Monday, October 19, 2015

I love Jesus but I drink a little

For about 4 years I've been having this internal battle over drinking alcohol.  I hate even writing that because it sounds so goody two-shoes.  And I am just not that.  But it's real so I'll write on.  I'm not an alcoholic.  I don't crave it, except for maybe around my period or on a particularly stressful day.  I just love the taste of beer.  I like to try new kinds and I love going to breweries would love to even work at one because it just looks fun.

But I feel stuck in this certain place in life.  I don't know how else to describe it other than stuck.  I mean life keeps moving forward but I feel like I'm at a standstill inside.  It was about 4 years ago I heard that Whisper say, "I want you to stop drinking. Period."  I just didn't even want to hear that.  Because beer is tasty and sometimes drinking is fun and sometimes it helps me connect with people.  But I thought I would try it, so I did.  I'd give it up, feel really good, kinda miss it, a stressful day would come or a party where everyone else was drinking.  Then I'd tell myself I was just being legalistic and it's totally fine, or it's good for me to drink with people because we're connecting.

This cycle has pretty much been going on for 4 years.  It's lame and I hate it.  I don't think drinking alcohol is wrong, but disobeying is.  I know I've heard clearly from God to not drink.  That might sound weird, but whatever.  It's true for me.  I've heard him say it in more ways than one.  A whisper, my Bible, dreams.

The interesting thing is when I happen to mention this business to friends many times they'll say they've been thinking or feeling similar.  Which makes me feel better, not because I'm glad they're going through this.  I'm just glad to know I'm not alone.  

I really do want to obey and I really do want to move on from this standstill.  I don't know what I'm moving on to, but I really want to move.  Because going in circles is maddening.  The question is, am I willing to give up the temporary pleasure for the longterm victory/freedom/blessing?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

So caught up in life I forgot to take a picture

Recently I attended the wedding of one of my best friends.  I took a million pictures because it was just a blast and I don't get to see these people often.  I love taking pictures.  I love posting pictures.  I love it when you like and comment on my pictures.
But I'm noticing there are some moments when the camera needs to be put away so I can just fully take in the moment.  I know the whole point of taking a picture is so you can capture the moment. But there are certain times when you miss out because of that.  For instance, I was at my friends wedding and she was just about to walk downstairs, and her Dad was going to see her in her dress for the first time.  It was emotional and exciting.  Her Dad was getting his phone ready so he could take her picture as she walked down.  And I just thought, "No, you are going to experience this through your own eyes, not through the screen on your phone.  Because this moment is once in a lifetime!"  I told him that, took his phone, and captured the moment for him.  It was precious and wonderful and he was able to be fully involved in it.
Not every moment needs to be documented in pictures.  I got engaged in 2001.  I had no smart phone or Facebook or anything to document it.  But I remember everything about that moment.  I close my eyes and picture exactly where I was standing with Matt.  We were on a train platform in Portland and it felt like we were the only people there.  That moment is ours.  It's like our own little treasure.  It is one of my favorite moments in life.  And nobody can see it except him and me and that's just fine.
In a time when life is saturated with pictures, pictures, and more pictures, let's not forget to put the camera down and view life through our own eyes.  Let's get so caught up in life that we forget about our phones and posting and tweeting and really live in the moment and see the person in front of us.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

God has a sense of humor

Yesterday my kids went back to school after a week long break.  When I went to pick them up I asked one of them how the day was.  They said, "not good".  Then proceeded to tell me about getting in trouble at recess.  This is not this kids first run in with the recess police, so I kinda know the drill.  They keep telling me all the details of why it wasn't fair and how mad they are.  I see the Principal and he catches my eye and gives me the "We need to talk" look.  I know the look well because I've gotten that look more times in the past 3 years than I care to count.

OK, but then it gets funny.  We're driving home and talking about the whole incident, and we clearly disagree with one another.  I'm really not upset because honestly, I've been through similar scenarios with this kid for what feels like a zillion times.  The radio is on some random channel and the tune suddenly catches my attention.  The song was "My Life" by Billy Joel!  Do you know that song?  If you don't you should definitely look it up.  It was a favorite of mine when I was a kid.  The timing of it was so funny because my kid is basically telling me they know best and nobody else does so just butt out.  And the lyrics of the song go:

"I don't care what you say anymore this is my life.  Go ahead with you're own life, leave me alone"

Hahaha!!  I couldn't help but laugh and turn up the radio and sing.  And when my kiddo heard the lyrics they said, "Yes!! Exactly!  This is exactly what I am saying!"  

It was just hilarious and perfect timing.  It lightened the mood and we needed that, and I don't think it was an accident.  Good one God.

Friday, August 1, 2014

1 year ago today

This morning I read these words out of a devotional called "Streams in the Desert"

"You can trust the Man who died for you." 

The author said he wanted to completely devote himself to the "Man who died for him".  But he was afraid; afraid to give up his own personal plans and goals.  All he could think of was all he might have to abandon in his life.  He said, "I completely failed to see the better things God had for me, so my soul was running from Him."

I can wholeheartedly relate to this.  So often I find my soul running from God.  I want to trust Him and devote myself completely to him, but I am afraid.  I'm afraid to give up comfortable and easy and what I know.  

Then God speaks to the mans heart and says "My child, you can trust the Man who died for you.  If you cannot trust Him, then whom can you trust?"  And there it is, if I cannot trust Jesus, then who can I trust.  I certainly cannot trust myself.  My emotions and feeling are like a swinging pendulum on the largest grandfather clock.  Back and forth, I want to act on every passing feeling.  And sometimes I do and live to regret it.  

After reading this devotion I was flipping through my journal and I read the entry from one year ago today: 

August 1, 2013

I'm exhausted.  I need freedom.  My faith is in money, not in God.  My happiness, when I'm honest, is based on my bank account.  I can't take it anymore.  My peace is in beer, my rest is in sleep.  It's fake. It's temporary.

My heart ached when I read this.  Just reading it made me feel heavy.  But I also felt hopeful.  It has been 1 year since I wrote that.  And I am not that same girl.  I can see the work God has done over the past year.  I recently graduated from Financial Peace University.  We paid off our visa card 2 days ago.  1 year ago that looked impossible to me.  My faith is not in money; at least not as much as it was last year.  My happiness does not lie there either.  It is nice to have money, but I know it isn't what makes me happy. I'm slowly but surely learning to control money instead of having it control me.  Thank you Jesus!!  

As for beer, well, that one is still a struggle.  I don't think I'm an alcoholic.  But when I'm stressed, say at dinner time or homework time or bedtime, pretty much any time the smaller people in my house get a little bent out of shape, my mind wanders off to wanting a beer.  I know I'm not going to feel good after.  Maybe initially because I enjoy the taste and it does mellow me out, but it usually makes me gassy and bloated in the end.  And it's temporary.  And, it's not Jesus.  

So I'm not finished.  I'm still here typing and breathing and living, so God still has something planned for me.  And he knows I am a stubborn woman, and He loves me anyway which is completely mind-blowing.  I mean, I know me and I don't even love me all the time.  

I'll keep going and trying and trusting more everyday.  Because I can look back and see that He is "working for my good" Ephesian 6:28 and "His grace is sufficient, for His power is made perfect in my weakness" 2 Corinthians 12:9.  And His grace and His power and His love trump every mistake.  

Here's to another year!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


I've been noticing I have a slight dislike of Saturdays, and Sundays for that matter too.  I think it's the complete lack of structure and routine.  I always thought I didn't like structure and routine, but I think I'm finding I'm just not good at creating it.  I actually like it a lot.  I just want someone else to make it for me.

I feel torn on how I should spend the weekend.  Should I be cleaning my house or working on a project?  Or should I be playing with my kids and kicking back and relaxing?  And if I do choose one of these, I often feel guilty for not doing the other.  It feels like I spend most of my weekends just roaming around, waiting for the week to come so I can have that routine again.

How do you spend your weekends?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What happened??

At the end of the day when my kids are tucked in I sometimes sit back and wonder, "What happened? What did I do today?  Did I spend any time really listening to my kids or just having fun with them?"  And I always determine to live differently the next day, and sometimes I really do.

But so many days I wake up and I'm running the minute my feet hit the floor.  There's always something to clean or a status to be updated or a text or e-mail to return or a meal to be prepared.  And again at the end of the day I wonder, "What happened?"

How do I get off this treadmill when there are 4 other people on it with me?

And I want to live more simply, but the masses of stuff I've aquired is like a lead ballon everywhere I look.  And it weighs and it suffocates and I want to live free but how do I do it?  Because I read my Bible and I pray and I read books and I try to live with the attitude of gratitude and I still feel the same.  And I know I can't live based on feelings, but sometimes I want to feel free and really be free.

Deep. Breath.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My treasure is in my stomach

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:21

A few nights ago I listened to a sermon about money.  The pastor told a story about a friend saying to him, "Let me read your journals, then I can tell you what your treasure is."  The pastor said I don't think I can let you do that.  They're too private.  So the friend said,  "OK, let me see your bank statements.  Because wherever you spend your money, that's where your heart is."

I had to try this out.  I went through about 50 transactions on my bank statement categorizing with labels like: house, clothes, entertainment, etc...  But there was one category that took the cake, literally! 


That's right.  FOOD took a whopping 30 out of just the 50 transactions I went through.  This included things like groceries, Starbucks, eating out.  My treasure is literally going into my stomach.  I know I shouldn't have been surprised.  I've read plenty of books on the unhealthy relationship so many of us have with food.  I just had no idea my relationship with it was so out of control.

The saddest part was the 2 categories that I would swear are super important to me: giving and fitness.  Both categories only had 1 transaction out of the 50.  

There's really no good way to conclude this blog.  Not yet anyway...