Open the Fridge

What do I write about today? God is so good. He continues to bless me and I am in awe.

On the way to bible study last night, my girl and I had church right in our car. Let me tell you, my girl can preach it. Even though she has no idea what “preachin” is.

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Chains Falling

I have been hurt by churches – by people in churches. When I was married to an abusive husband and as I left that abusive man, the church failed me. And I walked away from church…

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The Bigger Picture

So we went through a few weeks of struggle. No, not struggle, that is not a strong enough word. It was awful, hell-ish. My daughter has always (like since a baby) struggled with belly issues, her whole little young life. During this quarantine and in the past month, it all came to a head in the worst way. The worst pain, the worst we’ve had to deal with. (I’m slightly vague with my daughter’s issues for her privacy.) Here’s a recap of the worst and best of the past three weeks. And I’ll just preface it with – God is good, friends.

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Rising through the heaviness and The Lord’s Prayer

There is something so invigorating about reading something so well known as The Lord’s Prayer in other versions! It allows you to savor the meaning so much more!

Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful

Good Morning Gorgeous,

It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start! A beautiful new day to rise and move.

Some days we rise well and all feels good in the earth.

Other days, we rise and there may not be any reason to name, but angst, heaviness, or other even dread can sit right on us making rising with joy hard.

I have found that on those days when its hard to pray, hard to move, hard to find the desire, we MUST pray harder. Those are the days when we open our eyes and pray,

Lord come. I need You today in ways that only You know. Come and touch the hurt, drive away the fear, lift the heaviness, and let this day glorify You to the fullest.”

And then we rise anyway. And I truly believe that rising each day, getting up, and showing up…

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The Beach is Soul Food

So many things are changing and have changed in the last few months.

Coronavirus, quarantine, social distancing, distance learning/teaching to name a few of the big ones.

But within me, there are some big changes happening as well and it leaves me a big confused when it comes to sharing on my blog. Everything I’ve shared up until now is still totally valid but I’m seeing it through different lenses.

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God is Working On Me

I made a decision to throw my worries and anxieties on God.

Then a friend told me about a bible study she was doing called The Quest by Beth Moore. It’s about going on a quest to grow closer to God through the questions God asks us and by challenging us to question God.

I ordered the book and began.

Some background information first, though.

I grew up in a conservative church. I know, or at least knew, more bible verses than most people. I know the stories, the lessons, the rules, the… well… most of what you hear in church. I was also hurt by some people in the church during a very traumatic time of life and since then haven’t gone to church. In fact, I have panic attacks walking into church.

That doesn’t mean I don’t still have a relationship with God. He has always been with me, always helping me, and I love Him. I just decided I was more spiritual than religious.

Things are changing.

God is reaching out to me in new ways.

Well, perhaps not new ways. Perhaps I am responding in new ways to my God who has always been reaching out to me.

The Quest involves bible study and as I am reading verses from the bible, they are jumping out at me as fresh and exciting and new. Verses I know, have memorized, have read dozens of times before… are new now. And I love hearing them!

Here’s the thing… these two events – 1. Throwing my anxieties on God and 2. Beginning the Quest – are converging onto a main source of angst in my life. An enemy that I need to overcome. They both have pointed me towards one big thing that needs to change.

And it’s this: I need to give God control over the things in my life.

See, the quest asked me to open up and come up with some deep belief systems and two of mine came down to these:

The only way to be safe is to be in control and I have to achieve more (accomplish that to-do list of should haves and need-tos) in order to be good enough.

Neither of these is from God. God says if we go to Him, he will give us rest! He will allow us, teach us to live lightly, freely! Listen to the beauty of these verses from Matthew:

Is that not the most calming, beautiful thing you’ve ever heard? He will not put anything heavy or ill-fitting on us. We can learn to live freely and lightly… unforced rhythm… real rest.

The only way to find this is in Him.

My own way has failed me for years. Over and over and over again I have created my list of ways that I was going to better myself. Eat healthy. Move more. Blog. Sunshine. Drink lots of water. Counseling. Read books. Listen to audible. Vitamins. Shakes. Positive quotes. I ams. Affirmations.

And there is not one thing wrong with any of those! They are really good things! But the problem is my attitude of control. I have to be in control. I will make a list of good habits. I will do them all. I will win. I will achieve. I will then be worthy. I can do it.

But I can’t. Time and time again, I’ve proved that I can’t. Not on my own. Not this way, not through to do lists and promises and resolutions and my own will power.

It’s ends in agony and defeat and shame and worthlessness each time.

So now there’s this new plan to let go of the control. My one and only focus is going to be to grow closer to God. To give him my worries, my anxieties, and my big ol’ to do list. To let go of hyper-control Christy and let God have the control and see where He takes me.

And you know what else God says? I am worthy and loved without that list. Without the list and without achieving anything on that list. I am loved and worthy just as I am. I do NOT have to achieve more to be good enough. To be loved or valued.

Do I believe that? No, not yet. But I’m trusting God to change that in me too. Because I think that will be a huge turning point as well.

So that’s where I am at, friends.

It’s scary and exciting and calming all at once.

Where are you? Do you have things you are holding tight control over that you need to turn over to God? Are you holding onto beliefs that in order to be loved you must achieve or do or perform?

God loves you just as you are and He is reaching out to you, just as He is reaching out to me. He wants a relationship with you. He wants to help you walk lightly and freely through life.

I don’t have all the answers, I am simply sharing my journey, but please reach out if you have questions. To me, to a friend, to our facebook group. We are in this together. You are not alone.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Throwing those Anxieties

In my last blog post, here, I wrote about how I felt challenged to throw, literally throw all my anxieties, worries, and cares onto God and let Him handle them. And I said I would keep you posted. It’s been a few days, and here’s how it’s going.

I did share in the last post how as I started, I didn’t really feel much of anything. It felt like I was going through the motions, “saying” the right words, doing the right thing but that was it. It didn’t really feel any different. But also that I was going to give it some time, it’s taken me almost 40 years to build to the level of anxiety I currently live with, you know?

And God promises to take our burdens from us and that what we are meant to carry is light and we can count on God to keep His promises so I kept on.

I felt good on Sunday after sharing my plan with you all and I kept on praying and throwing those worries onto God. No more to-do list, no more I HAVE to do this and I SHOULD do that. Whenever I feel the should-haves and need-tos that carry guilt, I throw it to God. I am not meant to live in guilt.

That’s not to say I’m not doing my jobs. I am still working. I’m still taking care of my daughter. It’s the should-haves and need-tos that make me feel bad and guilty that I’m throwing to God. I should eat a salad. I need to work out. I need to read more. I’m not taking enough steps. I’m not drinking enough water. Did I do enough today? Did I message enough parents? I need to come through this quarantine a new and better person…

That never ending roll of shame driven talk that what I’ve done is not enough for the day. All of THAT stuff – I’m done with it. Well, I’m trying hard to be done with it. So when that pops up in my head, I throw it on God. That’s Yours God! You can handle all that for me! Thanks!!

And here’s what happened on Sunday.

I went for 2 mile bike ride with my daughter and it was glorious. We played in the little pool our back after and it was refreshing. We got exercise and sunshine and quality time together… without it being on a to-do list or driven by guilt or a need to do more. And it was wonderful.

Monday was different. I wasn’t as stressed. I was more calm. When a worry popped into my head, I didn’t feel the need to THROW it on God, I actually felt ok just handing it over. Here, God. This one’s for you. It was a mental shift that was recognizable. I loved it. I was less stressed, less anxious, therefore I didn’t feel the need to THROW but just hand it over calmly. It wasn’t something I planned, it just naturally flowed. I thanked God, thanked Him. My prayers yesterday were half handing God over worries and stress and half filled with thankfulness.

I took my daughter to the beach for sunshine and soul food. There were not many people where we went and somehow, God drew an boundary around us that kept us clear from others. We soaked in the sun, sand, and sea and it was good. So good.

Now, lest you think it took two days and now it will be a downhill easy peasy rest of my life, let me tell you about this morning. I know this is going to be an up and down, give and take, learn and grow experience and I’m going to share it all with you!

I woke up this morning not feeling well – fighting a migraine. As I was sitting on the edge of my bed, I was feeling stress and guilt over the fact that I have not been able to get my punkin back on a good sleep schedule. She was active yesterday and still could not settle down at night to sleep at a normal time. She SHOULD have been asleep by 9pm but instead could not settle and was up until after 11pm and I was frustrated. (Did you catch that should-have?)

So I felt that whisper voice of God saying “Why don’t you hand that worry and guilt over to me, too?”

Oh. My. Gosh. Friends. I got mad! I’m shaking my head at myself over how I reacted this morning.

You know how I imagine myself throwing anxieties onto God? Well in this imagery, I threw it alright. I threw it anger and a bit in a temper tantrum like attitude with a “FINE! Seriously!! You want control over every single thing of my life!!! You don’t even want me to try to control when my daughter sleeps to help her sleep well and feel good!!! FINE!!! ARGGHHHH!!!!”

I’m not sure I realized what a control freak I was.

I do like to be in control. It feels safest in control. I am not going to ever intentionally hurt me or my punkin unlike other people in this world have done and may do again.

Throwing all of these worries and cares and anxieties and stresses onto God is releasing control of these things. It’s saying I Trust YOU, GOD to take care of these things so I don’t have to. I give YOU, GOD the control over these things.

It’s not easy peasy.

But it’s something I really, really want to do.

So I did this morning. I threw it. Angrily at first, then apologetically, then just handed it over and said OK.

And God is good. He loves me when I’m angry, when I’m sorry, when I’m stressed, when I’m calm. And He can handle my emotions and He welcomes my honesty and openness.

So if you’re on this journey with me of throwing your anxieties onto God, feel free to be honest with Him along the way. He knows it’s not easy. He’s here to help us and encourage us and reach us and change us. He can handle our highs and our lows and our everythings in between. He loves us. Just as we are.

Happy Tuesday, Friends.

Do you have a God story to tell?

Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful

Good Morning Gorgeous,

It’s a brand new day. A fresh start. A new day to rise up, and walk victoriously through anything warring against your peace. We were never meant to live in turmoil. We are a people designed to walk victoriously.

Jesus said that we would have troubles, but to take heart because He has overcome the world.

We are a people who have been spiritually reborn and recreated so that we have dual citizenship in both heaven and the earth. And our citizenship in heaven gives us access to rights that we can claim while we walk in this world.

And one of our rights is a sound mind. Another is direct access to the Father. He is our ever present help in our time of trouble. And He shows up when we call on Him!

Because He is so involved in our lives, we will experience supernatural…

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In the Meantime & A New Plan

My last post was, sadly, 13 days ago. I wrote about how badly I was struggling and I’ve continued to struggle since then. Not just struggle, though. I’ve been trying. Trying hard to work through it, rise above it, fight it.

I’ve tried to eat healthier… only to fail the first day. I mean, that probably wasn’t my best bet for first line of defense since it’s my mountain of struggle even on my best days.

I’ve pushed through each day and done as much as I could get done… and that has it’s benefits, I mean it’s good to get stuff done but it hasn’t helped the elephant on my chest or the feelings of anxiousness or sadness.

I then decided that I needed to improve my habits because “The quality of our lives depends on the quality of our habits.” So I changed my home screen, busted out my habits tracker and listed a whole bunch of habits which are things that I know will make me feel good if I do them.

And…. I still didn’t do them. When you’re struggling hard… when you’re in the midst of anxiety and depression, it’s hard to get yourself to do much of anything… let alone a whole list. You look at the list and feel immediately defeated! Even when you know each and every one of the things is doable and will make you feel good!

So, what’s a girl to do?

My friend Vanessa, at Brave Blessed & Beautiful, found some youtube links to Beth Moore’s talk on anxiety. They were not complete links but partial but they were so good. Beth Moore uses 1 Peter 5:7 a lot…

She uses this verse well. She acts it out. She says imagine yourself literally throwing all your worries and cares and anxieties onto God! THROW them! Put all the responsibilities onto Him! He promises to take them!

God says He will carry our heavy burdens and that our load should be light. He WANTS to be the one to carry the heavy stuff. So we can throw the heavy stuff to Him! He promises to catch it, to carry it, to give us peace.

Beth Moore says we can tell God, Here!! You carry it! It’s your responsibility now! That we can toss it like hot potatoes out of our arms and into His.

She says it takes humility. Humility to cast our anxiety onto him because it is pride that has us holding onto it, to want to be the one in control of everything. That seemed important to me. I do like to be in control. But I’m so tired of anxiety.

My goal is to do this. To live 1 Peter 5:7 and to throw/cast my anxiety onto God and to live in peace.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you, though. Of course, aren’t I always? 🙂

I started yesterday and so far, it feels… well it feels like I’m just going through the motions. It feels like I don’t know if I’m doing it right and I wonder if this is how to do it or if.. well you know, it’s all new and confusing.

But at the same time, it does feel right and it feels like a good place to start and it feels a whole lot better than to keep trying to do everything in my own power because that hasn’t worked in almost 40 years so I guess it’s about time I try something totally different.

In case you’re wondering like Ok, how do I start? Well, I’m just doing what Beth Moore suggested. I am imagining myself THROWING my anxiety at God and yelling HERE!! Please take it! It’s yours! Whatever I’m worrying about, I’m throwing it at God. Casting it at Him. And at the same time, I’m asking Him How to do it. “How do I throw my anxiety at You, God? How do I let you take it? How do I feel your peace? Send me your peace? Fill me with your peace, please!”

Another suggestion from Vanessa was to keep saying “I trust you, God” whenever you feel doubt, worry, sadness, confusion, etc. So I’m doing that, too, as much as I can remember.

And my to-do/habit list? I changed that up. Here’s my new daily habit list.

I want to build a habit of prayer throughout the day. I was thinking… If I have a solid habit of prayer… maybe, maybe? the other things will start to fall into place.

And my homescreen? Well that had to change, too. Well, it didn’t HAVE to, but I like to have reminders of what I’m focusing on, you know?

So.. that’s my new plan. I’m going to pray and throw my anxieties and worries onto God. Whatever and whenever I find myself worrying about something, I’m going to imagine myself throwing it at God saying Here, this is Yours. Please take care of this. And I’m going to do my best to live in the moment, expecting God to take care of the anxieties.

I’m not saying it’s going to be as easy as all that. I imagine I will have to do that again and again and over and over. But I also imagine if I keep at it, it will get easier and easier and that God will step in and start changing me in the process.

I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Sunday, friends.

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