#100HappyDays

Hello again, friends!

Lately, I’ve been struggling with appreciation.  There are a lot of stressful things going on in my life right now (personal, professional, even legal) that can make seeing the beautiful things in life very hard to do.  Therefore, for the next 100 days, I will post something that makes me happy and tag it with #100HappyDays to make myself reflect on the positive aspects of my life.  These posts will include people, places, things, whatever–anything that makes me happy is eligible for the 100HappyDays hashtag.  🙂

Day 1:  This blog makes me happy!  Even though I don’t update every day (or even every month) I enjoy having this space to voice my opinions.  There are some things I want to share with the entire world; this blog gives me the opportunity to get those thoughts and ideas out to a wide audience.  There are some times when I’m sad, lonely, scared, angry, or just need to vent–this blog is the safe space I need to get those feelings out.

(PS:  I got this idea from my friend/coworker Nicole.  Check out her awesome blog here!)

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He Will Not Fail

My apologies for the brief hiatus; I was on vacation for a bit, then traveling for business. The good news is that I’ll have a pretty sizeable post about my vacation coming up shortly, so stay tuned! 🙂 In the meantime, I want to share a bit about how God is working in my life. 

God truly knows what He’s doing. If you pray and ask Him for help, He will provide. I am learning this more and more each day. The key is to be patient enough to wait on Him. He, in His divine wisdom, has a plan for all of us. Sometimes, we want to accelerate that plan. 🙂 However, if you wait on the Lord you will find that things work out exactly as they are supposed to. This is true faith–allowing God to work in His time and trusting that He will not lead us astray or forsake us. 

Good things have been happening in my life, y’all. 🙂 I have no one but God to thank for them. I appreciate the blessings He’s brought to my life and the lessons He teaches me each day. I’ve mentioned in the past that I can be willfully ignorant when it comes to listening to what God is telling me. After making an active effort to consult Him first in all things, I am noticing positive changes in my life. Trust Him; He will not fail you. 

“I will come to You.”

I am taking a vow to consult God first. He knows what is best for me and so I will submit to His guidance. I have asked him to speak to me, to show me His plan for my life. If He wills it, I will do it.

In my prayers, I told Him “I will come to You.” Immediately the heaviness on my heart subsided. The worries that consumed my thoughts faded. At any point during my day when I become sad, angry, frustrated, or otherwise out of control, I will turn to Him. All obstacles are just temporary and are part of His greater plan. 

I know I am often willfully ignorant when it comes to God’s messages to me. I ignore His whispers until they become shouts. This cannot continue. I am standing in my own way and keeping myself from the blessings He has for me. I have to constantly remember that He made me in His image and that I deserve the best of His creations. 

This is going to be hard, but I will try hard. I always want to be in control, but now I know that I can’t be. Honestly, I won’t ever be. God is in control and if I obey His commandments and listen to Him, I will always prosper. 

Black and Blue (unknown to you)

Blogger’s Note – April 28, 2015: I’ve been going back and forth in my head over whether or not to post this. It is deeply personal and, honestly, I was afraid to put the truth out there. God sent me a sign, so now I’m sharing this. Thank you to this blogger for allowing God to speak to me through you. I’m not afraid anymore. 

On the outside, I looked fine. 

On the inside, I was black and blue. 

The words he hurled at me left invisible scars. He called me stupid, ugly. He constantly picked me apart: my hair, my clothes, my weight, my job, my family, my friends. He said I deserved all the terrible treatment I’d gotten in the past. He said that no one else would want me. He yelled in my face until I was a puddle of tears. Once I screamed at him, pushed to the edge of sanity, “Why do you do this? Why do you always try to break me down?”

He didn’t say anything. 

He isolated me from my family and friends. If he could keep me from people who valued me, I would continue to feel worthless. I would continue to believe that all I had was him and the world he constructed for me: the feelings he told me to feel; the life he told me to live. 

No matter how hard I tried, I was never enough for him. And I did try. I stopped doing things I loved. I left people behind who had been there for me long before he had. I put him–his kids, his family, his finances, his feelings–before myself over and over and over again. He required–demanded–all of my time and attention. But it was never enough. 

I pretended. When I talked about my relationship, I was intentionally vague or only focused on the good parts. When asked how things were, my response was always “It’s fine.” “He’s fine.” “I’m fine.” But things were not fine. I felt like I was drowning and the person who was supposed to be my life boat was actually the current pulling me under.  

Thank God for the breaking point. Thank God for that night when He whispered to me, “Enough is enough. You were not meant for this,” and I finally heard Him. Too many times I had ignored His subtle revelations, but this time His whisper was a shout that woke me up. 

I’m a firm believer that God sends us trials to teach us. Not because He doesn’t care or wants us to suffer, but because He has a lesson we need to learn to get to the next level in life. I’ve learned my lesson. I will never forget it. 

“Enough is enough. You were not meant for this.”

On the inside now, I’m healing. 

 

The Best Laid Plans

You know how I know God is real?

When I went back to Kentucky, I had every intention of placing flowers on my Granny Aloma’s grave in the morning on the anniversary of her passing. I got up, got dressed, and went to the florist to buy a small arrangement to place on her grave. I planned to take care of that first, before I ran any of my other errands for the day and before the forecasted rain showers began. 

…But the florist didn’t have any fresh flowers. She wouldn’t get any until early afternoon. Silk flowers were not an option; my Granny Aloma loved fresh flowers and that was what I would bring to her. I was initially upset and considered going to another florist–the only other florist–in town but agreed to come back around 2:30 that afternoon to purchase some flowers. 

I picked up flowers at the scheduled time, a small but beautiful bright spring arrangement. I placed them, leaving a single stem on my infant cousin’s grave, and had a good conversation with Granny Aloma. I walked around the graveyard and paid my respects to so many other members of my family. And who pulled up to the graveyard but my Aunt Sybil and Aunt Rhonda, two of my Granny Aloma’s daughters.

God has a plan for all of us. He knows what is best and guides toward it. My plan was to place flowers in the morning. But God knew that if I placed them in the afternoon, I’d be able to see my Aunt Sybil and Aunt Rhonda–two women who watched over me when I was young, who I otherwise wouldn’t have seen on my trip to Kentucky. He placed me there, at that specific place and time, for a reason. So we could comfort each other, spend time together as family, before the rain began to fall. 

The best laid plans–our best laid plans–mean nothing compared to God’s infinite grace and wisdom.