My Addiction to Fear

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I’m learning that I can’t be the mom who saves my kids. From a lot of things. 

I have operated out of fear, in the name of protection, for too long. And it has taken from me. My sanity, my ability to trust, my peace.

More importantly, my fear has taken from my kids. Their love of new things, their desire for adventure, their confidence in their decisions. Yeah, I did that. (Or rather, I allowed my fear to do that!)

I couldn’t see it before because I was happily living in a padded room of my own making. Quite like the rooms you see on t.v. in the haunted mental institutions. This was my brain on fear. I was safe but isolated, left to deal with my tormenting thoughts all on my own.

What sobered me up was my gut-wrenching decision to put my kids in public school this year after only homeschooling them for the past 6 years. Just making the choice to do it felt like death hovering over me as I shook from fear withdrawals.

I felt sick at the thought of letting them go when all I (and they) had ever known was our home, our rules, our ways. But then, after the waves of nausea started to decrease, I felt something new and, honestly, it scared me.

Freedom.

Not in the sense that freedom is only delegated to the school-going families. No, freedom in the sense that I could actually walk away from something that was no longer working for our family. It was keeping me bound in despair as I wrestled every day with watching my kids cling more and more to me and less to their own amazing personalities.

You know when you just get to that point when enough is enough? You are afraid of the new thing staring you in the face but you know that the old thing has just been done way too long? That’s where I was when my husband came to me and introduced the idea of putting them in school. I had a choice to make, albeit painful.

I decided that I was not going to be a fear-addict any longer.

So, we did it. And it’s been great! It’s also been hard some days. But better all around. They are standing on their own two feet and learning to take responsibility for their choices without me there to prompt them. They are embarking on new friendships and engaging in activities that they would have not had the chance to do otherwise. Most importantly, my fear of them not needing me anymore was proven totally unfathomable. They get to take care of themselves when not at home but the evenings are my time with them. Time for snuggles and homework help and bedtime prayers.

They say fear is an illusion. I say fear is also a drug. It incapacitates you and leaves you wanting more and more of it until it’s all you can think about. Thank God I have a husband who listens to God’s voice and calls me higher when I’m living beneath the level of freedom God has for me.

Thank God, the taste of freedom is way more satisfying then the taste of fear.

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Your Freedom is Not Free

Your Freedom is not free

Hi friends!

I’m over at hvfh-logo15 writing about my American freedom. Would love for you to jump on this link and read my patriotic piece!  It’s a shout of thanks to all the wonderful men and women who put on a uniform every single day and sacrifice so much so that I can enjoy many blessings. I am forever grateful to each of you (my hubby included!)

Do we celebrate the way we always have despite the current state of unrest that our great country is experiencing? YES. Do we sing loudly of our allegiance to the grand ol’ flag when we are rocked by bad news left and right? YES. Do we stand tall among the political chaos and ruthless finger pointing to defend our forefathers’ belief that God is in whom we must trust? YES!

Come on- you know you want to read the rest! 😉 click here to continue reading… Thanks! Happy Fourth of July!

Living Under the Freedom of God’s Grace

allowing myself to get caught up in yesterday to the point of missing out on today is not okay

I’m guest posting over at Only a Season today! Gloryanna and I hit it off almost immediately. She has a heart for the things of God and a wonderful way with words to deliver that beautiful message. When she asked me to guest post, I was humbled and honored because I highly esteem her blog. I had a hard time picking a subject to write on because there are a ton of topics looming in my head these days. However, a conversation with my best friend kept coming back to my thoughts and it therefore became the catalyst for my piece.

Want a snippet? Here ya go!

My BFF’s heartfelt words spoke to my spirit and caused an awakening of sorts to take place within. Am I showing up for my own life or am I just going through the motions? Am I allowing pain mixed with wine and trips down memory lane to trump the here and now with my beautiful family? After all, they are my future. So, in essence, avoiding the responsibilities of today is stealing from my tomorrows. OUCH.

Come on over to Only a Season and check out the full post! Thanks!

The Ingredients for a Balanced Life

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Honesty is very important to me. It’s probably at the top of my list of “Things that Will Keep Me in Your Life.” Without it, there is no point in engaging in relationship with someone. It’s pretty easy to point out the people in the public arena who are dishonest on purpose. A dishonest public life will earn you a bad reputation. (How many celebrities can you think of that have done this?)

More often than not, though, I am seeing something I like to call Personal Dishonesty (PD). It’s the initial spark that ignites the fiery chain reaction of widespread deceit. In essence, PD is telling ourselves a lie and then believing it to the point of acting on it.


PD trends that seem to plague our world:

I am ugly because my body is not like the model on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. I will starve myself until I look like her.

I am unimportant because my family doesn’t take the time to listen to me when I speak. I will stop speaking up and hide my feelings from everyone.

I am weak because I cry about everything, including Hallmark commercials. I must suffer from depression and need to take medication for the rest of my life.

I am a failure because I can’t find a good job. I will stop looking and just eat doughnuts and watch Netflix on the couch forever.

I am tainted goods because of what happened to me in my past. I will never get married so why even try to take care of my body and dress nicely?


Did you notice that each of these PD moments start with a thought that inevitably ends with a supporting course of action? It’s not hard to see then how our world has become wrought with external deception.Our scale of honesty is off balance due to false perceptions of ourselves.

We can’t even begin to be honest with those around us if we aren’t first honest with the one looking back at us in the mirror. The devil is called the father of lies for a reason, people. If he can get us to believe one little seemingly insignificant lie about ourselves, he can manipulate us into believing that a life of deception is acceptable. After all, it is the norm these days, right? (Again, take a look at Hollywood.)

Allow me to counter the list of common PD trends with some God-breathed truths. First, a necessary disclaimer: *These truths only turn into actions when we BELIEVE them.*


Counter-cultural truths to apply to our swindled souls:

I am beautiful because God says I am a masterpiece, made by His own hands, breathed into existence by His very breath. He saw His creation (you and me!) and He said, “It is good.” (Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1)

I am valuable because God says His thoughts toward me are precious and too many to count! He has put His own words in my mouth so that I can speak life and love everywhere I go without fear of what someone else might think. (Psalm 139:17-18, Isaiah 51:16)

I am strong because God created me in His image and He is all powerful and mighty to save. This means I have power and might. In fact, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of me! (Psalm 147:5, Romans 8:11)

I am victorious because God has given me the ability to endure through hardship and not give up. He says that I am more than a conqueror through the unyielding love of Jesus. (Colossians 1:11, Romans 8:37)

I am made new through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The old days have been redeemed because of God’s amazing grace. He makes my face shine and never looks on me with shame. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Psalm 34:5)


Let’s start a revolution of honest living! Read the verses referenced above. Pray them out loud until your mind, will, and emotions accept the truth for what it really is–

The ONLY thing that can set you free.

Silence the liesby speaking the TRUTH.

What does it really mean to be Wild and Free?

From self doubt to God- confidence

It’s June already. I can’t even believe it. Summer is practically here! As you may recall, I have been reading one book a month as a personal growth challenge of sorts.

My book for May was called “Wild and Free” by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. First of all, let me just say this to start:

EVERY WOMAN, YOUNG or OLD, NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. 

Here’s why:

It deals with two of the biggest issues women of all ages have dealt with since the dawn of time. Never being enough or Always being too much. We are either one or the other. Sometimes both!

It takes the reader through the lives of two women, one introvert and one extrovert. Both women talk about their journey from self-doubt to God-confidence. They are real, raw, and relate-able.

Lastly, included is an anthem for women everywhere that raises our eyes upward from our circumstances and fills us with everlasting hope. It goes like this:

“The world may tell us we’re too much and never enough.

But we can walk wildly in who God created us to be and rest freely in the work Jesus did for us.

We do not have to be confined or conformed by cultural expectations.

We are unchained from our past and unafraid of our future.

We choose compassion over comparison.

We love without condition, without reserve.

Our eyes are on God; we hold nothing back; we run fast and strong; we do not hide our light.

We aren’t wild and free for our sake alone; rather we sing life, hope, and truth over the world with abandon- just as our God sings over us.

We are wild and free.

And we are poised to do mighty things, in Christ alone.”

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Check this amazing book out! You’ll be motivated and encouraged to live out your God-given purpose with joy and confidence.

You Can’t Control But You Can Trust

She just needed to apply some truth salve to her beaten down soul.

I wrote a piece for Her View From Home yesterday and would love for you to check it out! It’s about being unable to control our lives and how that doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, I think it’s a fearless way to live when we choose to trust God to take care of us instead of try to do everything on our own.

Here’s a teaser for ya:

Anxiety doesn’t care if you think you have it all together. It comes at you hard and is determined to knock you out. Then it sits on top of you as you’re sprawled out on the mat and holds you there while raising brutish fists in victory. Anxiety is a beast.

While navigating my new, chaotic frame of mind, I started to realize that I was letting this brute control me. My decisions were becoming too safe and comfortable and the longing in me to be fearless and free was screaming for my attention.

But, how can we be fearless in the face of so much uncertainty?

If you want to know how I found freedom, click here to check out the rest of the article!

Also, my other Her View From Home pieces are here and here. This website has been such a wonderful platform for me to write about things that are really important to me. Go browse around….I promise you’ll be blessed! Thanks so much!

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You Can’t Control But You Can Trust

A Time to Heal

hold on to the promise of freedom that tomorrow morning brings.

It’s spring. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the daffodils and daisies awakening to the morning sun. Colorful lilies are frequenting the open fields and tulips are adorning the neighborhood gardens. What a wonderful display these lovely flowers put on for our enjoyment!

It’s easier for me to smile when I have glittering yellows and blues in my line of sight. My day is inevitably brighter when the warmth of the sun melts the frost from my wintry pale soul. Longer days make me jump with glee because it just means I get more time to spend outside in the healing rays. That’s what the sunshine is by the way. Healing. Oh, how I need some of that these days. My winter was harsher than years past due to a family tragedy and my heart hasn’t had the chance to really recover just yet.

Recovery. That goes right along with healing, doesn’t it? Maybe the welcoming smile of the cumulus clouds above are inviting me into a new space. A sunny place. One where I can run and play as I did when I was young. How I miss the ease of childhood, the naivety that youth brings, the fresh discovery that lingered in the air of my early years.

I want to be there again. Before life became wrought with trauma and pain. But I can’t go back. None of us can ever go back. We have to live with that truth. The funny thing about truth, though, is that in a strange and unguarded way,  it sets you free. Even when we don’t realize it, acceptance of the simple things that have always been and will always be, liberates the hurt right out of us.

Take the earth beneath our feet. It may be wet with dew or dry with cracks, but it’s still there for us to walk on. And it always will be. Those bulbs of spring that are awakening to new life after a long slumber in the dark can be counted on to make an appearance every year. Sure, a late frost might threaten their blooms but even so, they can be replanted, reborn.

Reborn. Another one of those words that brings comfort to my nostalgic heart. The pure simplicity of starting over in a world that is constantly on the edge of disaster makes me hopeful for the new.

Sing loud and strong, springtime song.

I have been in the frigid dark for way too long.

So I open my eyes and squint at the sun. I let the truth whisper through the wind that my time for renewal has arrived. And I hold on to the promise of freedom that tomorrow morning brings.

Deliver Me From (insert your word here)…

he has already delivered me from my shame. (1)

I struggle with shame. Just being honest here. We all have things from our life that we wish we could do over, right? (Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

It’s a late at night when I’m trying to sleep struggle. Or a dark and rainy day struggle. More recently, it’s a things are at a standstill in my life and I feel like I’ll never make it out of this waiting season kind of battle. It pops up in my mind more often than I’d like it to. It screams obscenities at me to remind me of how human I am. Some days it just won’t let up.

Why can’t I move past my shame? I ask God this question on a regular basis. This morning as I was in prayer, again pleading for relief, God directed me to the word DELIVER.

Deliver (verb)- to set free or liberate; emancipate, release, redeem, rescue

It occurred to me that I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing. I’ve been praying for God to take the memories away, to give me relief or alleviate the pain, but I have not actually recognized a vital truth: He has already delivered me from my shame. I just haven’t taken hold of it. 

You see, I am not dealing with guilt from God’s pointing finger. He’s not mad at me. I’m forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus. (Anyone else as thankful as I am about this?!) In case I ever forget that, I can go here for a reminder: 

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions,

for My own sake,

and remembers your sins no more.” – Isaiah 43:25

No, I am dealing with my own finger crookedly pointing back at me. I am mad at me. I haven’t forgiven myself for my mistakes so, though I AM CLEAN, I sure as heck don’t feel like it. 

Deliverance isn’t just one of those “christian-ese” words that t.v. preachers talk about. It is a very real and tangible truth that we have the opportunity to apply to our life. If only we will reach out and take it. I think, like myself, that many times we are so caught up in getting rid of the uncomfortable-ness of our past, the guilty feelings associated with certain people or places, that we neglect to look up and take hold of the freedom already available to us. 

God says He is our Deliverer. I think of the Israelites that God delivered from their bondage to slavery in Egypt. He radically rescued them from their enemy, yet they forgot this fact as they wandered in the desert. They romanticized their past bondage to the point where they wanted to go back to Egypt instead of enjoy the security of the Promised Land just within their grasp. They had a shame-based mindset that was content to stick with the humiliation that comes with enslaved living because they didn’t FEEL like they were free.

Shame does that. It sneakily creeps up into our thoughts and says,

“Hey, remember when we were best buds that used to get in all kinds of trouble fun together? Let’s do that again. Your present situation isn’t going to get any better anyways. Why not go back to the way things were?”

When we are in the wilderness and the promise of a better life feels so far away, we have a choice to make. We can look back at where we came from and decide that comfort and shame aren’t so bad. Atleast it’s familiar. Or we can look at how far we’ve come and decide that comfort feeds our shame and brings a restlessness for a life of regret. 

I have to choose. My impatient and insecure feelings are valid. But my feelings can’t tell me what to do. That’s how I got mixed up in this shame game in the first place! I have to call on my Deliverer to fill me with an awareness that even though I don’t feel free, I am. 

What about you? Is shame your struggle or is it fear, anxiety, lust, pride, etc… It doesn’t matter how big the struggle is, our God is bigger. Deliverance is available to us all. You just have to believe it! 

The Best Things in Life are Free?

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The best things in life are free

We’ve all heard it. Most of us accept this phrase as truth. I was one of those people.

But not anymore.

Free means that it doesn’t cost anything. And the best thing in my life is my salvation. Which cost my Savior everything.

People generally use this saying in reference to money. Like the popular thought that says, Can’t buy me love. 

Again, yes you can. In fact, God did buy our love when He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.

“Christ bought us with His blood and made us free…” – Galatians 3:13

When we are tempted to forget just how high a price Jesus paid on our behalf, we lose sight of what love really means.

It’s not conditional. It isn’t always pretty. In fact, it’s usually messy.

Love costs EVERYTHING.

 

photo credit: last light of my mind via photopin (license)

Sunday Rest #7

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.  As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”- John 20:19-22 

Happy Easter!

photo credit: An Hour Is Coming via photopin (license)