Monday, September 23, 2013

Everything's changing

Why is it that the things that used to be so important to me no longer are?

I knew my life was changing.... but I didn't realize to what extent. I'm no longer the same person I was a few short years ago. My family, surroundings and priorities have all changed dramatically.

Before if I had a weekend to myself I would plan a trip to go see my girlfriends from college to relive the good old days. Now when I have that weekend to myself I drive to church meetings in far off places.

Before I would sleep till I absolutely had to get up in order to get the kids to school on time. Now I wake up more than an hour early so I can read my bible before the boys get up.

Before I was one person on Sunday mornings and someone completely different the rest of the week. Now I can't stand being that different person throughout the week, and am trying my hardest to not have that split personality.

I don't mean to say these things for recognition or a pat on the back.... Trust me, I'm just as surprised as the next guy. I'm just totally amazed at how God is working in my life. I mean, seriously... I just passed up turning on my Pandora to listen to a sermon on the internet. I would say I don't know who I am anymore, but that wouldn't be the truth. I actually feel more like myself than I ever have before in my life. I don't know what is to come, or what other changes I will go through, but I'm not worried. I know God is with me every step of the way, guiding me in the right direction. That's a comforting thought for someone who doesn't like change.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Self esteem

I'm trying to figure out what exactly self esteem is. Is it pride? Is it being conceded? Is it selfish to feel good about yourself? How do you be humble and still have self esteem? Does that combination even exist?

I was married to someone who did nothing but bring down my self esteem. I would constantly take hits or digs about things I wasn't good at or didn't do right. I often got yelled at. I was constantly reminded that I was lucky to be with him. Or he would feel the need to remind me I wasn't as smart as he was. I don't think it was technically verbal abuse... but it hurt nonetheless.

Sometime I wonder how I put up with it.

But then I realize how... It was because I vowed to.

These days I'm starting to feel better about myself, to an extent. But sometimes it's still hard for me to imagine what it is that I could offer someone.

When you hear the negative for so long it makes it hard to hear positive things about yourself. I have wonderful friends who are constantly reminding me of my good qualities. It's a blessing. I hope I can one day believe them. When I first started this journey of being divorced, all I wanted was to be married again. That was what I knew. That was how I wanted things to be again. I would even start to think that I could settle for someone that wasn't perfect just to get me back in my familiar territory.

Thankfully the Lord knows what I need more than I do. He knew I needed time to myself. He knew I needed to get my priorities straightened out.

The more I think about what I want out of marriage the more selfish I feel. Before I approached marriage as "what can I do for you, and how can I love you more." But I never got very much in return. I still want to approach marriage with that attitude, but I am craving that feeling in return. I want to be loved and doted over and made to feel like they are the lucky one to have me in their life. I want someone that knows every fault I have and that still loves me in spite of them - without holding them over my head. My marriage before was give, give, give. I need to have that returned to me. If I don't have that in return it's just not worth it to me.

These jumbled thoughts are in my prayers this evening.... Thankfully I have a God that can understand my prayers even when they are jumbled.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

...that warm fuzzy feeling...

This weekend was a church meeting that was held at my home church. People came from many different states to be with us. Some I hadn't seen in a long time, and some that I see every week.

I was blessed to be a part of this wonderful meeting. There was beautiful singing, wonderful preaching and fellowship from people near and far. But for me the thing that stuck out the most were the sweet words of encouragement from those that I love.

Words that will stick with me for days and years to come...

My situation has been very delicate, to say the least. I'm thankful to be at a point where I'm not only over the past, but my friends, family and acquaintances are over it as well. That's an important thing. Just because I'm over something doesn't mean I can go up to someone I barely know and make jokes about it. It doesn't work that way. I have to be respectful of the time frame it takes for a painful situation to blow over.

I'm thankful I have finally come to that point. I feel like the weirdness is over. I can finally be myself without feeling like I'm the elephant in the room that everyone must tip toe around. I feel like I'm back to being a part of everyone. I'm back to normal. It's such a wonderful feeling.

I still understand, though, that I'm different. I've been through something that most of the people in my church will (thankfully) never have to endure. So, even though I feel like I fit in, I know I'm not like everyone else.

I'm ok with that.

I'm ok with it because I can feel the love and acceptance from those I love. I can feel that I no longer have to be tip toed around. People feel comfortable approaching me to give me words of encouragement. People feel comfortable about coming up to me and telling me that they pray for me... or that they admire me. What wonderful words to hear from someone. I can't think of a greater honor in life than to have someone pray for me. It brings tears to my eyes to think of it. The thought of someone kneeling down at night to talk to God, and I'm on their heart. I'm one of the people they talk to God about. What a blessing it is to have so many wonderful people in my life.

I also had someone tell me today that they admire me.... What??? It doesn't feel right to be told that. It was wonderful to hear, but I'm just like everyone else. I don't feel worthy of admiration. If I'm doing anything that would make someone look at me that way, then they should give God the glory for it. I know I haven't done anything to feel worthy of admiration on my own. The only good that comes from me is what God leads me to do.

I'm so blessed. I'm so honored to be a part of the best church on earth. THE church, the only church that is true and of the Lord.

How was I picked to be the daughter of Primitive Baptists? Something that happened by chance has been the most amazing thing in my life.

I am so blessed, and I hope others in my church realize that they are too. Don't take church for granted. Drink it up, soak it up like a sponge. Make it the most important thing in your life. Don't just assume that it will always be there. Do your part to make sure that it will be.

What a wonderful weekend. I want to hold onto this feeling and never let it go.

My heart is very full tonight.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The first hurdle

I have many hurdles ahead of me when it comes to teaching the boys about God and faith. I know it's not going to be easy, especially if their Dad has anything to say about it. But, if I can keep him out of the issue then my job won't be as hard.

You see, sometime during our marriage he figured out, or decided, that he was an atheist. He stopped going to church with me, and turned his back on religion altogether. He mocked me when I would try to teach the boys about God, and he would get annoyed if I prayed before a meal or read bible stories to them.

So you see why this is going to be an uphill battle....

The first hurdle, to me, is belief. If I can just get the boys to believe that there is a God, I will achieve that first hurdle. Once that is established I can move onto teaching them about faith and following after Christ. The good part is, I think I'm just about there. I try to find at least one situation everyday that I can incorporate God into our conversations. The more tangible - or available - I can make Him, the more they will believe. I try to tell them when God doesn't like their behavior. We thank God when one of us was watched over in a certain situation, and ask Him to help when we have problems.

This may seem like pretty simple stuff for an 8 and 5 year old, but given our 'previous life' we are basically having to start from scratch.

Thankfully, I think they are starting to catch on.

Tonight at supper we were talking about a loved one who has passed away, and my oldest said to his brother "It's ok, we'll see him again when we die and go to Heaven." And the good part about siblings is, the younger follows the older in everything. I hope that is the case when it comes to believing in God.

I pray I'm over my first hurdle.

Now on to the next...