me as God created me to be. I want to be quiet and confident. I want to be who I really am before it was squashed by people who also had their natural personas squashed when they were growing up. Squashed, stomped on people will squash, stomp on other people. As I say that, I think of those whom I have squashed. I hope they forgive me.

I forgive all those who have drawn negative pictures and stuck them in my backpack. As I forgive, I see the pictures fall to the ground and dissolve into nothing.

I am the Fonz.

If you want to watch Veggietales Snoodles(fast forward through the first show about twenty minutes in):

Wake Up!

I was struggling with eating and reading once again. I talked to myself.

“You don’t have to do this anymore. You can look at what you are scared of head-on and it won’t kill you. You do not have to numb yourself against pain or fear. You know this. Okay, what is giving you stress?”

I started focusing on my breathing to bring myself back to the present moment. A small little voice started speaking to me. It got louder as the thought materialized in my head.

“You can’t make me.”

It came up out from the depths of my gut. What is that? Where did that thought come from? I asked God and I heard,

“That is the little girl that wants to hide, that doesn’t want to feel and ultimately that you don’t want to let got of. She doesn’t want to fade into the background of your life. She is the abandoned child. She is the one without a father or mother or brother or sisters, but she is not who you are now. You are loved. You are loved by your children. You are loved by your husband. Your father, mother and siblings are there for you. You are not the lonely abandoned daughter. That is not your identity any longer.

I thought about that all day. A few nights after that, I had a dream. I went upstairs and in my bed there were two versions of myself. A tiny baby and a child around six years old. I woke the baby up and she got off the bed and started walking down the hallway. As she walked away she grew and by the time she turned the corner, her legs were fully form, but the rest of her body wasn’t done yet. I turned to the older version of myself. I woke her up and ran away. I didn’t want her to see me and get scared. It is scary looking at yourself. I woke up out of the dream going, “Whoa!”

I realize there is a part of me that doesn’t want to get better. I want to stay with what is familiar. I want the cushion of excuses. It scares me to shed the skin of lies and look at who I really am. What if I don’t like myself?

To Be Continued…

I love this song: Wake Me Up Inside by Evanescence

My Body is a Chatter Box.

I noticed this week that I’ve been emotionally eating again. Not the kind where I eat a whole bag of chips, but the kind where I eat and read. The kind where I want to eat the whole bag of chips. I felt scared and looked at my scale daily when I know I’m only suppose to look at that thing once a week, at most. I started asking myself what was going on with me? Why did I want to eat without thinking. What happened to the thoughts of after three bites, I’m only chasing the dream of the first bite? I was eating too quick. It was like all my training was out the window.

Not that all the days were bad. I was driving the other day and decided to be present in my body. I felt myself breath. I felt the warmth of the sun on the steering wheel. I felt the wind blow over the hairs on my arm. I start to get this joy bubbling up in me at being alive. I felt like I could fly. I rolled down my windows even more and turned on whatever music was in the cd player. It just happened to be Toby Mac, so I cranked it. I jammed all the way home and felt amazing! Another day that week, I was in the midst of doing the last few weeks of my school work until summer. Finals are always stressful for me, especially the research projects. I looked up and saw the ocean. I saw the waves crashing and everything just seemed to slow down. It felt like what I’ve read about, where everything slows down while you are dying or think you are dying. It was fantastic and beautiful. A thought popped into my mind, “This is what it means to live and see as though today is your last.” It’s not morbid, it’s beautiful.

But I’ve been feeling the emotional eating wanting to rear it’s ugly head and I think to myself, haven’t you learned anything? What if I never change? I wondered why I wanted to eat without tasting, why I wanted to eat and read, eat and watch TV?

I started listening to my body and realized I was feeling tingling in my lower abdomen. I had felt that before. I thought back to when I felt that before and it was always during stress. I realized, when stressed, I felt it in my lower abdomen, well that’s good information to have. I thought about what I was stressed for and the final research project came to mind. I didn’t want to do it and I was procrastinating. I realized the procrastination was making the stress even worse. The anticipation of doing the project was always worse then actually doing it.

So this was the cause of my desire to eat more than what my body was telling me I needed. I could solve this by just starting the project. I did that and there was a small amount of the stress released. I felt a little less like eating everything in the kitchen. I then decided to isolate the place where I felt the tingling and work that muscle to release any cortisone buildup. (stress hormone) I found an exercise that released that feeling. It felt wonderful.

My week is almost up. I haven’t lost any weight. I know because I weighed myself. The thought came to me, this week was not good. I had to catch myself. This is not about weight. I did so many new, good, learning things this week, which will not be negated by weight. This is about living intentionally, living in the present and if I think back on this week, I lived more than I did the week before. I learned things about myself. I experienced joy just by being present.

This week was a good week.

Music for today: Switchfoot – Afterlife