A Purpose Lies Ahead…

I wanna say a little something real quick.

While working out earlier it hit me that some times in life we get in places where we can’t see past where we are currently at. Especially when those places are painful. When we don’t know which way is up or down & we can’t seem to claw our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in. It can get hard & tunnel vision becomes a real thing.

I’ve been there. As I’m sure most people have been. — Once upon a time I couldn’t see how or why in the world I was ever going to make it. It’s now years later… & I can see it.

I used to think there was no hope. I used to think that I was so incredibly broken that I would forever be in pieces. I couldn’t understand why in the world God would have me here, on this Earth, so shredded & torn apart. & I used to ask Him, why? Not why am I in pain or why is this misery in my life… but why am I here at all when this place is breaking me & I could be with You instead? Because I knew back then.. Ya know, this is a fallen world & full of sin & it’s bound to be a hard place to be sometimes. So that’s not the question I had for Him when asking why… it was why am I here, rather than why does it hurt so much.

In those moments, when I was lost in my own misery, He would always show up. Never giving up, never quitting on me. He would show up with an I love you, it’s going to be alright, I’m with you, you’re not alone. But I would still struggle with the why.

Because I could never see past the pain. I couldn’t see down the road, to the future. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. Or even a light at the end of the tunnel. It appeared to be darkness ahead.

All I saw was my shattered soul & broken spirit. A girl getting swallowed up by the world.

All those years ago I asked why. I begged & I pleaded. Why? But there was so much pain & turmoil I couldn’t see through it.

God has a plan for my life. It made zero since to me back then. I couldn’t fathom how that girl, who she was all those years ago… how she would possibly fit into any plans He had. So it didn’t make sense & I couldn’t see it.

But I can see it now. Because that girl… she fought, clawed, & climbed her way out of the darkness. (Slowly & not of her own strength, mind you.) — & when she came out on the other side… she was no longer the same person. She could see.

Every day I still fight the good fight, trying to keep my head up above the water. I keep moving forward, little by little. Good days & bad days, doesn’t matter, I keep fighting. Because I know why now. & because I know why… the will to fight doesn’t come from just trying to survive anymore… it comes from knowing that God has a plan & a purpose for me & my life & I have to keep moving forward to execute it.

So to anyone out there who reads this… God has a purpose for you. Whether you can see it or not… it’s true. So if you ever find yourself where I once was, feeling like you’re lost & you can’t figure out why in the world you’re here. That’s why. — & it’s a beautiful reason to be here. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lies I Told…

I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I don’t care if they think I’m not good enough. I don’t care if they think I’m stupid. I don’t care if they think I’m ugly. I don’t care if they think I’m pathetic or embarrassing myself every time I speak. I just plain don’t care what a single soul thinks of me.

& I just lied.

I care. I care very much & it’s one of my biggest problems.

I hear people say what I just said, how they don’t care what anyone thinks of them, and I wish I could say it with as much certainty as they do. I can’t though.

I care when someone thinks ill of me or little of me. I care if they think I’m unattractive or unintelligent. I care. It matters to me. It bothers me & that’s a problem. One that I need to solve.

Because while I care & while it bothers me… one thing remains the same…. it does not matter what anyone thinks of me… unless I allow it to matter.

I believe it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (It was, I looked it up! 😀 ) & she was entirely correct.

Lately I (& God) have been working on me. Losing weight, exercising regularly, building myself up, working on the negativity that tumbles around in my head & turning it into something better, something positive & honest. Something worthwhile. I’ve been battling out the negativity I feel towards myself at times. The low self-confidence & feelings of not being quite good enough. They’ve ruled the roost, so to speak, for a long time. & I’m a work in progress.

I still care what people think of me. Too much. & I have to find a way to, simply put, just not care.

If someone doesn’t like me… oh well. If they think I’m a big ol dummy.. Okay, good for them, moving along. If they think I’m not worthy of them… cool, whatever… you do you, Imma do me. — I have to find a way to make this my reality. — If someone just does not like me, I have to be okay with that. & not let it turn into something ugly that seeps into my soul & convinces me that I should feel bad about myself because so & so says so.

It doesn’t matter what so & so says or thinks or anything else. I have to hold on tight to what I know. It matters what God thinks & it matters what I think. I line up with what He thinks, we’re on the same page. Every one else can go on thinking or saying whatever they want. It’s irrelevant. I know this… but I have to believe it, even in those moments when I can feel that negativity trying to creep in. I have to stand with what I know matters. & the negative opinions of other people are not what matters.

So I’m going to keep inching forward, little by little, til I get there.

In fact, some lady gave me some ugly looks at the eye doctor’s office last month (my mom was with me & says she thinks the lady didn’t like my shorts. Which were appropriate mind you, I’m not about to wear booty shorts up in the eye doctor’s office. Especially not mine.. he has crosses & bible verses hanging on the walls. Jesus is all over that room! I mean, come on, that’d be awkward! Jesus, The eye doctor, me, & some booty shorts all in the same room? I don’t think so! 😀 ) Anyhow, that lady looked right at me all rude & such. & at first I looked away cause it made me uncomfortable… & then I was like, no. I didn’t do anything to her. — So instead I looked her straight in the eye, like I got your number lady & I don’t care, & then I proceeded to walk around with my head held high like I owned the place. 😀 — She only got to make me feel inferior if I let her. & I didn’t.

Now I just have to apply that to my entire life! All the time.

Work in progress. 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Went Somewhere With This…

Ya wanna know the one thing I dislike more than most things? & before I get to that… just let me say that I dislike a lot of things. Hot weather, bacon, (which some would say makes me un-american.. 🙂 ) scary movies, animal abusers, heavy metal music, going to the dentist, terrorists… I mean… the list could go on & on. — But at the very top of it, there is one thing I dislike more than most things…. & that is a hateful christian that uses the name of Jesus to justify their hatred.

I want to say real quick, right here, before anyone misunderstands…. I’m not saying that I expect people to be perfect. I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t screw up… we do, we will…. it’s part of being human. — I’m only talking about the ones that beat other people into the ground over their sins…. and claim it’s because God tells them too. — There is a difference.

I can be a hateful person.. and I am talking about myself personally right now. I can be mean. I can be petty.. I can be judgmental. I can decide that someone is sinning far worse than I am. I can put the spite in spiteful when I so choose. I can take “I am right & you are wrong” to a ridiculously condescending level. I can show people unkindness when I’m angry or disagree with them. I can do all these awful things. & I am guilty of doing so on many occasions. I am not perfect & I am well aware of it every single day. But here’s the thing….

I own that… I own up that I am a flawed human being because I am not perfect. I own my weaknesses & am aware that hate can pour out of me sometimes. But here’s the thing… I’m not going to give God the credit for those things. If I show hate to another human being in any form… I am not about to put that on God.

I don’t expect people to be perfect, but when someone fails to walk in love, and we all will time and time again, I also don’t expect them to give God the glory and credit for actions rooted in hatred. That’s a human failing, not his.

It angers me that there are christians that quote the bible word for word, but look down on someone who lands in prison…. because God says so. That there are christians that spout about their christianity all the time, but shun their families should they sin differently from them… because their bible says they must. That there are christians that sit in church & preach compassion, but then lack that very same compassion for people on the outside of their circles… because God says their way or no way.

It makes me angry because people are getting hurt. People that don’t know God are watching & they are forming opinions & making decisions about Him based off these sorts of things. They are doing God a disservice & an injustice. — They are telling a world full of people that God is not love. They are saying to the world, He loves you if… He loves you when… — He loves you… if you walk, and talk, and think like we do. As if His love, compassion, and kindness are conditional. When they are no such thing. — He loves you… period.

It drives me insane… but I’ve recently realized some things…. I said I was going somewhere with this… so here it goes….

 

 

I can speak up about Him. I can be kind and compassionate. To the ones they steer clear of, I can welcome with open arms. Every day, every word, every action I take… I can walk in love. — That’s what I can do. That’s who I can be. That’s what I can focus on.

What I realized was that it’s not about them. I’ve been so focused on them… that I missed that point entirely. They’re not my concern. What they do…. is their business. What I do.. is mine.

God has been working some serious overtime on this. It’s been a big hurdle for me. I think we’ve finally come out on the other side. We had to get passed the hatred I was harboring. Then we had to get passed my inability to overlook how families & friends just let that sort of behavior slide right on by. In the end, the last piece of that puzzle… I had to realize that it wasn’t my concern. I get no say in how others choose to live their lives… free will is free will.

It doesn’t mean I have to agree with them… because that’s not happening. It just means I have to stay in my lane.

It’s not about them. It’s never been about them. There’s an antithesis to that sort of hate… and it’s love. God is love and so long as I strive to do all things in love… I’ll be showing God everywhere I go & in everything I do. Love wins out over hate every time. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, it does. — I’m not perfect, I know it, and I won’t always get it right. But that’s okay. — I’m going to try.

I spent so much time giving people like this too much of my time & energy. Too many of my thoughts and too many of my words.

There’s a peace that comes with knowing that their words and their actions are not my concern & that anything they say or do is entirely irrelevant to me.

My job is not to police anyone else. It’s not theirs either. It’s God’s. I no longer want any part of it.

I just want to do what God needs me to do, stay in my lane, and keep moving forward.

I’ve been so worried about the damage that this sort of thing does to people, instead of focusing on the ability of God’s love to repair that damage. — I realized that’s what I need to be about.

It’s a far cry from where I was.

You may have even noticed that the tone of the first part of this post was a little different than the second half. — That’s because the first half was written 5 months ago… and it had a slightly different ending. — Mostly that I needed to let it go & be the opposite of them. — Which is still true… but it was slightly more hostile because I was still struggling very hard with it. — I’m not anymore.

This has been heavy bondage that’s been weighing me down… and I finally broke free. (Okay… God sprung me from this prison, let’s be real, jail break! lol.)

I used to feel anger, rage, and irritation. It used to consume me. But now…. I don’t feel any of that. — Don’t get me wrong… I still don’t like that this happens and I still don’t like that there are people that do this. But…. it doesn’t eat away at me anymore.

I’ve come a long way y’all. This post started somewhere else, written by someone with an entirely different attitude… than where it ended up. — I was on my way here at the time & had made some progress… but it took months to evolve all the way to this.

That’s God. All God. Every bit of it.

I thought about deleting this post altogether…. and then decided it’s a great example of God repairing damage done by hatred. I let it seep into my soul… and He took it out… & then replaced it with something far greater.

So it stays.. 🙂
Love you guys!

 

Well This Gets Embarrassing…

Ay-Yo! 😀

So I wanna tell y’all about all the neat things I have learned from this whole weight loss/exercise journey. Things I have learned about myself… Also there may be things you will learn about me here that may entertain you to no end… who knows?! (Me! I know. Just don’t go telling everybody..  it’ll be our little secrets!)

So here’s a thing… if there were ever a class that someone wanted to offer to people about quitting & not following through with things… they would hire me to teach it. & they would definitely have themselves quite the qualified instructor. I could teach you all about it. Except…. let’s be real.. I’d probably quit.

So now that we’ve established that I almost never follow through with things I start. I would like to explain that low self-confidence & fear of failure are the number 1 reasons that I’d be perfect for such a position. Of course, that’s also why I wouldn’t be too! — (You see what I’m working with here? I’m a hot mess. — Literally, I live in the south… it’s hot here. 😀 )

Anyhow… I said all that to say this… I have not quit this time. — One day, back in February, I asked myself… what are you doing? Why are you not fighting for more out of life? & I knew the answer. It’s the same ol narrative it’s always been. I am too afraid. I am scared & I don’t believe in myself. — & there was something that just sorta hit me like a ton of bricks.. ( Prolly Jesus tbh… tho… I mean.. I’m sure He wouldn’t actually swing a sack of bricks at me… tho… I won’t test it.. I can be a real pain. You can ask my mom.. she would back me up on that one, I have no doubt. 😀 )

If I don’t make a single move to do anything worthwhile at all, if I stay right where I am…. I lose. If I make moves, aim for something worthwhile, refuse to stay where I am… I could still lose…. but it wouldn’t be without a fight. I wouldn’t just lay down & die like I’ve been doing. & I stand more chances to come out on the other side if I make the effort to do so. As long as I’m stalled, here where I’m at, I’m done for… & it’s not because I didn’t fight for more or push forward… it’s because I let the fear of failure determine my future… I let the idea of failing cause the very failure I dreaded. — & in that moment, on February 16th, 2018 (Yes, we have a date to go with this pivotal moment 🙂 )… I chose to make a move.

You see earlier that same day I got dressed & my jeans were too tight & I was all like, I need to go shopping & get me some new jeans. Bigger jeans. (Because who doesn’t love having to size up? Me… it’s me, I don’t. ) — But then I decided to make a move & new just where I was going to start. With myself. The me that I let go because I felt I had no purpose & was already defeated. That person needed to learn to fight for herself. — Which she did.

It is now over 3 months later, I have lost 25 lbs.. (Okay.. 24… but seriously… it’s much more fun for me to round up. 🙂 ) I exercise every day & I love it. I drink more water a day than I used to drink in a week. I quit soda. (mostly… I do have like a small can on occasion. The little 90 calorie cans, you know the ones. The ones you see in the grocery store & you’re like… it’s only 50 cents cheaper than the 12 pack, might as well just get the 12 pack, more for my money. — Yeeaaahh, I did that too. Now I just get less for my money & less coke… I’m not sure I’ve won anything here… but oh well! 😀 ) I live & breathe calorie management.. I literally do math every day… & I don’t even like math. —

Sometimes I wanna be lazy.. & I have to push myself to get up & get down to some Toby Mac. That’s right… I dance. I haven’t mentioned that part yet… but I’m not a runner, or a walker, or a workout video follower… I’m a dancer. & to be honest with you… when I say I’m a dancer what I mean is that I’m a dancer at heart. On the inside. On the outside… I can’t promise I don’t look like some sort of discombobulated chicken? I also try to sing while I dance.. & I can’t hardly breathe.. & so my mean ol Husband (Not really… he’s my favorite & I adore him.) records me at the door & giggles about it later.  I mean I don’t know. I have no rhythm. I’m not very coordinated. & not sure you’d want me to dance at your wedding… but it works! & it’s fun & makes me feel alive. So imma keep rolling with it.

I rambled on about all of that to say this… for the first time in my life I have learned so much about perseverance, determination, motivation, & pushing myself when those very things fail me. I have pushed myself 10 more minutes, only ate 10 chips at the mexican restaurant.. 10! That’s all I could have. Used to eat half a basket & come to find out 20 chips is around 300 calories. Say what?! That’s just a free appetizer? Can’t even have more than 10 chips! That is dedication if I ever saw it, I tell you. I am dedicated, can’t say I’m not! 😀 )

I fight for it every day. & I stick with it even when it’s hard & when it’s not fun. Like when I raked leaves til I had blisters (cause I don’t rake leaves on the regular & my husband informed me an hour & a half in that gloves would prevent blisters… ohhhhh, now you tell me. I just wanted to burn some calories… not my skin!) Or when I shoveled dirt & came inside later covered in bug bites. (the prices I have paid, I tell you, for trying to spice up some calorie burning.)

The thing is, as hilarious as it has been sometimes, I have pushed, I have fought, I have kept going… even when the guy at the register of the fast food place was like, but the burger is going to cost you the same price with or without the fries, you sure you don’t want the fries? — Yeah, I’m sure. — But it’s the same price… I can just give you the fries too.. — nope, I’m good. — But it’s the same price?! — Sweet Lord, get behind me satan! No seriously tho..  I know he was just trying to be nice & help me out. — But I stuck to it. When I could have easily said, ya know what… yeah.. might as well. & ate them anyhow. But I didn’t. & I’m sure that lovely employee thinks I’m a loon. But that’s okay! I was determined to stick with it… & I did.

I have stuck with it since the beginning. I have made so much progress. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally… it’s been life changing. It may seem small to some, I’m sure. But for me…. it was a huge leap & something I was afraid I would fail at. But I’m still here fighting the good fight. Confusing restaurant workers & embarrassing myself in the name of exercise. 😀

There’s no going back now! You guys are all just going to have to buckle up because you’re along for the ride… 😀

 

 

Read This… Pretty Please? :)

Haven’t been on here in ages. Just went scrolling through my old blog posts… reading & such… after a while I was like… wait.. I wrote this? Holy crap… I can write! — Haha!

Cause we all know writers are their own worst critics & after writing things wonder if it was a big mistake that made about zero sense. Turns out…. I’m pretty good. (takes moment to pat self on back 😀 )

So now that that’s over…. all that humble “go me” stuff & such.. I have stuff to tell you all!

First… I made lifestyle changes. We all know that means someone went on a diet… amiright? But seriously…. I did! I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle change tho… cause I can’t go back to what I was doing before. It’s why I needed to lose 30 lbs to begin with. — Anyhow… I don’t drink soda very often anymore… water is my primary source of hydration beverages. & surprisingly (Okay.. it surprised me.. maybe it won’t y’all.) I don’t even crave coke anymore. I used to drink it every single day. Waaaaaayy more of it than I should have been too. Anyhow… not the case anymore. — Water, water, water! (Tho every once in a while I do have a little coke. A treat, if you will. )

Lifestyle changes continued: I exercise! Every. Single. Day. — Without fail! — (Okay, mostly without fail. I have skipped a day here or there… but it’s rare & I usually replace it with some other calorie burning activity when I do. — I’m no slacker! ( she says as she conveniently ignores that she’s a slacker in regards to things like writing consistently..  😀 . Moving on… — Coupled with this… I watch my calorie intake & make sure I burn more than I consume on the daily. — For real… I have notebooks & every thing. All of this is written record.

Anyhow.. Started this in February.. It’s May… I’ve lost 25 lbs! (Okay it’s technically 24 lbs.. but come onnnnn…. I’m right there… just let me have it.. ;D )

Also.. I love exercising! I get super cranky if I have to go several days without doing so. (Which did happen when I tweaked my knee a few weeks ago… I was one big ol’ grump!) Anyhow…. Once I’ve lost all I intend too..  I’ll just change-up the calorie intake… burn the equivalent through regular exercise as often as possible & drink water… cause.. well.. I like it… & my body thanks me. lol! — So yeah.. that’s fun stuff, right? —

Ohh… btw.. I’ve always had slightly bigger ears than I wanted growing up. Not super big… but bigger than I would have preferred. You know, as a young lady. Anyhow.. I noticed last night… like.. why are my ears so noticeable all of a sudden? They seem to pop a little more in the mirror… what’s happening? & then it dawned on me… my face is thinner, my neck is thinner…. anddddd my ears are the same as always… just now they are like hey, here we are. You forgot about us because we blended in.. but now we stand out. Lookie lookie! — Yeah… that’s a thing for me now. But luckily… I’m an adult now… & way less self-conscious about them than I used to be. So we’re just gonna roll with it… the price you pay, I say.

Moving on…

Imma start writing again. I’ve really been focused on a better me. Like.. mentally, emotionally, & physically. All this exercise & losing weight & being healthy… has also been coupled with working on a better head space. A more confident me. A me that believes in me & invests in me. So I intend to roll back in with the writing also.

After reading through some of my blog posts there are several that I know good & well I didn’t share on the Facebook because I didn’t want to ruffle feathers or offend anyone. I’m a peace keeper, I am. But.. peace keeper or not… I fully intend to share them. I write. It’s what I do. If someone doesn’t like what or how I write… that’s their problem.. not mine. (Seeeeee… look at all the personal growth!) 🙂 — It’s the water… all the wisdom.. comes from the increased water intake, I’m sure.. 🙂

Anyhow.. this is already too long! So… lovely chatting with you all… talk soon! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Not Everything Changes..

I recently moved about an hour from the town I’ve lived in my entire life.

Bought a house, moved further away from family, shop in completely different towns now. Every thing is different. There is so much change. — & I am a creature of habit for sure.

It’s been stressful. It’s been strange. it’s been fun & exciting too… there are pros and cons galore. Our dog has been adjusting… she is also a creature of habit. She’s now a bigger baby than she was before… tho I didn’t think that was possible before now.. ;). Life’s just been different.

I used to live out in the country. No neighbors nearby. Now I live.. well, still sorta out in the country… just in a subdivision with a ton of neighbors. They are lovely people… but it’s still different for someone who has never really had so many people around all the time.

Back at my old home.,.. I used to sit outside at night, under the stars, in the dark… turn some music on, close my eyes, & let all of the stress and anxieties of life just slip away for a while. — It has always been my de-stresser. The one thing that kept me going when life got tough. Somehow.. it just does wonders for my soul. I always feel more at peace afterwards. It’s my thing. 🙂

Since I moved… oh, like 4 months ago, that has not happened. Not even once. Suddenly there are neighbors every where… I don’t want to disturb them somehow… I also watch a lot of Dateline… & well… I don’t want to show up on an episode of that… lol. So I just haven’t bothered to sit outside at 2 am cause.. well, it’s all so different here.

Tonight tho… I did just that. Went outside, popped my headphones in, leaned back in a chair, & let all my worries wash away for a while.

It was fantastic. Absolutely amazing. & Oh how I had missed it so much.

Sometimes things all around us change. Life becomes different & unfamiliar. We create new normals & move in all sorts of directions. It’s always full of happiness & excitement… but it also has it’s downsides… it can be uncomfortable & difficult too. But when everything around you changes… there are still some things that will always stay the same.

For me.. that’s washing away stress under the stars after midnight. For you, I’m sure it’s something else entirely. But it’s nice… that despite all the changes in life… some things are just a part of who we are. 🙂