Before I picked up this book, I always assumed I was more like Mary than Martha. I always thought I was the laid back one and not the go getter. But as I read through the book, I realized I was wrong. This book really opened my eyes to the ways that I am a modern day Martha. I spend time thriving and not knowing how to receive. This is so me it is crazy! I love this book. I recommend it for every woman to understand that being Martha is not a bad thing, as some people feel, but that it is the way God created us. There are so many good stories and examples of modern day Marthas. You won’t regret reading this book!!! Thank you Katie for stepping out and showing us how important it is to not shame ourselves for how we are made. You let us know that it’s ok and that we need to learn how to receive everything that Jesus has given us!!!!
Today I turn 39. Thinking back to everything I have been through, it is only God that got me through. I have Asthma and went through the first 13 years of my life where the children’s hospital was my first home. Then some of the activities and situations I got in during my mid to late teens could have brought me down. My twenties were a mixture of stress and great times. I met my husband at 20 and had to grow up a lot. I got my first apartment when I was 22 and my first home when I was 24. My nephew died when I was 25. Turning 30 was not easy for me. I was in a bad place mentally and spiritually. I put myself in situations that were very unlike me. Shortly after that, Matt and I lost both of our grandpas, whom we were close to. We went to Italy and got married in my 31st year. I had my partial hysterectomy in my 34th and my knees replacement in my 35 and 37th years. We got our new home in my 37th year. I began really listening to God and following His calling on my life in my 38th year.
Wow, it is crazy to look back and see where I have been and what I have been through. I am so grateful that God has blessed me and been with me throughout my life. I have had the most amazing people come into my life. Some were there for a time, some have been for a lifetime. I am so blessed to have my husband, dad, nephews, family, friends, church friends, social media community and work environment that I have been put in! I have felt so blessed and loved with all the well wishes in person, text, and through social media! God has a plan for my life and I am finally in a place where I can see it and am content with each part. I don’t know how long I have left, none of us do. But I know that each moment is His and meant to fulfill a plan that started even before I was born.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life so far and who will continue to be throughout the rest of my life. I love all of you.
There is part of my story that few know the whole story, but others think they know. I was watching a story of a young woman on 48 hours who went through and overcame a violent dating relationship. This is why I’m telling this part of my story.
This picture is of me when I was a sophomore in high school. I was just beginning to learn about myself. I was a varsity tennis player who loved hanging out with my girls, my best guy friends and with my dog. I had a crush on a senior in my Spanish class with piercing blue eyes. We started to talk and pretty soon he asked me out on a date. We went to see Forrest Gump. And there he asked me to be his girlfriend and of course I said yes. Things went great for awhile. But then things started going weird. The school had started having 2-hr delays and I would spend time at his place. He started to pressure me about sex and I refused. Then he started telling me I was dressing like a slut and that I shouldn’t be talking to other guys, including my guy friends who I’d been friends with for over 5 years. One day an argument happened at school where he pushed me into a locker. We started fighting a lot. He designed a symbol that was used on the shirts that year for all the grades of our mascot in a straight jacket with a ball and chain attached to the ankles. This is how he saw me. I would give into some of the things he wanted but when I wouldn’t fully he would go crazy. Eventually I broke up with him. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I was unsure about what really was going on. He tried to get me to get back together with me and I wouldn’t. One night after I came home from a basketball tryout, my mom played me a message that was scrambled and weird sounding that basically said that my mom would get killed and so would I. The sheriff’s office was called and came to my house. When they were there he called me back. I told him that I knew that I knew what he had done and that the sheriff was at my house so he needed to leave me alone.I still had to be at school in the same class with Him the rest of the year. People in the school knew what was going on and were watching out for me. I began a new relationship towards the end of school that year with someone who didn’t go to our school. I ended up going to the graduation ceremony that year because my friends and my best friend’s sister were graduating. So we cheered for her and I cheered for my friend who was also friends with him. He shot dagger eyes at me. Shortly after that he began to drive past my house yelling obscene things and throwing things at my car. I also started working at the local market that summer. He saw me and tried to run me over with his car when I was out getting grocery carts. I called the sheriff and was told there was nothing that could be done because there were no stalker laws in place at that time. I went for a long time scared that he would come around again. He eventually left me alone and moved out of town. Many of you will ask why I bring this up now 23 years later. But it is because I dealt with the hurt, the shame, the embarrassment for many years. I had to go through counseling and ruined other relationships because of this. The words that were spoken to me stayed with me for a very long time. I want people to understand how much words can really speak life or death into someone. In the last few years, I have finally allowed God’s full healing power take over when it comes to this and other areas of my life. I now want other people to know that they are not alone and that they can get through this. I may not have been perfect, but I did nothing to deserve the way I got treated, but I did deserve the full healing that I received from God.
There are some things I am sure of. I love my family, friends and fur babies. I know my age….trust me do I know that! I know that I need a vacation. I also know that God has called me to write. I have written things for years, but lost the desire many years ago. This is the year that I have been called to it. God has opened doors that I know would have never been opened on my own. He has also shut a few doors that I wished He wouldn’t have. But I know and trust that He will guide me. He has led me to write 3 articles that are coming out in the next few weeks on different outlets. He has led me to become involved in around 20 launch teams, to not only learn, but to celebrate other writers for the work they have and are doing. I have joined a group to help me to learn to become a better writer. The reason I write all of this is that I want to remember who is in charge of it all. God had placed this dream in my heart since I was a child. My love for books has been a constant, except through and for a time after nursing school. I have been through a lot in my life that I know can help other people to not feel alone. This is how I learned that I was never alone. Being able to share my experiences in this life has brought meaning and has helped me to discover my path. It is not always easy to share things, but I know that I have experienced the redemptive power of God in my life. It has brought me to a place of feeling joy, becoming brave and learning how to be a warrior.
Lying here thinking about Mother’s Day brings about lots of emotions and thoughts. One thought is something I shared in a previous blog about never being able to get pregnant and knowing that I will not get to become a mother. That is something I have had to deal with over the last 4 years since my partial hysterectomy took place. I am surrounded by so many kids and have found my place as an aunt to them. And I love them as if they were my own. I also get to be a fur baby mama and I will take it. God knows what He has in store for me and I rest in that. The other thoughts are that my mother and grandmother aren’t here. They haven’t been for 5 and 4 years. My relationship with my mom was a roller coaster that had more lows as an adult and highs as a child. My grandmother was a constant in both my childhood and adult life. She was my rock. She was there on the day I had my partial hysterectomy and the numerous procedures and discussions before and after that. She emulated the way a relationship with Jesus should be. She read her Bible and did her devotionals everyday until she just couldn’t because she wasn’t able to stay awake anymore. I miss her. I got to do so many things with her and I love looking back and thinking of those fun times. She was my best friend. God knew what He was doing even when I didn’t. He brought me back to Him through her getting cancer and getting to spend quality time with her during her last 9 weeks of life. I was with her every evening except for 1 or 2. I thank God everyday for that time because we shared so many things.
Now I deal with the feelings that come every year when people tell you happy Mother’s Day and don’t realize that it breaks your heart a little each time. They don’t mean anything by it, but it still hurts. This is not one of those “cry for me” post but I want to share about how awesome God is in every situation. He truly knows what is best for us even if we have no clue. Trust that He catches every tear and acknowledges the pain that is felt. Lean into Him and He will comfort you through all your storms and your triumphs.
Let me start off by saying, I can’t believe I am about to get this honest. Do I have your attention? I hate mirrors. I have one in every bathroom in my home. I have them in my car. And when it is dark, my windows act as mirrors. I have hated mirrors for a long time. I have struggled with that reflection for most of my life. I have felt not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, just not enough. I started having skin issues when I was a teenager and it is still there. Scars line my arms, as do new areas that come around. My chest bares this as well as my back and shoulders. These are the areas that no one sees. These are the areas that are only seen by myself and the mirrors. I see stretch marks that are from up and down weight issues that I have been dealing with for years. Also the stretch marks on my legs from an accident that made me unable to play tennis for over 6 months when I was 17. Back up to the face that still has acne…hello, does my skin realize that I am almost 39 not 16!!! And lastly the hair. The hair that is more temperamental than me! Depends on the weather, static or just because will lead to either leaving it down or putting it on a bun. The bun normally wins:).
Why did I just reveal all of this on a blog? I am wondering the same thing. It is not to lavish hate on myself or to ask for pity. I am writing this because what I see is so distorted by the descriptions of this world. Over the years, I have let the world define who I am and what I should be. But, that isn’t who I am!
God has a whole different view about me! He has one of all of us! If you have questions about it, read Psalm 139. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. He knew everything about you and I before we were born. He made us with His hands. He sees beauty when He looks at us. He sees strength, courage, heart, spirit, but most of all, He sees love. In fact He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us so we can be with Him for eternity (John 3:16). God has standards that are way above anything in this world can offer! There is so much more in His love letter to us that lets us know just how precious we are to Him.
This is what makes looking in the mirror, as I am now, easier. Will I still struggle with the body issues, yes because I am still human. But instead of the harsh words, I will choose to start repeating the following to that image. I am strong! I am brave! I am a warrior! I am loved! I am a temple of the Holy Spirit! I have the fruits of the Spirit in me! I will not be ruled by the things of this world! God has made me this way and He has done the same for everyone who may read this. Believe this! Live loved! You’ve got this because He’s got you!
It is 11:30 at night and I am sitting here in my chair, staring at my phone crying. Mourning over the loss of something I never got to experience. I know that God’s plan for my life is more than I can ever imagine, but never getting to be pregnant and have a child is something I still mourn every now and again. Someday I will write a blog post that goes deeper into my journey, but right now I just want and need to feel this. It isn’t easy to look on IG and FB and not feel a little sad for what never was. Don’t get me wrong, I am always happy and ecstatic for people when they are having their babies and I love being a part of their lives. The people who have been down my road understand. There are times I wish God would have given me one chance to become pregnant and go through that whole experience. I just have to remember Proverbs 3:5-6 and trust in God and in His ways. I think it is time for me to go to bed and hug my fur babies and love on them like a fur mama does:). Thank you for reading this:).
I have tried this blogging thing before by writing one post and then not doing anymore with it. I have began a renewed relationship with God in the last year and a half. It started when I found a book online by Nicki Koziarz called, “The 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.” It was being used a an online Bible study through Proverbs 31 ministries. This book changed the trajectory of my life. My grandmother died in October of 2014 and I knew that I wanted to start going back to church and reading my Bible again. She was a woman filled with such faith and a gentle spirit that I wanted it. She was a beautiful example of what it means to completely follow and trust God with everything. So when I began to participate in the Bible study, I found women around the world doing this study as well. I began to feel like I belonged to something. I began to feel like a community. This has continued to be the way I feel. Getting to know these women through Bible study after Bible study and life experiences has made me feel as though I am a part of something so much bigger than myself. Since then, I have been a part of multiple studies and have gained such a respect for women and where they are in life and they have gotten to see where I have been.
I have also been a part of multiple launch teams, which I love! Getting to help respected authors get their books known and out in the world is such a privilege and blessing for me. When I was growing up, I used to read all the time. When I was grounded, I didn’t care because I would have a stack of books by my bed and read all of them! I have found that joy in reading again. I have also desired to be an author. I don’t know if that is what God has in store for me, but He will let me know.
Over the last few months, I have been on a new journey with God that has included writing out my devotionals and putting my own twists on them on my social media pages. This has been something to not only discuss with others, but it has also held me accountable in my walk. I have been getting up one hour early everyday and given it to Him. #wordbeforeworld that was started by Well-Watered Women has become a mantra of sorts in my walk with God. I have also been listening to podcasts that have reminded me that I am not alone in this world and they have helped to deepen my walk with Christ.
Thank you for reading:) I’ve got this because He’s got me!!