3 ways to build inner StReNgTh

I have been asking myself lately what quality I want to have and work on the most that I don’t already have or one that I need to continue to work on. Yes, I am incredibly honest and I’m engaging, … Continue reading

Stretching 

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters 

1.

I walk down the street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I fall in. 

I am lost … 

I am hopeless. 

It isn’t my fault. 

It takes forever to find a way out. 

2.

I walk down the same street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I pretend I don’t see it. 

I fall in again. 

I can’t believe I’m in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault. 

It still takes a long time to get out. 

3.

I walk down the same street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I see it is there. 

I still fall in … 

it’s a habit. 

My eyes are open. 

I know where I am. 

It is my fault. 

I get out immediately. 

4.

I walk down the same street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I walk around it. 

5.

I walk down another street. 

-Portia Nelson

Stretching is getting comfortable with and pushing the edges of something uncomfortable. I’ve recently realized this in an emotional and physical sense. I discovered this because really, in order to grow, you have to push hard enough within and without yourself to be uncomfortable.  You can’t learn if you recoil at the smallest discomfort. 

The challenge is to do this physically first to allow your mind to adapt so that when an uncomfortable feeling hits you emotionally (something that would make you close up or pull back), you will learn to embrace it as a phase and keep pressing on. Life is full of challenging moments and I know often times in my life I’ve taken an easy approach despite my tendency to learn things the hard way.

So start with a physical stretch and when you start to feel uncomfortable, stay there…breathe through the feeling and consider each muscle and fiber or your being and you acquaint yourself to the feeling. Do this more and more and if you are like me and you are building muscle, you do this at the gym by increasing your weights and thus forcing your muscles to tear down. As you lift, slowly, ease into the slow burning and tearing down of your muscle knowing it will be stronger as it builds back up.

I am going through some mentally tough things right now and I despise change…yet it LOVES to seek me out and force me into uncomfortable situations. I want to curl up in a ball and cry, which I often do at first. Then I have learned to resolve to overcome and be a better person despite the new circumstance. 

I hope you find this challenging and enlightening as a first post to my blog in 2018 and in a long time. 

God is With You

This is taken from the study I just finished called “The Sacred Search” by Gary Thomas and it is worth sharing because so many of us go through life letting marriage or failed marriage define us:

Remember how we started this book? Seek first the kingdom of God. Not a happy marriage. Not an easy marriage. Not even a wise marriage. Those are all noble pursuits, but the first call of every Christian is to fulfill God’s will for their life and to grow in righteousness. Most of us will not be called into a Hosea marriage, but some of you, even after making a careful choice, may well feel Hosea’s pain of betrayal. This will hurt, but it needn’t wreck or define your life if your spiritual priorities are in the proper order.
The truth is, no marriage is easy. There is no guarantee that the person you marry will continue to grow in faith. She may backslide. He may get sick or break psychologically or spiritually. But you’ll be okay. And you’ll grow in the process. That’s a good thing.
So take a deep breath. God isn’t going to leave you. Who you marry will affect you, but that person’ needn’t define you. Don’t lose your joy, wonder, or even happiness as you face this season in your life. Life is a journey walked hand in hand with God. We want to walk in wisdom, but God has plenty of experience helping His children work through the consequences of foolish choices (their own and others’).
Embrace the soul-healing words of Christ: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
* Look at your spiritual life, your prayer life, your romantic life. Are you believing that God will be with you always? Do you trust Him?

The truth 

Truth is, I’m hurting. I’m grasping for hope. But God gives me peace, When I didn’t ask. That’s how I know He lives. I know what He asked of me, And I walked the path, To help someone… Even though … Continue reading

3 Days and Counting


Some people are uncomfortable with a person who is depressed or see it and don’t hold their hand out. Those of us who are depressed and hurting want to cry with every word you say to us but fear of you ask us if we’re ok, we’ll fall apart in front of you. The pain is in our eyes and our quiet demeanor. You will know it is “that bad” when the usual chatty person is barely heard and escapes quickly to her seat in church, making as little eye contact as possible. When you’re in the midst of depression, you are like a broken vessel smashed to pieces on the floor-there is no magic fix and no way you can just put yourself together without any help. We need you. Just one person is all it may take and maybe one word reminding us we can’t do this but God can. We will grasp at that tiny shred of hope even when we feel like that’s unreal. It may be the one thing that keeps us alive-I’m not actually joking. 

I pray I will never be this person who goes un-noticing  to any of my friends. When you’re in pain (physical or emotional or all of the above), reach out your hand and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even if it’s just something vague. Be real about your pain-someone else has been there, I promise you. 

Thank you to my friends who have been there in my darkest moments. It’s been 3 days…. (Took the picture above during my darkest moment while trying to look “together” on the outside.)

I posted the following to my Facebook page this morning (something that is uncharacteristic of me-I don’t like to air out my filth on Facebook but rather put my prettiest side forward):

“Failure-it’s something I’ve finally come to terms with and have admitted to those closest to me about how I’ve felt for 10 years. I completely broke-to my kids, to myself, to life…and everyone. 

I’m reading through a study called “Working Through Failure” (because after so many failures, I have learned there’s nothing I can do but fail). In my study today, this stuck out to me:

“It’s not human nature to be happy despite our circumstances; we want to be happy because of our circumstances…. In his book, Winning Smart After Losing Big, entrepreneur Rob Stearns echoes this perspective regarding his own failures. Stearns writes that there’s a big difference between experiencing a failure and being a failure: “You are the same person after your loss as you were before your loss.” It is strength of character that enables us to get up and keep moving when we’ve failed.”

The verse that coincides with this thinking is this: 

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:11-13 NLT

http://bible.com/116/php.4.11-13.nlt

Indeed, when everything else in the world fails you and you can’t trust yourself not to fail, that is a great place to be because knowing only One who can intercede in the only thing we need-He is enough. 

A friend reminded me yesterday (you know who you are) that it’s not that God won’t give us more than we can handle-We aren’t supposed to be able to handle it and that’s the point. We need to be able to give our burdens to the only One who is strong enough to carry them.”

“I know where I’m at

I’m standing at the back

And I’m tired of waiting

Waiting here in line, hoping that I’ll find what I’ve been chasing.
I shot for the sky

I’m stuck on the ground

So why do I try, I know I’m gonna fall down

I thought I could fly, so why did I drown?

Never know why it’s coming down, down, down.
Not ready to let go

Cause then I’d never know

What I could be missing

But I’m missing way too much

So when do I give up what I’ve been wishing for.
I shot for the sky

I’m stuck on the ground

So why do I try, I know I’m gonna fall down

I thought I could fly, so why did I drown?

Never know why it’s coming down, down, down.

Oh I am going down, down, down

I can’t find another way around

And I don’t want to hear the sound, of losing what I never found.
I shot for the sky

I’m stuck on the ground

Why do I try, I know I’m gonna fall down

I thought I could fly, so why did I drown?

I’ll never know why it’s coming down, down, down.
I shot for the sky

I’m stuck on the ground

Why do I try, I know I’m gonna fall down

I thought I could fly, so why did I drown?

Oh, it’s coming down, down, down.”

Feeling Again

Fingers frozen
Thoughts dancing wild
Inside
Chest is tight
Pulse rising
Can’t touch the keys
With the war waging
Tearing down
Layers of pain
Struggling
Fear is fighting
Trying to conquer
Protecting
My fragile heart
Beating louder
Shattering
Silence
Growing
Now echoing
In my ears
The chorus of life
Remaining
Within my soul
Resonating
Memories
Fading
Blurring the walls
like raindrops falling
Wet ivory now moving
Teaching
My heart to sing
Again

 

Portrait on the wall

The sun shines brightly

Grass green and flowers blooming

Picture perfect, portrait on the wall

We function well

Carrying on this disillusionment

And then one day

A glitch in our system

The facade falls from the frame

Shattering into a million pieces

Leaving behind the nakedness

Truth is life’s ugly

But we cover up our lives

With pretty things

Keeping our world full

Constant activity

Children and what looks like God

But what happens?

When the portrait’s facade falls away?

When life’s rawness revealing

Our imperfection to all

Comes into focus

Only One to know us

To pick up the pieces

And carry us through these hardships

Let everything go

Let it be real and imperfect

Cry and tell Him you’re hurting

And let Him work it out

Or you can

Buy another picture

Cover up the bleeding

And continue basking in the sun

Of your picture perfect life.

 

the valley of solace

rest stop in las cruces july 2014

there is a place

down between those mountains

where happiness seems to thrive

joy seems inevitable

and no stumbling blocks in sight

but it isn’t green grass

nor happiness that drives

rather, the peace is in knowing

He is in control

the solace I find

in the valley

it’s not being alone

it’s not life getting easier

it’s in not knowing what lies over the horizon

it’s in knowing I can not control life

solace is found

at the feet of One

in letting Him lead me

one step at a time

into the great unknown

whether it is up another mountain

through the fire

falling down on my path

God is my refuge and my valley

He is my solace

Tonight

Every new dawn awakens with the sun
A bright future and a fresh start
The worries of the long night fading away
Melting away the fear once there
Each day means life and happiness
To those who care to awaken and celebrate
No matter what the darkness held
Even in spite of the pain
And with every heart beat growing stronger
The night feels less a weight
Until the morning and night blend so well
Never feeling dark and lonely again
Tonight is not yet there
I am hopeful but the light isn’t as the day
I am not troubled or in fear though
I know tomorrow will soon be here

Just a short and quick little poem after heart-searching with so much in my life right now going on at once. I keep being asked if I think I’m taking on too much. Nope, I am not. Never been more sure of some of these things as of anything in my life. Relating back to my rock climbing experiences, once you have embarked on a lead climb, you can’t just back up or change your mind. Trust me! I can’t remember the name of the climb, but it was at Taquitz in California. I decided to lead a decently difficult climb-we were about halfway up the side of this mountain already. (It was a 5 pitch (tiered for those of you who don’t know the lingo) climb and I was still fairly new at all this, but I was strong. (This was about May of 2013.) As I went up, I was told to keep veering to the right on…well…nothing but tiny little crimpholds and places my climbing shoes were barely sticking to as I smeared them on the wall. Then we realized I was doing a MUCH harder route (each pitch has various levels of difficulty) and haha…what could I do? I was leading. To go back or change my mind meant falling, and swinging. Not fun, especially when solid rock and gnarly branches await you. So, I made do. I sort of fumbled back, frightened, a different way than anything intended to climb, towards the route I should have been on. My partner who was belaying me couldn’t really help, even when he could see me, as if I fell, I was on lead and my nearest protection (which I had put in) was yards away. Of course, I had to get back to it at some point or my partner who followed would have to go the same messed up route I did and clean it (protection is special rock-climbing gear you place in the cracks where you can so that if you fall, it will hold you (if you placed it right)…catch you. And FYI, it basically when you fall, your distance is about double the distance you were from your last piece of protection…but your life is usually saved. Not to go off on too much more of a rabbit trail, but yes, at some point, the only way back onto the correct path was to purposely fall, which sucked mentally and I don;t recommend it without prior falling training.
The moral of the story is that with anything we do in life, obviously we should try to make sure we are on the correct path, but that is not always possible. Committing yourself to the path you take seems like the only logical option. You can’t go back once you have gone forward. There are going to be frightening times, but it gets easier, right? And someday this will all be over anyway. 😉 Yes, I realize falls happen here and there even though we do not usually intend for them to happen. BUT…making those commitments in life and working through them are so important.
Night? Morning? “I don’t understand,” you say? Well, you know how when you’re a kid, night and darkness is scary! You may have bad dreams. The thunder may scare you. Weird shadows and noises are scary. Everything just looms bigger and badder (that’s not a word, I know)! But when the morning arrives, you wake up and you’re wondering Wow! What was I so afraid of? Nothing seems as bad in the morning, right? Well, eventually, with practice, we learn that when we take things in stride and turn everything into a positive outlook, it makes those nights get brighter and less ominous. I will get there…and usually I am not up at midnight writing or thinking either. i had just read my last post as I had to edit and re post a portion of it and it got me to thinking. “This too shall pass” was my favorite saying as a teenager and young mom. Now, I can’t wait until tomorrow-to see what fun and exciting and challenging things await!
God may not have given YOU the ability to handle MY problems (which is why if you’re reading this and you know all I am taking on, you’re freaking out)! Funny thing is I don’t see them as problems! I see them as solutions to who I am…complicated little pieces of a large puzzle that is going to be unbelievable someday.
My perspective is sooo much different than most.
Have a good night everyone! 🙂

I’m Untitled

(Click HERE and you can hear the song I have been listening to as I write.)

Writing….it’s part of who I am.  I write from my heart, words flowing freely and effortlessly as they enter and exit through my fingers, manifesting themselves on my blog.  This is a blog that has been difficult for me to write, in fact, as you will see by the sporadic time-frames that I post.  I generally write most when I have a lot on my mind, and I was asked by my mom years ago why I don’t just write in a journal and keep it to myself.  As if I was airing out dirty laundry.  But I think other writers, as myself, enjoy reading too and what better than finding a connection with what someone has to say?  I always dream that somehow, my stories can have an impact or maybe inspire someone-help them feel like they’re not alone and that life is still wonderful despite all the hardships we go through.  I still haven’t had the heart to write about some of my largest “mountains” (figuratively speaking)…but I will get there soon-it’s been almost enough time.

Hearts don’t heal completely-they are scarred and sometimes pain comes back in tiny splinters, reminding us of what we went through.  I had one of those experiences today.  I heard something on Pandora that brought memories flooding back of a time that I thought my heart was broken beyond repair. Now looking back I see this wasn’t to be my battle in life-as I’ve said before, it was a stepping stone.  I will never experience that exact pain again and I can say that with certainty, and it is what has brought me to New Mexico…following the little loves of my life.  I am happy about the choices I made back (after not during) that time as so much good came out of all that.  Remind me to tell my story of those events (the good parts anyway) soon!

Anyway, I am mainly writing this all to say that I am not perfect!  My story is still unfolding. My life can’t be labeled or titled because I have no idea what will come at me next.  I have been through some seemingly unreal things in my life and will likely go through more because that’s just what my life seems to hold (God I hope not though).  Like a said in a recent post, great things come from the will to not be average, everyday, ordinary-from needing to be challenged and not accepting the norm.  This is who I am…I am untitled, ever changing me.  To those who once tried to write a book about their experiences in raising me, I hope I have not let you down too much that you couldn’t ever “finish” that book with a happy ending…although it sure seems happy through my eyes.