Smiles in the rain

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Today’s post is really not that special. I just thought the colors were pretty and wanted to take a picture to remind myself to eat healthier. Like cucumbers and dill swimming in ranch. hahaha

Pretty food is healthy food…heard that somewhere.

And on that same note, I would like to remind myself that I like running in the rain. I was running in between stores getting things for my sickie hubby and daughter and it was pouring. But it was so refreshing! I loved it so much that I couldn’t hold back smiling. After random people started staring and smiling back I was also reminded the power of a smile. Unfortunately it’s not that common anymore.

A huge thing that really set the tone though, which happened before any of the smiling stuff, was me offering an old lady a drive home from the max station. She was bent over, wearing a fur coat, flimsy hat and no umbrella. She was walking uphill-slowly. Remember that it was pouring. I couldn’t ignore the screaming in my head about that woman and the act of kindness that I say I believe in but probably don’t show as much as I should. So I took a u turn, prayed I wouldn’t freak her out by offering her a ride to her house and smiled. She was so nice and told me she didn’t mind the rain! That she lived in northern Alaska for 20 yrs so this rain was nothing.¬†

It was amazing! What an attitude! I want to be like her when I’m older. That conversation changed my whole attitude for the day. And I wish I can go say thank you to her…but I know our exchange of smiles and my offer to drive her home touched her. Wish I had more experiences like this, but then again it’s really up to me. Risk, streeetch and risk some more. ūüôā

Well, have a great day- I might take a run!

*The beautiful blue bowl is Polish pottery and was bought last month in Nowy Targ, Poland. Thank you Weronika and Chris!

Trouble receiving Gifts

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Some thoughts that’s been bouncing around in my head….

I never used to say that I had problems receiving presents. And at some level I don’t. It’s a love language of mine actually and I feel love when I both receive and give gifts to others.

But I’ve been developing a problem.

I feel guilty.

It really shocked me when I was laying in a spa and resort with other girlfriends having a spa day. My thoughts to ¬†myself were, how can you be enjoying all this luxury when there are millions suffering around the world?! Children are suffering and here I am getting lemon water to drink and a lavender scented soaking tub ¬†to ‘relax’ in.

I think this feeling has, at some form, crossed everyone’s mind. And it bothers some more than others. But here’s the rub about my situation:

The spa day was a free gift that someone chose to invite me to. It was actually their birthday gift and they wanted me to enjoy it with them.

I was failing miserably.

I then imediately felt like I wasn’t enjoying this huge gift of quality girl time. I felt torn. And at the core, should I then never receive gifs because it makes me feel guilty?

No, that extreme is not OK.

God likes, no LOVES, giving me gifts. I believe it’s a love language of His too. So, as His girl, it is my pleasure to receive what He gives me.

It is not my job to judge how little I should receive.

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I will never understand why some are born into extreme poverty. Or why some are born into dangerous life threatening scenarios.

My job is to allow my heart to align with God, receive what He thinks I should be given, give what I have to those in need and stop feeling bad for what I do have.

*Disclaimer: With the same breadth, I also believe in living life within reason. For example, do I need to fill my pantry to the top or go out to eat all the time? Or buy extra craft supplies because it’s on sale? Excess. It’s about looking into our daily life and making whatever changes we can. First for ourselves, but also for the next generations in our home who look at how we live our lives.

Being content

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Do you think this mean is content with his smile?

God has been talking to me a lot about being content with where I am/ what I have/who I am/etc. A friend gave me a verse a while back and just tonight I looked it up…Phil. 4:12. Above verse. I guess He is not done with the lesson of being content.

PS. Isn’t this the best smile?! I know many women who hide from cameras because she doesn’t like how her picture will turn out. What about this guy?! His energy and happiness is beaming from his HEARTFELT smile. Beautiful.

Do you think this man is content with his smile?!

PPS. I wonder if this is what ‘Beautiful’ (the man in the Bible) looked like. And his brilliant smile after he was healed.

friends

In the past few days I have had women open up and express how they’re feeling about themselves, their family and relationships overall and I am SO encouraged and deeply grateful to each of them.

As we talked, none of us had answers for each other. We listened and sat. The level of depth and vulnerability was touching. Different women. Different hang out times.

It is like that moment when you walk outside in the snow and everything is silent with so much beauty around and you feel like if you speak then it will break.

…..

It’s times like these I need to remember. It is so easy for me to feel isolated and frustrated. But when I open my eyes and reread posts like these, it reminds me that God is moving in the hearts of the women friends around me and we’re trying our best to share in it together. We might not be all at the same pace, but we’re kinda patient. Loving it.

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I’m now needing to push myself to read my book for book club. Really excited to get together with the ladies. I think I’m only on….maybe chapter 3? I have about a month. I can do it.

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The sun is shinning. Love it. Miss it. Praying for Spring to start. Maybe it has but the temperature sure hasn’t risen. Boo.

But for these 2 min in a day when the sun is bright I’m thankful. ūüôā

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My darling baby girl is turning 3 Saturday. Belle Princess party. Pictures? Oh definitely.

Getting over this morning

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I failed today. This morning I was trying to hurry my 3 yr old (which is an oxymoron) and to make a long drawn out story short- I lost my patience. I raised my voice. There were punishments for her attitude/choices which just made me feel more stressed.

And all for an appointment that NEVER HAPPENED! If I had taken the 10 seconds it takes to check my phone I would have seen the text. But no, I hurried my Emma to church, which she started to cry as I dropped her off. That never happens. Usually she never looks back to say bye. Hard morning.

I drove to this appointment (which, again, had been canceled- argh!) feeling horrible. And as I was talking to God about it all, I was realizing that I was justifying my actions because of her attitude and choices. How mature. Let’s compare ourselves to a pre-schooler!

I then asked myself why I was feeling horrible, and I realized that my actions this morning was not out of love, but out of frustration, impatience and stress. I did a lot of reacting. Not much thinking. I actually felt a lot better after identifying my feelings and the action steps after was not too hard to come up with.

When I picked  Emma up (who hugged me so tight it hurt my heart), I took her to a quiet secluded place and recounted this morning to her. I told her I was sorry for yelling and my attitude was not good. I said that Jesus and I talked and I apologized to her. She smiled and said she forgave me. Then we kissed and hugged.

We also have snuggled a lot today. Both of us wanting to heal the hurt that was this morning.

So that’s how I’m doing today. You?

Attitude change

 

DSC_0217.JPG This is my spot of internet right? Like my own little place I can say a few ideas or opinions.

Well, I have noticed today that as I hurried to fill our half deflated tire and get our oil change which was over due and light flickering on, I’ve been in a bad mood. It’s not because it’s cold and raining here- I just layer more layers on. It’s familiar.

But rather I am allowing the interaction between the Jiffy Lube guy and me to taint my day. And even though it would be very easy and sadly familiar to blab on and on about how I’m justified in all this, I want to chose the high road.

I chose and am continuing to chose to change my day and attitude. That is the power I have.

I have been given little presents from God and my job is to find them. A couple I’ve found already:

* A prefect husband for me and a daughter who is the most adorable and cherished little girl you will ever meet.

*A white chocolate mocha WITH whipped cream.

*A Cinderella princess dress for only 5.99 at Ross

* A safe home.

*Clothes that keep me warm. Including shoes

*great friendships

* food for a menu

Thanks God for neverending to show me your goodness. Sometimes it is so easy to feel overwhelmed by all I ‘need’ to do. I am so grateful you will always be with me. I like being around you most of all.

Me

Contributing

I had a hard week last week. Nothing happened. No horrible meeting or hurtful conversation. It was more a dialog and feelings inside myself that tarnished the week.

I mentioned in earlier posts that I go to a womens bible study group and really like it. I am really glad I am apart of it and look forward to it every week. Last Thursday was different. I came looking to see the same women I have grown to love, but ended up feeling emotionally disconnected from them. It was odd to me and I decided to clam up and listen. Which is just me pulling away. Very mature huh…I felt more validated because I was more and more annoyed by, what I felt was ‘shallow talk’.

The women weren’t meaning to go in circles and not go very deep, and I really want to show them in a right light. However, in the place I was then, I was just frustrated and felt like I couldn’t relate with any of them.

I ended up not contributing to the dialog in the group. Which I usually have something to say about anything. We all have opinions- I voice mine. Or try to at least.

I came this week trying to come without expectations or hesitations. And for the most part I did well in that. The group went well, I gave some vulnerable thoughts, others opened up, some challenged and contributed too. I left feeling like it was a productive and worth while morning.

The thing is this: God challenged me in my thinking. He asked me, was today a productive/possitive day because you contributed to the discussion? Do you always have to be heard and validated by others to make you feel good? (speaking to my insecurity)

It was a surprise and I thought about it. The truth is, I think, the people who needed to talk, talked last week at womens group. I cannot base the rest of my day on feelings/emotions. Yes they happend and should be talked through with God, but I allowed the awkward group time to alter the rest of my week, making me more shy and pulling the vulnerability back. Which I am so working on.

That’s all I guess. This post is more for me than you. It helps to write out as I process. So, I guess you get another glimps into my mind/emotions/walk with God.

The Wind

Well, the east wind in the Columbian Gorge is here. Last night I was laying in bed hearing the wind howl outside and I had this overwhelminig feeling of thankfulness. I was/am so thankful that although it was freezing outside, I was able to¬†burrow under our warm blankets. But I also have this part of me thhat feels guilty. I know there are many people who are in the greater Portland metro who are outside and cold. I¬†have this thought that I shouldn’t be able to be warm when there are people outside who need warmth too in the cold winter months.

I was thinking about this and I heard God talk to me about how He gave me a warm home with blankets. He talked to my guilty feelings and told me He wanted to protect me from the bitter¬†cold. I realize I focus on others as a diversion and don’t look to why I feel the way I feel. So instead of talking to me about people in Portland, He talked to me about why I was feeling guilty.

It’s all about my self worth and how I view myself. I don’t fully¬†like/love myslef and thus feel like I don’t deserve things He gives me. But I’m slowely¬†getting healthy¬†and growing. And I see the areas in growth when I talkk with God.

Thank you God, you are so patient with me. You see me so differently than how I see myself and I will continue to work to be at a place were I can happily accept myself for who I am.

Keeping it Real

You know those days when you feel like there is so much that needs to be fixed or changed to just be a ‘normal’ person? Like the times when you find yourself¬†interrupting¬†your spouse because they just aren’t agreeing with you and you feel it’s your God given job to convince them you’re right and they’re wrong? Or just waking up in a bad mood which leads to you being impatient with your kids? Uh, yeah. Been there and then a whole lot more.

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot that I believe is bad about me. Which is coming because I’m on a healing road and all this is coming to the surface. Wonderful. Not. So anyways, I was at woman’s bible study and as they were talking I was in my own world and was writing down what God was telling me. Basically, it was that I’m a good creation. Period. That there is more good in me than any bad that I see.

Since He doesn’t make mistakes about things- and He called me a ‘Very Good Creation’ (Genesis 1) then it must be true. I am a good creation. He didn’t say that I’m mostly good. Or that I’m good on days I do things for Him. I am good all the time. That’s the truth and all the garbage I’ve been believing is…well garbage. No need to try and be good. I already am.

This might seem like I just said the same thing like 5 different ways but I am writing this for me. I sometimes need to explain it to someone else to fully understand what He’s saying.