Garbage in and garbage out

I was cleaning out my pantry the last few days and can not believe how quickly I let ‘junk’ accumulate. Seriously; did I need two dish drainers, a foot -bath, a roasting pan, extra crock pot bowl, extra silverware tray, pickle jars (yes thankfully cleaned out ),two bags of crusty sweet potatoes, cereal o’s and cracker crumbs on the floor of my pantry  pushed underneath the bottom shelf? All these ‘treasures’ were hidden by the pile of grocery sacks and lunch boxes that kept getting kicked under by the boys that covered the other mess.

Who knows how long those things had been there and I know that it is a  sad, sad thing to admit. This mess would have sat undiscovered for months if I hadn’t gotten a wild streak to clean it all out. It helped having company over and realizing that I was shutting the pantry door out of embarrassment. Now these extras were the garbage I had let in, but doesn’t even cover the bags of stale and moldy bread I had found pushed to the very corners. Let me assure you, I have a HUGE pantry.

This purging of the pantry caused a little extra self-reflection. How much garbage are we allowing in to our lives. We let someone or something take a little corner of our heart and before we know it we are consumed with a mess we never expected and just cover it over instead of dealing with it.

My biggest area of letting garbage in to my heart, is when I take on another’s burden. Now often times a good friend or family member is constantly filling you with garbage of their own and it is added to all your own junk. If all you are is a persons burden disposal  it can be very easy to allow the burdens to accumulate and then you  become overwhelmed. If you have someone always kicking garbage your way, it is time to encourage them that it is time to lift one another up instead of weighing the other down. It is time to let go and  together put the trash where it belongs, in the garbage. It is time to focus on the good things in life.

I urge you this day, if someone is disposing all their garbage on you or you are holding on to your own, it is time to get rid of it once and for all. The garbage may only stay if we allow it.  It is time to speak to your heart and mind and command the junk to go. It may not take residence. If you want to walk in fullness of joy we need to not hold on to the crap.

Bitterness, burdens, hurt, hatred, jealousy, anger, envy, strife, damaging memories, and pain all are garbage items that it is time to dispel.   You can be brave and chuck it all out. You do not need the garbage any more, you held on to it long enough.

Todays challenge my friend : The garbage you once let in, it is time to take it out.

Through the darkness

It is so frustrating when I begin to get a song and I do not see the complete work yet.

But one lyric that has pressed on my heart for months now is… through the darkness, I will seek you , I know you are near. I have begun recording this song, with the help of my amazing husband. Even though I do not know the entirety right now, I do know that it will be complete when the time is right.

God will never forsake me. In my clouded brain, in my darkest hour, my thoughts wanting to suffocate me, God is there. I have hidden His words in my heart. I know them and I know they are true. I have the victory. Yes the pain rises anew over and over and over, but I do not need to stop there. I can pick up the word and apply it.

It does not matter that humans find no worth in me, it does not matter that I ache every day, it does not matter that my home will be foreclosed, that I get lonely, or feel sad. GOD knows the full picture. I do not usually push GOD in my writings. I know people feel differently and you can obtain joy in the natural by applying the truths in my post. But there is never complete joy without God.

God our awesome creator, knew us before we were in the womb. He sent His son to bring us from darkness and into a relationship with Him. His very spirit lives and breathes within us when we have life in Him. How can I wallow in my crud when the very breath of LIFE dwells within me and will rise and be renewed as I tap into Him, drinking from his wells of living water!

Darkness is mine no more. I do not dwell there. I do not stay with a cloud covering my eyes. I have hope, a vision, peace and the victory.

It is not a cliche but truth, I have joy, down in my soul. It is there and I had allowed it at times to sit and not be stirred up. But I am stirring it up this day! I am stirring it up tomorrow! I will NOT live in self pity, worry, doubt or tragedy. It is a new day, a new hour and I have an awesome God.

This is my challenge this day my friend. Do not stay stagnant where you are in the darkness but push through it, reaching for the very light that is calling out to you.

Loss will break your heart, but does not have to break your joy.

I know girls that have sliced open their arms out of pain, anger and self-hatred. They destroyed their faces because they did not want to look beautiful.

I have lost some of these beautiful women to their commitment of self-destruction.

I could use these situations and allow guilt to set in that I could not save them. That nothing I had said, and none of my prayers worked.  I could obsess with the fact that their lives were wasted and lost.

Or I can cry for a moment, let myself morn and then wake up and be proactive in the lives of others. I don’t spread joy because I feel like the perpetual Mary Poppins, or Pollyanna, I spread joy because I know the moment I stop, that is the moment that I become self indulged and obsessed of the situations I am in.

There isn’t one moment in any day that I do not have an emotion of burden and sadness.  But to allow that to be my focus or to take over my life is not an option. Joy comes from within. It is beyond the feeling of splendor, it is something you obtain regardless of how you feel. It is the TRUTH that you have life, that you will live it abundantly and your situations, will either pass or not, but joy is yours each day.

challenge this day my friend; allow yourself to mourn, allow the emotion of loss and destruction to cleanse your heart through your tears. Then take some breaths and say, emotion, you can not have todays joy.


The good old days

My most important heart of the matter desire with my writing is to bring you joy, or to inspire you to find your joy.
As I was awoke from a dream tonight, I remembered how simple things were as a child with my Daddy taking the lead and making the decisions. Providing my needs and being my hero.
I reflected back to the days of him by my side selling blue bird cookies, so I could win a trip to camp and while away at the camp I got so homesick my mom and dad came and got me early.
I remember running to Dad when he got off of work, and pulling off his boots and climbing in his lap to feel his mustache.
I would dance on his toes, and let him lead me around the living room standing on his feet.
We would trick or treat until we got so far from our starting point I would get tired and he would carry me back.
I would pretend to be asleep so he would carry me into the house, I would hear mom whisper that I was faking and he always said, “It’s okay, I’ll carry her in.”
He was my best friend, my comrade, my daddy , my hero.
I didn’t have to worry about paying the bills then, or making sure my children were happy, or that I was everything to my own family I should be. There was no illness for me as a child. Usually there was no stress or hurt and let down from friends and if there was Dad was always there to make me smile.
I find joy looking back at those sweetest memories of mine. And most often they involve my childhood, my dad, and the sacrifices he made, so that I could have the best possible.
I am writing this because those sweet memories bring me joy. A bubble in my heart that leaves me with a sigh.
I know someday that joy may be bittersweet when my dad is no longer here. But for now, I know he is and recently I got to be a little kid again.
I went to a Pat Benatar concert with just me and my dad. We talked about when I was little, we sang the songs together that I used to scratch up on his records, we talked about how talented she still is, and we talked about things on our hearts as adults.
My challenge this day my friend is to look back on those good memories and make new ones.
You may not have had happy child hood memories, I challenge you to create some. Go out for an ice cream cone in the middle of the day, or take your shoes off and feel the grass between your toes again. Find a comrade to share your hopes and dreams and fears.  Dare I say, take a moment and imagine your past better than it was. Let yourself create joy in any circumstance.
Some of us lose creativity when we grow up and have to go through our normal routines, I challenge you to not let it happen to you. I give you permission to be silly, to smile, to play and have good old days.
If you are ever looking for ideas, ask me, I am great at not growing up !

Blessings to you and happy childhood hunting.

Curiosity killed the cat

   So , our very stressed out, shy cat decided to go outside. I knew this was not a good thing for him. He had never been outside before and in the house he always hid from us and every noise because he was so skittish.

    Well it has been well over a week and at one point we saw him way under the house in an area we could not reach, I had hoped he would get hungry enough that we would be able to get him back with food,  but he is gone.

   I think it is safe to say, whatever wondering he had about outside has killed him.

  Thinking on this fact today made me reflect on how many times did my curiosity of what is a ahead kill my good moment of right now?

   I know this post will conflict with the other post about vision and looking ahead, but there is a difference between looking ahead with a vision and a goal and sticking your nose in something you are not ready for.

  Sometimes we jump so quickly into what we want that we don’t finish with preparation on how to get there successfully. We just jump and fall flat on our faces.

  We can have joy right where we are at in preparation for where we want to be. Looking ahead at the prize as an olympic medalist would, while still building their strength, stamina and skill to obtain it.

  This is my challenge this day my friend. Do not get in such a hurry to see your goal that you don’t finish your preparation to get there . Just like my poor kitty that didn’t wait to become prepared for the great noisy outside. Do not let your curiosity and impatience kill your dream, like it killed the cat.

Focus, focus, FOCUS!

   Where are your thoughts this day? I have so many running around in my head. It takes a great effort to stop thinking on the worries and retrain my mind to focus on the things that will produce life.

  I know we all have those mile long lists of thoughts that try to bombard us everyday. I have discovered and rediscovered that it does not do my body or my joy meter any good to dwell on; the overdue bills, illnesses, faithless friendships, lost loved ones and the never-ending to do list.

   There are some days that looking ahead at our circumstances does not leave room for much hope. But I am choosing to look at the future with a vision of what I want to come to pass rather than where I am at right now and stopping only at what I can see. So I go ahead and view my future and see where I am headed and know those dreams will come to pass. The things I want to see will happen. In the meantime I can stop and focus on what has happened that is good.

   Some days that focus is no more than “hey, I woke up this morning and I am able to stand on my own two legs.”  Directing my focus on the positive and where  it needs to be rather than where my mind naturally wants to take it is an amazing start to the day.

   Yesterday I had to dig up many focus opportunities.  The circumstances of life have been a struggle the past, forever. There is always something new to creep up.  Yet I know if I focus where I have come out of, the times we have overcome, I know I will succeed yet again. I may have to get into that clear focus over and over and over again in the matter of minutes with life thoughts crashing in, yet I am determined to do just that.

 My challenge this day my friend, is to not stop at the difficulties of where you are right now, but to find a goal and vision of where you want to be and focus on the victory when you get there, how sweet it will be! If you can’t muster the energy for your vision at this point,  take your focus to places that you have seen victory before and know it WILL come again. 

  Focus, focus, FOCUS my friend; can clear your sights in whole new ways.

 Here is to my focus this morning and wishing you joy this day!

Small things

  I have found lately that I can be bothered by such small, troubling, stumbling blocks that pop up, if I let myself. I have to choose to not walk in my thought of the moment or feelings but in the truth, that those small issues do not matter in the grand scheme of things.

  It can be hard to look at something that feels like a very real problem and say, ” You do not matter. You are small compared to all the other issues out there.”  But this is just what I am finding what I need to do. 

  Some days I feel like I have completely lost my mind when the fibro fog settles in. Then on top of that I get everyone’s opinion on why I am sick , or how to get better.

   I need to just let go and see that those issues really are not that big of a deal. I will get better, the fog will lift, and I have joy.

    I also need to just breath and let go when certain people’s opinions of me come in.  To put it bluntly I can not be all things to all people and I absolutely guarantee that  I will not agree with you at all times. I can not in any way meet everyone’s expectations, nor do I desire to. Does it really matter if I am different than who YOU choose me to be?

    My material possessions may break one after another, my husband may have lost over half his income for almost a year, I may have left my job and now realize ” hmmmm, we really did notice that extra each month”.  I may have been diagnosed with  a chronic illness. But in the grand scheme of things; I have a home, food, clothing, family, love, oh and hey even internet. The issues of lack or the issues that will change do not need to be my focus. They do not need to distract me from my joy.

  To live a life full of joy, my thoughts need to not be on where people want me to be, or where I want me to be, or where I want my finances to be. My heart needs to stay focused on what is truth. Problems no matter how big or small do not need to dictate my thoughts.  I do not need to dwell on them. Rather take a breath and know the storm will be over in just a moment. Joy truly does come in the morning, if we let it.

 My challenge this day friend is for you to evaluate. What things are truly small, that we can just breath and not focus on?

 There are enough issues in the world, do we really need to take on more?