HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Talk about RUSH!


 

E9E7AC10-FF0F-4F26-8726-C0681712CB78FMF Prompt: Rush

Go!

I just did my first FMF 31 Day Write and posted and then realized that it starts in a month! Seriously funny! I also just did, inadvertantly, my first “schedule post”. I’ve been rushing around for going on 3 weeks now. Not my usual schedule.

My usual schedule is slow and easy to non-existance. No family to care for, except for Dad, who has needed some help lately. It saddens me that we are getting there with him. But he’s up and running again. STOP!

Life for me is a series of ups and downs. Life is slow or it is a rush-rush mess. For me, it causes stress. And, more so to add to my stress the therapist says I’m suffering from PTSD. She’s diagnosing, I’m rebuking.

So I revert to my go-to scripture. God revealed it to me when I was a new baby Christian.

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” I was so relieved knowing that God would fight my battles, I just had to be quiet and still.

Still is an issue for me! Quiet is REALLY an the issue for me! I’m working on those though. My personal experiences of the last 3 1/2 years have taught not to ”not sweat the small stuff” but rather to recognize within me what the small stuff is and what it isn’t. I’ve let God fight for me, truly and I was not surprised when He was faithful. I expected him to be.

After losing my husband I reminded God that He was my Husband and I wanted Him to care for me and my life. When my son died very shortly afterward I clung to God, and while I didn’t care what He did to care for me or not I absolutely needed Him to take care OF me. Again He was faithful, though at that point of my life I expected nothing.

Like the song, You Say says…”You say I am loved when I don’t feel a thing.”

Not feeling anything remains a thing in my life. Sadly. But God…

And I believe…

So, on a whole my love is slow. No rush in anything. Sometimes the fastest thing I do is an FMF post. 🙂

Right now I am filling the slow with filling my self with knowledge and wisdom of God’ healing deep within me so that it manifested to the fullest. And a personal study of the prophetess and judge Deborah. I long to be a woman of wisdom.

What do you fill your time with when it slows down? Share with us in the comment.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read. God Bless.

 

 


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Finding my Grateful When Life is Difficult | A Tuesday at Ten Post


God,  Thank you. Love, Me.

God,
Thank you.
Love, Me.

It’s Tuesday at Ten time! And Karen’s prompt is right on time and right on the money, again!

Really, what am I grateful for … so very much!

Life is difficult here in Hutchland, and probably in your life too! Yet I remain grateful, even if I have to be reminded to count my blessings in the moment of challenge, for this life we have.

So how do I find my Grateful in times of difficulty? Here’s the story of how I keep my gratitude in order.

Like yesterday ….

I didn’t think I’d be doing much of anything today. I am tired and not feeling great after yesterday’s medical appointment adventure day! It really was a long day, with some hiccups in what we expected to be the plan, and the outcomes of the day.

Feeling great, and optimistic, when we started out on what we knew was going to be an extended day, turned into information we weren’t expecting, tests and retests and then a long drive home in quiet reflection!

LOL! Quiet reflection! Oh! I am so grateful for the humor we enjoy in this relationship of our, The Hubs and I. Somewhere along the line in our travels back and forth to appointments and chemo and radiation we saw or heard a commercial, or in a movie, that basically ended in one of the characters saying, “from now on the car will be a place of silent reflection.” So the thought of that just cracks us up!

Anyway! Back to grateful!

I’ve had several kinds of “counseling” since about the age of 19. Due to family issues, abuses and neglects in my life. From childhood and far into my adulthood. But the one form of counseling that has had the most effect on my true healing is a simple AA Beginners Learning to Live group and Step Meetings with women who think like I do and incorporates a LOT of God into it.

Over the years I have been grateful to find that AA is actually based on Christian counseling methods! It’s developed, over time, to incorporate all beliefs, but it has never denied it’s Christians roots.

The Higher Power is defined as God in all the literature. =)

All that said, I have learned, from constant consistency from my sponsor, that when I get in a REALLY bad way I need to make a GRATITUDE List.

Not too different from the guidance of the bible and probably originating there:

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16
( I have found in my studies of scripture that many of the most profound messages in the bible are in [fill in your bible book here], chapter 3 and verse 16. Seriously, has anyone else noticed this? God surely makes these things so easy for us to find!)

Gratitude … on Facebook I’ve seen, lately, the encouragement of picking and challenging friends to 5 or 7 days of posting what they are grateful/thankful for. I’ve also noticed, among my list of friends, that if one is having a hard time or has slipped into a negative rut they are especially encouraged to write this new form of the Gratitude List. What I like about that is that it makes me feel accountable to others around me.

After all I’m supposed to be shining my light and showing those around me Jesus. Well it’s hard to do that when I am overwhelmed with the world or my current circumstances. It’s hard for anyone. I have a friend on Facebook, who over the years, I have become very close to. She could be my daughter. Usually a very happy and positive lady, she’s been having a hard time with the world around her. She even made this evident this morning. Her words broke my heart for her. ” Stick a fork in me, I’m done and it really doesn’t take much these days especially in a world where you constantly being shown how worthless you are. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for SO much… it’s the rest of it I’m absolutely choking on. HAPPY MONDAY POSITIVE PEEPS!”. I began to pray for her relief from her pain. This lady will soon be back to her wonderful positive self; but it’s so evident how all of a sudden when a tragedy crops up we truly see the world as the fallen place that it is!

This life is not easy, but as humans I think we begin a slow amnesiac type of tolerance to what’s around us; and until something makes those things that we think to be important the small things that they truly are we are unable to remember what is important and to count those amazing everyday blessings that fill our lives!

But! I’ve been taught by my God and my relentless friends of like mind that that is EXACTLY the time to write that list.

A very dear friend, mentor and powerhouse in the Ministry of Prayer, reminds me and encourages me too, in this. I must say, my mentors and friends really do cause me to be so thankful to God for putting them in my life!

I have also come to see my gratitude list as a prayer of sorts, for the day or for the crisis at hand. =)

Further Instructions: Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

They say:

Just get to it! Write that list of what you are thankful for! Count those blessings! Pray! It changes one’s attitude immediately! It works!

Well it must work, it works for me. It’s guidance from the bible and from any good counselor!

So, what am I grateful for today? After yesterday and the Monday before? Here goes … 10 things I’m grateful for this week, today:

My Gratitude List

1. Those who take the time to remind me to count my blessings. Today I must thank Karen for this, and Margie, who has been doing this for over a week with me, reminding and praying for and with me.

2. That God is our healer, not the doctors.

3. That The Hubs let me know what he thought on that. He said, “It’s ok. God heals me, not the doctors or the chemo!” So grateful for his sharing how he thinks about these things! That said …

4. For good doctors and specialists.

5. That 6 weeks out, The Hubs remains in good health!

6. I am eternally grateful that God made me smart enough to realize His choice for a husband for me almost 26 years ago!

7. I am grateful for God’s faith working in me. It is my stay and fortress.

8. My crazy and odd family!

9. For my Dachshunds and the Cats that remain. Always there and always faithful!

and lastly but never leastly …

10. For this blessed life that God has provided for us here in Hutchland!

Finding the grateful in the roughness of this life is not always an easy task, but I promise you, my sweet readers, that when practiced it has a profoundly positive affect on you, your attitude and ultimately the world around you! I encourage you to join us all at Tuesday at Ten and begin that Gratitude List of yours! We are all here on the same journey. We might be at different legs of the journey but I, for one, am grateful that you are here with me and I am not alone on the path.

Blessings to YOU and thanks for reading.

ASignature

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


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Family, Relationships and Forgiveness


I started this post mid-morning, it’s now just about 5 pm est. and my day has taken this post in a completely different direction … on the same topic.

I sat on the couch this morning contemplating my responsibilities of the day, I found myself simply unmotivated. I feel as though I’ve been running on empty and I’ve become quite numb. Our life here in Hutchland has become a non-stop, runrunrun, busybusybusy blur, lately.

Family responsibilities replaced the runrunrun and busybusybusy of chemoradiation therapy’s schedule. So relaxation and quality time have not been freed up as yet, and quite frankly I am wearing thin and so is Hubs.

Boundaries were set many years ago, and they have begun to feel violated. The thing is we we’re the violators, our families are only responding to our increased involvement, and in their view things are normal.

You see, they are of the world, we are not. You know the scripture, right?

Romans:12 And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.As God’s messenger I give each of you God’s warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.

Forgiveness:

We’ve forgiven the transgressions of the past and we forgive the future. They don’t understand, they don’t understand us, really, and that’s ok; we’re here to show them who we are and by example the way we live.

I sat last night (really, from early afternoon to the night) on alternating phone calls from my mother, grandmother and sister. A family situation has upset my mother to action that has caused her illness to flare up. She has subsequently become angry with my aunt, cousins and sister (for a completely different reason, that was a bi-product of the original issue). Now my mother is relying upon me, 3,000 miles away, to be her support. And my sister, who lives in the same state as our mother; she just can’t possibly see past her own life to include the needs of her mentally challenged mother into her life, beyond her days off. It’s a rough situation that they are going to have to figure out, with a touch of encouragement from me, because I won’t allow this boundary to be violated. You see I was the one who lost her childhood to care for my ill mother and siblings for close to 40 years. It is only in the last year that my sister has been charged with helping our mother after our step-dad’s passing.

Guilt:

I often feel guilt for the way I feel inside my head, and sometime my heart, towards the needs and demands of the extended family. I guess there are still resentments because thoughts pop into my thinking; unsavory thoughts that make me uncomfortable and convicted. Guess it’s Holy Spirit reminding me again that thoughts of resentment toward them are unacceptable in the forgiveness realm. Yet my flesh rises, wondering why I must be the one; my flesh doesn’t want to be the caretaker, anymore.

Frankly my flesh, and sometimes my heart (emotions), long, desperately to be important enough to my extended family that they would step up and care for me. I mean, my husband is going through cancer treatments (and winning, thank God!), my youngest is battling (and winning, thank God) addiction and my oldest is simply struggling to get his life and career in order. Life has not been easy on us of late, but then life is hardly easy on anyone, right … yet, still my flesh rises.

But …

God made me the caretaker of the family. It has taken A LOT of forgiveness on my part to be able to handle the issues without a need for control, and thank God, because without him and a good friend/sponsor I would not be capable of this, at all.

I remind myself, regularly, that they don’t get it. They simply don’t understand my close relationship with God. So I continue to gently encourage them toward an understanding; forgiving the thoughtlessness, the accusations and the unforgiveness on their end.

If I don’t continue to live within the bubble of my (our) relationship with God I can’t do this with them. Did I already say that? Yes, it is my mantra … without God I can’t _____________ fill in the blank.

So when it comes to my family relationships, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed by their needs, I enter into God and remember this is how he built me. Whether I’m good with that or not, at the time.

So the weekend looms with much to do, and many to care for, and I thank God again that he built me for this, sometimes thankless, job. And I forgive the transgressions of others and stand behind my boundaries, should they choose to transgress.

It’s about staying in God’s will. It’s about obedience to what He has called me to do. And like forgiveness, my call is not about what the family needs, or does, or making them happy. It’s about me being who God intended me to be.

At the end of my day I want to please God. Everyone else … not so much.

Blessings and thanks for reading to my erratic posts.


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Forgetting I…in 5


Happy Friday morning my friends…We are joining Lisa-Jo for her 5 minute friday challenge.

So if you have 5 minutes in your very busy day. I invite you to join us…Follow the links I’ve provided (there are 3) to go and link your 5 minutes post over at the Gypsy Mama blog

Got five minutes? Here’s a great way to spend them.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat without editing your voice.
2. Link back here
and invite others to join in.
3. Pony up the comment
love
for the five minuter who linked up before you.

READY???

Share your best, unedited 5 minutes …

...on the edges

On Forgetting…GO!

I forget sometimes…don’t you. My thoughts float away from me more frequently these days it seems.

Distractions…

Sometimes I think it may be the medications from the Heart Event almost a year ago, next week. Sometimes I think…the hormones are changing…it’s that season.

Sometimes it worries me…I forget what day in June my anniversary is. My husband finds this amusing. I forget the what of why I walked in the room…

There is something…what…where…and then there is the HOW…

How does life become so stressed and so busy that the human memory wears thin to spilling? And, yet, it seems that what falls through the slats of this mind are the little things…

a dentist appointment with the hubby

the milk while shopping…I literally forget 3 to 4 things, important but little things, at the grocery, often!

Forgetting the I….

If only I could forget what I think is important…and focus on what it is that is important to God

a friend posted this yesterday on their FB status:

Is what’s important to you important to God?  This is the benchmark for every believer to live by. ~Unknown Author

What I’m forgetting is the little things…forgetting because my focus is on the importance of getting through a day…getting where the I of Me wants to be, rather than living in the NOW of the day God has provided.

Maybe if I thought, “well is the milk so important to what God would have me do today?”, and realize that if it was He would have made sure I got it, then I wouldn’t be so stressed unto…

FORGETTING!

STOP! 

Now for a 1 minute cheat…there is a Forgetting that is biblical…and oddly it helps me reconcile putting aside all of the things I didn’t remember to do today…

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:13-14

I practice daily to accomplish this type of forgetting. God’s rules on what to forget…

Blessings Loves!

♥ ♥ ♥


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Being Still and Knowing God is God No Matter Where I Am in Me.


As I stand at the center of my chaotic life, I wonder…

with amazement that there is a calm. Yet I wander off kilter from time to time, causing the unsettling symptoms of vertigo. Standing, unsteadily , as the camera pans in ever quickening and expanding circles, my stomach turns over and over with the stress of it all. “STOP!” my overburdened mind begs. ” I want off of  this carnival merry- go- round!” As I look down at myself at the center of it all, I realize  it is  not a harmless merry-go-round, but the terrifying heights of the  ferris wheel, creeking and groaning, stuck at the very top and the vertigo sways my stomach once again.

So much has occured this summer. Illness, captivity, lonliness, frustration, loss, and anger, always anger, tempered somehow with joy, success, fellowship and healing. Like I said chaios.  

So why is my life this way? Why does this part of the transition of my life seem so very unstable? I don’t know, but this lack of control over my own life is testing me to my very core. Coming from a middle aged woman who has survived so much abuse and adversity that is saying a lot.

I know that I have been given all the things necessary for life and Godliness, that I have been given all things necesary for life and life more abundantly. I have and enjoy the very favor of God.  So I guess it’s the Godliness that I am learning here…because life is what it is, one must just flow and remain in Christ to endure that.

What exactly is Godliness? Let’s be honest only God, and Jesus, because He was God, even while on the earth, are capable of true Godliness!

Godliness is denoting character and conduct determined by the principle of love or fear of God in the heart, is the summing up of genuine religion. There can be no true religion without it: only a dead “form” (2 Timothy 3:5).

Numbers 14:24 “my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” Caleb is a portrait of Godliness; and there were many, He trusted God and moved forward in that. I relate to Caleb, I was even told, by my first Pastor, that I had his tenaciousness very early in my walk. No matter what I pride myself on doing what I know to do, whether I feel it or not, whether it appears to be working or not. God is God, no matter my circumstance…that is the mantra. That is the Truth of the matter.

Godliness is equated to living as closely as one can to God’s Word. I try, but at times like this, when I weary and am too alone, all of the time, I waiver. It’s okay, right? I mean God made me who I am and I am only human, so it’s okay to let go sometimes and just wallow in my sorrow and mire. Right? right? feel sorry for myself and my situation…No. It isn’t alright. It isn’t Godliness, it isn’t even trying.

The bible says that God’s grace is enough for me. I say God’s grace is enough for me, so I stand back up…like in Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 2:1 and 2 “…He said to me, “Son of man, stand up, and I will speak to you.” As he spoke to me, the Spirit entered me, stood me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.”

I’ve stated here, many times, that I am blessed to audibly hear the Lord. Call me crazy, many do, but one thing you  cannot prove to me, you cannot take from me, is that I hear God. No one can take that from me, no one. So I can relate to that scripture.When I stand firm God speaks to me, clearly. 

God’s voice is peaceful and calm, described poetically in the bible, as that “still small voice”.

In fact God is the very origin of peace and calm; still (whisper/calm) small (fine) voice (noise).

When I am anxious, fearful or angry, the voice yelling in me is not God (trying to get my attention), he does not operate that way. The noise in my head is probably me, preventing myself from hearing from God. The Word says he does not leave nor forsake us, so in these times when we feel seperated from God, we aren’t. We just are not calm enough or peaceful enough to hear Him!

In 1 Kings 19 God showed up to speak to Elijah. You see Elijah was running from Jezabel who had vowed to kill him, lets just relate Jezabel to life’s struggles, he was tired and emotionally spent and said to God: “I’ve had enough now Lord. Take my life! I’m no better than my ancestors.” and with that he lay down under a tree and slept.

Sounds very much like life got the best of him. Seems fear, depression and discouragement got the best of good ole Elijah! Much like in our walk through the more difficult, even tragic circumstances of life. Later after an angel ministered to him and he traveled for 40 days it was then  God spoke to Elijah, and Elijah could finally hear His voice.

Isn’t that the truth. When I indulge in depression and discouragement they take over and the experience for many can be quite a long time. Well in that time God does bring help, but because we have submitted to the sin, it takes time for the ministering to get through. More often than not because we are quite finished with our pitty party. Thank goodness our God is faithful to finish the work He began in us.

So the Lord said to Elijah, “Go out and stand in front of the Lord on the mountain.” As the Lord was passing by, a fierce wind tore mountains and shattered rocks ahead of the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. And after the fire there was a quiet, whispering voice. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his coat, went out, and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then the voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

You see, even Elijah, a mighty man and prophet of God got bogged down by fear and depression…and if you read 1 Kings 18 you will come to know that this was immediately, IMMEDIATELY after a great victory for Elijah. The decent was that fast!

At the end of the day Elijah was a man, like you and I; there is even scripture that says exactly that. Even Jesus, while here on earth, experienced the human feelings and constraints we experience in our day to day lives. We see Him cry out to Father God in the garden of Gethsemane, to remove the burden He is bearing.

Both men though, Elijah slowly, and Jesus immediately were calm and heard from God. In the peace and calm that we develope within a God reverential lifestyle we can not only hear, but understand and accept the processes of our growth in Christ.

So why is my life so frustrating right now? Healing in my body and apparently other areas of my life is taking place. I am learning to live and function on another level. I am learning to rely solely upon God for my life, my Godliness and my abundance. So I’m guessing that I have to be content with my life as it is now because it will lead to the desires of my heart, where I will be more fruitful for the kingdom.

Life is not fair. I dread the lonliness and detest the emotions and weakness therein that I feel too often. I am frustrated by the captivity of no car and restricted health (although both are very, very temporary).

So I stop, gather my wits and begin again. I will learn to be content with where I am in life and in Christ, so that I can have the fullness of the Godliness that God has for me.

I wrote this awhile back:

Selah
“The peaceful, silent pause, in the music of my life, wherein I hear God.” ADH™

That is where I need to learn to be…in that silent pause…<3

Blessings Loves