God is My Happy Place #18

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is:

“You might be imperfect, but you are perfectly you.”

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13‭-‬14 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.139.13-14.NIV

God created me to be me & not anyone else. I am His unique creation. We are all created by Him in the way He desired us to be created.

I haven’t always felt that way. God has had to show me in His word that I am loved just the way I am & that He made me the way I am on purpose for a purpose.

I have to stay in His Word & renew my mind with what He thinks about me. I need to keep my thoughts aligned with His thoughts or I fall back into the trap of feeling negatively about myself.

God has a plan that He uniquely created me for. I may not know what that plan is in its entirety. But I know He has a plan. Sometimes I know a little piece of it & sometimes I have no idea. But I trust He knows what He is doing.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/jer.29.11.NIV

God is My Happy Place #17

The next prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is:

“How do you find peace when everything around you feels chaotic?”

When things are chaotic, I need quiet time alone. In that quiet time, I read my Bible, pray, color, read a book for pleasure (usually a biography). But most importantly I spend time with God.

If I am at a place, such as work, where I can’t disappear for a while to have quiet time, I put on my headphones & listen to praise music. It shuts the world around me out & allows me to focus. This in turn calms me down.

If I dont have quiet time or time to think/calm down, I get really anxious. However, God has a way of showing up and giving me the time I need.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/php.4.7.NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/php.4.6.NIV

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/2th.3.16.NIV

He Sees Me

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
Psalm 34:15 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.34.15.NIV

His eyes are on us. Both of them. Not just one. He isn’t looking at us out of the corner of His eye or at a side glance. He has both eyes on us. We have His full attention.

He is attentive to us. He hears every word & thought. He sees our every move & circumstance.

He is that attentive to each one of us. He loves you & me.

This is so comforting to me to know He is that attentive.

I know I am not that attentive. It is a continued learning process to learn to look at people during conversation. I have always been afraid of what I would see. Would I see rejection or hatred?

But with God, I know He loves me and will always listen to me intently. I dont have to fear rejection with Him. I can pour it all out to Him & He will never leave or reject me.

God is My Happy Place #16

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is:

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy do you feel today?”

Based on what is going on in my life, one might think I was low on the happy scale. To say we have been having car problems is an understatement. Our financial situation is less than stellar.

When actually, I’m really happy. I have so much to be thankful for. I would rate myself at an 8, with 10 being the happiest one could be. I have an amazing husband. We have a place to live. We both have good jobs. We have transportation to get to work. We have great family and church family.

Most importantly we have a relationship with God & have a peace knowing that He will take care of everything. That doesn’t mean we dont feel nervous. It means that we trust God in spite of our feelings. I believe God knows what He is doing. He will take care of us like He always has. We trust God!

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/php.4.19.NIV

I own no rights to the video.

Changing Direction

he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.23.3.NIV

Sometimes we start in a direction and that’s where God wants us to go and then the direction changes. The new direction is still in God’s plan. It is simply the next step on our destination. It may seem strange to change directions, but maybe God needed us to go one direction first, before we start a different direction. Maybe volunteering one way & then changing to volunteer in another. Both were part of God’s plan, but one was a prerequisite for the other.

In school, there are some courses/classes that must be taken before taking another class. For example you don’t usually just jump ahead to Biology II before taking Biology I. There is knowledge in the first class that must be gained before taking the next class.

I also can’t stay in the first class. I have to let go of that class and move on to the next class. I won’t grow or accomplish Gods will, if I stay in the past or stay in an area that is no longer part of the plan. When travelling, we sometimes have to make turns in order to get where we are going. Because if we continue down the same road, we won’t make it to our destination.

Sometimes we have to pull off the road and take a break and decide what direction we need to go. Either because we feel like we are lost or maybe we’ve gone too far and missed our turn. So we need to evaluate where we are and pick a direction that best suits our destination from where we are.

God is our GPS. We must pray and ask for direction. We must listen and follow through. God knows what He is doing. If God is asking me to change something(s) about my life, I need to follow His lead.

There are times I have kept doing something longer than I should have, because I was trying to please people. I didn’t want to let them down. But I needed to move on and please God.

God Is My Happy Place #15

The next prompt in “God is My Happy Place ” is:

“Are there people in your life who really know you? What are a few things you wish people knew about you?”

For the first question, I believe my mom & my husband know me the best. They are the one’s I’m the closest with.

For the second question, this took me a long time to really think about. But I was able to come up with 3 things. I just wrote my life story, so I was trying to come up with things that I may not have included there.

One is that I really do love people. I just prefer smaller groups of people. Big crowds drain my energy. There is so much going on and I dont know where to focus my attention. (Introvert problems…lol)

Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, coloring, cooking/baking. Writing is becoming one as I gain more confidence.

I have no problem with people knowing how old I am (43). It is just another testament to how far God has brought me.

God Is My Happy Place #14

The next writing prompt in “God Is My Happy Place” is:

“Who do you feel completely loved by and why?”

I would rank God number one here. He loves me completely. No matter what I’ve done or how I feel. The closer I get to Him, the more loved I feel.

He shows me love all day long everyday. 24/7/365. He takes care of me always. He is my protector and healer. He is patient with me. I can trust Him completely. He is everything to me.

He has given me the Bible, which is His love letter to me. It tells me how God feels about me and gives me direction.

He loves me more than any human has the capacity to love.

Overwhelmed

I was reading Joshua chapter 1 the other day and I got to thinking about what it must have been like to take over and follow in the footsteps of Moses. Those are some big sandals to fill. The 3 verses right before the book of Joshua says:

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
Deuteronomy 34:10‭-‬12 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/deu.34.10-12.NIV

I know that Joshua believed in God and trusted Him, because he stepped up and did what God asked him to do. My thought is more about how he must have felt so overwhelmed and maybe even scared. He had to lead regardless of how he felt.

Now I do want to say that the Bible doesn’t say how he felt about it. My thoughts are based on what I believe that most people might feel I that situation, including myself.

God also told Joshua:

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
Joshua 1:6 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/jos.1.6.NIV

God told him the be strong and courageous 3 times in the chapter, as well as not to be afraid. I would say that is significant. I know I need to be encouraged to o keep moving.

As I learn to write better and do what God is calling me to do, I feel quite overwhelmed. It seems like a lot to take on. My flesh is telling me that it may not be worth the effort, but I have to keep moving forward and rely on God. He knows what He’s doing. His strength will get me through it and help me grow. Without Him I couldn’t do any of it. Doing things my way leads to disaster, but relying on God brings success.

My Story Part 4

This chapter begins with me trying to decide what I really wanted to do with my life. I thought about becoming a librarian, because I enjoy books. I ended up changing my major to social work, because I wanted to help people. Then I decided I wanted to be a counselor, which meant I would have to change schools.

I ended up moving to Texas and went to Bible college. I was really excited to go. I believed that is where God wanted me to be. I transferred to a Walmart store down there for work. I moved almost immediately after finishing the semester I was in.

The sad part was that I had to give away my dog. I couldn’t take her with me. She was with me through so much, it was hard to let her go.

I also missed my family and friends.

But I was excited to be where God wanted me to be.

It took me a while to find a church. But I did find one.

Not long after I moved there, I met the guy who is now my husband. He had just moved there from California.

We both started at the same school and moved into the same apartment complex, on opposite sides.

I was really into him. But I was tired of the chase. I prayed about it. I asked God to not let him ask me out if he wasn’t the one.

It took a little while, but he did indeed ask me out. We dated for a while. He is an amazing Christian man. We ended up going to the same church after a while. He was so respectful. He even accepted that I wasn’t going to let him kiss me until he asked me to marry him.

We both went on separate mission trips with the school. He went to Poland & I went to the Ukraine. We missed each other a lot, but we were also able to focus on the mission at hand.

I enjoyed some of the things we did, such as going to the ballet & riding an overnight train. I also learned a lot by observing and talking to the people we encountered. In my eagerness, at times I felt like I wasn’t doing a good job at conveying the message of Jesus. This was a feeling I had after Thailand as well. But overall they were both great learning experiences. I was not a failure, I just had a few learning moments.

A little while after we got back, he asked me to marry him. He took me to a park & got down on one knee. I said yes. 💍😍

We were engaged a little over a year. We got married. Our honeymoon was in San Antonio.

Everything was different this go round. Waiting until we were married to sleep together was really the best plan. It is God’s way. He has a reason for it being His way. He created a time for everything. There’s was less anxiety for me, less shame, less complications in the relationship. I was able to make a more clear headed decision about the relationship.

I graduated with my bachelor’s degree about a year later or so. Another accomplishment down.

I needed to get a master’s degree, so it was decision time again. We could have stayed, but we decided to go back to the college I started at & off to Oklahoma we went. To be close to family. In Texas, we had no family. We did have some really great friends there. But we weren’t near family for about 3 1/2 years. It was a nice change.

I transferred back to the Walmart store I was working at before. We went to the same church I was at before I left. Though to me it seemed different this time, I don’t know why.

My husband graduated with his bachelor’s degree about a year or two later & started a master’s online. I was so proud of him.

After 10 years at Walmart, I was able to get a job in the field of counseling, so I took the opportunity. I started working at an agency as a behavior rehabilitation specialist. I worked with people to improve their behaviors. I was excited for the opportunity.

I was there several months, when the agency closed. I then started at another agency quickly there after.

Later on, I graduated with my master’s degree 😁🎓 and went under supervision for my license. This agency was helpful with me making progress through my career. I had an amazing supervisor and worked with some amazing people.

My husband graduated with his master’s. We travelled to Orange Beach, AL so that he could walk for his degree. I enjoyed spending time on the beach with my husband and I was again so proud of him.

At some point after I graduated, we moved to another town in Oklahoma about 45 minutes west of where we were to be closer to the job my husband got. This allowed me to be more flexible with clients as well.

We found a great church in the small town we lived in. We met some great friends. It was really quiet, which I liked.

I became fully lisenced after we moved. I really enjoyed my job, except all the driving.

About a year and a half after I became licensed, my husband started looking for a job that was a little closer to what he went to school for. He was having a difficult time finding jobs in Oklahoma. He was trying to be considerate, because he knew I liked my job.

I did like my job. There were times I felt like I wasn’t doing a very great job, but i suppose that goes with the territory of being really new at a job. At the same time, God was working in me to follow my husband wherever he needed to go to develop his career.

I believe God wanted me to start writing and soon I had my own blog. I really do enjoy writing and getting my thoughts in writing. I’m working on being more disciplined at carving out time for it.

I then brought up to my hubby that I was ok with moving wherever we needed to move. I think he was a little surprised, but it was decision time again.

After much prayer, it was decided we would move to Arizona near his dad.

It was hard to say goodbye to family and some really good friends we made. I still miss them.

It was a big move. We moved about one and a half months after the decision was made. God provided for all the moving.

We lived with his stepbrother and his family until we were on our feet enough to get our own place. We found a church we really liked after about a month.

We both found jobs. He found a job at a company that does drug trials working in data entry. I got a job at a Medicare insurance company doing data entry.

God answered a prayer with this job. I asked for a job that I would really enjoy and I didn’t want to job hop. He took care of both of those. I like my job better than any job I have ever had. I’ll admit I felt guilty leaving a job I studied long and hard to get. I felt like I was letting people down. But at the same time I believe that I was going where God wanted us to be.

An added note, to get my counseling license in Arizona, it was going to take a couple more years of school and probably more supervision, due to the state having different requirements than Oklahoma. I also didn’t want to go back to school again. I felt it was time for a change.

Two months after we got to Arizona, we found our own place and moved in. We liked our little apartment.

Ten months after we moved in, our apartment was broken into while we were at work. They stole laptops, money, and our gaming system. We were so nervous after that for a while. My hubby was having a hard time sleeping and I was nervous coming home for a while. God had to keep reminding me that He was with me.

A week later we went back to Oklahoma for a visit, which was much needed rest.

A couple of months later we moved to a new apartment complex.

And here we are 7 months later living life right where God wants us to be. We’ve been married eleven and a half years and love being a team together. I have found the one who gets me and we give each other grace in this life. God has used him on so many occasions to show his love to me. I may not be the perfect wife, but I’m trying.

I don’t miss anything from my old life. God has brought me through 43 years and more to come.

I really love following God and the life He has provided for us. He has given me all the grace I could ever need. I have done things I’m not proud of. But He has forgiven me through Jesus, who died for me.

He also died for you and will give you all the grace you need when you come to Him. He loves you no matter what you have done. He’s not mad at you. He’s only a prayer away.

The Bible says:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
Romans 10:9‭-‬11 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.10.9-11.NIV

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11‭-‬13 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/jer.29.11-13.NIV

My Story Part 3

After the divorce, I was still going to the club every weekend, drinking, and going to parties.

I was a little promiscuous during this time.

After a little while, I started going back to church, but was still partying. I wasn’t necessarily ready to give up my way yet. But it was a start.

I started dating a guy for a while from the church. Then he told me about a church where there was a younger crowd. I started going to that church and really liked it.

I moved back to the town I was in before. I broke up with the guy I was dating. I knew I didn’t need to be in that relationship.

I went to another party or two. At one party, a guy attempted to rape me. He did not succeed, but it was yet another scary thing that happened to me.

I continued to go to church. It was a little while, but I decided to give my life back to the Lord and get baptized. I did get baptized about the age of 12, but I needed to do it again as a symbol of my renewed life. I know a lot of people remember exact moments when they were saved or rededicate their lives, but that is not my experience.

Somewhere around this time, I was able to forgive my father for what he had done & I was starting to forgive my ex husband. This helped me let things go and focus on my future. I do still have memories that come back to me from time to time, but I don’t dwell on them near as much and they are not my identity.

I used to have anxiety attacks where I would freeze in the middle of a store and mentally start freaking out about what I had done wrong. I prayed and asked God to take them from me, because I could not deal with them anymore. And He Did. It was so amazing. Thank you Lord.

I started back to school as a history education major.

I stopped drinking. It was like God just took the desire from me. I don’t miss alcohol or the clubs at all.

I believe God asked me to give up my obsession with vampires, which I had been into for a while, so I did. I got rid of all the books, movies, costumes that I had in relation to that. Then I stopped listening to secular music not long after that.

I also decided to stop chasing guys. I needed a break from guys. I made a decision to not sleep with a guy again until I was married and I wasn’t even going to let them kiss me unless we were engaged. I know it sounds drastic, but it was necessary for me.

There did come a time where I did hang out with a couple of guys as friends.

I started going to Chi Alpha, which is a Christian college ministry. I was older than many of the people there, but I enjoyed going. I made some good friends.

I think I enjoyed younger friends, because I feel like that is where I was mentally. Though I think that some of those friends were more mature than me in some aspects.

I went on a mission trip to Thailand with the church. I enjoyed that trip and the ministry experience. I grew a lot spiritually surrounding the trip.

I was hungry for God at this point in my life. I was at church/Chi Alpha whenever possible. I wanted to know more. I grew a lot spiritually, emotionally, & as a person during this time.

I have masked my emotions and still don’t let them come out often. But I did change a lot.

This is where I will stop for now. One more part to go.