Flawless to Fractured

broken-glass-2208593_1280

I’ve always been intrigued by the patterns shattered glass makes when it breaks. Some would say that it is imperfect or flawed, and not worth much or good for anything. Have you ever felt like that? Felt that you were too flawed, unworthy or no good?

That’s what the devil wants you to think. If fear and doubt creep in the corners of your mind, and you start listening to those doubts and dwell on them, it doesn’t take long for you to believe the lies of the enemy. And if you constantly dwell in the recesses of your mind, where you allow those thoughts to flourish, they can become beliefs that you hold true. When hurt and anger fuel those doubts, you start to imagine that every unkind word that has ever been spoken within your hearing distance is about you.

2 Corinthians 10:5  New International Version (NIV)
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Earlier this month, I was grappling with my identity. Things had happened and it takes being in the Word daily reminding myself that I am not a failure, I am not less than, I am not so overwhelmed with my chaotic life that the enemy can steal my joy, but he sure has tried to.

Ephesians 6:12  New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The first thing to go wrong was my cellphone screen was purposely broken by our grandson, an inquisitive tike, who wanted to see what would happen when he ran his toy shopping cart over the top of it. It cracked the screen, but not in a beautiful prism pattern, as in the photo above, but lines crawling down and around my screen. I wanted to scream and yell and make him understand what he did wrong, but he didn’t understand. He just kept saying, “Maw phone cracked.” And when I agreed with him, he gave me a hug. He didn’t realize it would affect the use of the phone. The speaker was damaged, but the phone is still usable. Is it pretty, definitely not, but it still works, even with tape over the screen. My Joy is found in Jesus, not in things.

Several days later, my computer screen was damaged beyond repair, but thankfully the hard drive is okay. Accessing it right now is not easy, but at least I know at some point I will be able to retrieve the data and photos I have stored on my computer. Yes, I cried and lamented once again that one of my electronic devices had been damaged, and even felt as if it was my fault and I was a failure because he had managed to damage it. If I had been more proactive in closing my lid when not using my laptop; if I had never let him sit with me when I worked on it; if I had put it away when I was done with it – the same speech I give when he is done with his toys and things. All the “if I had” thoughts tried to make me believe that I had somehow failed as the adult in the situation.  And then depression set in. Worry took hold. Once again, the devil tried to steal my joy and harden my heart, but I love Jesus, so I asked for forgiveness for the anger I was holding onto and forgave this young child because once again, he didn’t understand what it all meant.  And no amount of explaining or reasoning would help.

As a child of God, I choose to love others. I choose to show grace and mercy even when that is the last thing I want to do. I make those choices because Jesus shows me grace and mercy and loves me, no matter how many flaws I have. No matter how broken I am, He is always there for me.

As I have leaned into the Lord and continue to learn how merciful He is, I realize that all the material things in the world mean nothing – they are simply things. Is it a lesson I wanted to learn, heck no. But it was one I needed to learn. God uses every single trial and test we go through to refine and purify us into the person he wants us to be. Even broken electronics. Even broken dryers and broken down vehicles. The fractures I’ve experienced in my home these last few weeks, all boil down to “stuff”.

Psalm 73:26-28 The Message (MSG)
25-28 You’re all I want in heaven!
You’re all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
God is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.
But I’m in the very presence of God—
oh, how refreshing it is!
I’ve made Lord God my home.
God, I’m telling the world what you do!

I serve a loving God. I walk with Him daily. He holds me up when I feel like caving in, he sends love and support through prayers and helps from friends,  that I call angels here on earth. He loves me enough to let me go through trials, minor tribulations compared to what many in the world face today; in my mind’s eye, they seemed pretty big at the moment. When I rely more on my cell phone, my laptop computer, my clothes dryer and even my vehicle, more than I rely on God, I needed that wakeup call.

Jesus is enough. The phone, computer, dryer, and van make my life easier, but it won’t get me into Heaven. Only Jesus can do that. And Jesus is the only one that can heal our hearts and minds.

Ephesians 6:14-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[a] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[b] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[c]

Wearing the Full Armor of God is the best way to live. When calamity strikes, no matter what it is, I can stand firm in knowing that no matter what problems I face, they are only temporary. And there is nothing wrong with me. I am worthy, I am good, I do my very best every day and because I am human, sometimes I fail. But that is not held against me by God. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Only Love.

If you are struggling with your identity and who you are, remember this, Jesus knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He knows everything about you and He loves you. Right where you are, right now, at this moment. Do not give the devil and foothold in your mind. Because that’s where many battles are fought.

May you remember you are more precious than rubies. Jesus Loves You!

Blessings to you~Carlene

#HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

 

 

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Living with Purpose

For many years, I have believed that I was living with purpose and living out the plan and purposes that God has for me and my life.  I love to encourage others to stretch themselves and their faith, and to realize that our faith isn’t dependent on what we do, but what God does in our lives.

Seek Him

God calls us to be bold and to live abundantly, to trust Him for everything we need; HE will always go before us, and HE will equip us with what we need to achieve anything, but we have to have faith in Him.

How many times, in your life do you pray fervently, but see no results? How many days are you down on your knees, pleading with God to help you figure out what you are going through and why are you going through it and what possible purpose will it serve for you to go through the pain and agony you are going through? Often times, what we face in life, our challenges, struggles, our victories, are all leading up to glorifying God and being thankful and grateful that He allows us to go through this things so we can learn to comfort and bless others with our own stories.   The challenge for those of us that are so used to getting quick fixes to problems, is those quick fixes may be temporary solutions to long-term problems. God isn’t here for just a quick fix, he’s here for the long haul. From birth to death and into eternity.  He’s not the type of God that gives you a one time fix and says, “that’s it, you’ve reached your allotment for life, now go figure the rest out on your own, been nice knowing you.”

He is the type of Heavenly Father that weeps when you weep and cheers when you succeed. He loves you with a love like no other and all he asks in return is that you choose Him over anyone or anything else. That you choose to follow Him, to listen to what he tells you and to do two main things: Love Him with everything you are and everything you have and love others.  I have spoken on this before, but I think it is so important that it is repeated until everyone understands and grasps the simplicity of what HE wants from us. Because once you get that, once you understand that Love and everything that comes out of a true, selfless loving heart than you have everything you need to do His work.  And His work will look different in every single life. He calls us to walk with Him, to have a relationship with Him and I know from my own personal experiences in this life when I am walking with Jesus, I see things differently and have a more compassionate heart for people and their struggles.  He doesn’t want us to walk in fear or a belief that I am not good enough, I can’t do this or I can’t do that.  Moses didn’t think he could lead God’s people Israel out of Egpyt, but he did. But it took convincing from God that even though he did not think he was strong enough or people would listen to him, God went before Him and God equipped Moses for everything he needed to do for the Kingdom.

 

I have been reminded of this fact lately in my own life. As many of you know, I have struggled with living in chronic pain for over the last 7+ years.  And I have had to change my way of doing many things and learn to adapt to new circumstances that were entirely out of my control and not only was it very depressing to me, and people that knew and love me, but it was a tremendous burden to my spirit that I could not provide for my family or help with the household income.  And I had pretty much given up any hope of ever feeling truly alive again. I didn’t give up on my faith, my faith in God and His promises is the ONE thing that kept me going. I knew without a shred of doubt that HE has a plan for my life and His plans are always so much bigger than I will ever be able to see.  I also know that if I were to know everything that I would go through and will still go through, it would be too overwhelming for me to handle. So living into my purpose comes in pieces that are tangible for me to understand and grab hold of. And that is why I am who I am and God is who He is. He knows just exactly what I need at the moment and He knows just what you need, nothing more, nothing less.

In June of this year, I received an amazing gift of love from a dear friend that has changed my life forever. I no longer suffer from chronic pain, fatigue or the many other symptoms I was experiencing and I want to share what has helped me to feel alive again and better than I ever have. I want others that suffer from chronic health problems, that believe that all hope is lost and they are destined to continue on the path of pain, fatigue, depression, irritable bowel symptoms, allergies too many to mention, that need to get themselves healthy but have no idea how to do it. I want to share with others that this is not a quick fix or a magic pill you take, and all is better. I want to educate others, as I have learned that many of the autoimmune disorders that people live with and are diagnosed with every single day, can be helped if they understand how their body functions and works. People that want to not only be in their children’s and families lives but actually be able to participate in their lives and be part of them and trust me when I say there is a difference. Watching from the couch or sidelines isn’t a way to live. I did that for many years. I could make plans and then have to cancel them because I just didn’t have the energy required to even get dressed, let alone go anywhere.

Eleanor Roosevelt quote

And I am the type of person when I have something to share, that I believe will benefit others, I want to shout it from the rooftops, and the valleys, but I too struggle with wondering if my voice will be heard. I am human. I have learned that just because people reject what I am sharing with them, doesn’t mean they are rejecting me. And as I grow into this new person I am becoming and learning to love the body I am in, finally, I know that I am doing what I am called to do. Every day when I meet with God in prayer, he confirms this is where He wants me right now. Life is a journey, full of dull, sad, exciting, transforming and unexpected moments.

faith

Had I not chosen to accept a gift of love over 4 months ago, I might still be sitting on the sidelines wondering what it was like to be living life to the fullest every day.  I chose to trust God that His plan was bigger than I could see or envision.  And as I continue to trust in Him, I know that He is using these amazing new products to heal my body from the inside out. I would love to help you if you want to be the best version of you. I would love to know how I can serve you and be a blessing to you, just as my friend was a blessing to me. When you are ready to take your health back and in turn live your best life ever, let me know. I am here and I would love to walk with you in your journey to better health and happiness.

May you always know how much Jesus Loves You and he will meet you right where you are!

Blessings to all of you~thanks for stopping by.

#HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

 

Journey of Joy

Dreams1

Six weeks ago, I started an amazing journey back to finding joy in my everyday life, in living to the fullest and healing my body from the inside out. I am happy to exclaim that I no longer suffer from chronic pain* due to my myriad of health conditions. I have learned through many wonderful people gut health is truly the key to living and loving life, feeling the best I can ever remember, even before the fibromyalgia diagnosis.

As I hydrate myself with my daily water intake, exercise, and eat right along with taking my Nutritional supplements that are vegetarian, plant-based, no GMO and gluten-free, the bacteria and harmful toxins that have been consumed are being flushed out and replaced with good micro flora that my body needs to be clean and healthy.

My own personal pain levels have disappeared. I am forever grateful to God for connecting me with others that want the best optimum health they can have. Fatigue is a thing of the past unless I choose to stay up super late and don’t get the required amount of sleep I need.  What truly gave me peace in my heart to try these products* were the fact that they were !00% plant-based. Plants come from God. These products have not been genetically modified in any way. Truly a Natural product.

My energy levels are increasing each day and I still sit in awe, that six weeks ago, I was in such a deep depression* and felt like giving up, I could barely move without pain* accompanying me everywhere I went. My focus* and concentration* were so out of whack that I had trouble keeping track of my notes for everything in my life.

I have found a great company that cares about the people who use their products and only wants to see optimal health achieved. I had believed, due to the skepticism I had, that finding joy on this journey would be a long drawn out process. I was mistaken. I am so thankful I was wrong. Plexus Worldwide has literally transformed me and my outlook on life. I still have a long way to go to meet my personal health goals, but I know now they are within reach, instead of a distant dream.

Every choice each one of us makes on our own journey determines the destination we arrive at.  Right now Joy is my destination and I look forward to the endless possibilities in front of me. Plexus Worldwide also offers Opportunities++ to help them share their products, earn compensation in 11 different ways and achieve optimal health! As I joyfully pursue these opportunities, I am here if you have any questions.

As always, trust in the Lord. Seek Him and His wisdom. Remember Jesus Loves You!

Blessings to all~Carlene

 

++Plexus makes no guarantees or projections of income, as such representations may be misleading.Your success depends on your effort, commitment. skill and leadership abilities, and how efficiently you exercise these qualities. Please see Plexus Annual Income Disclosure Statement.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

My Heart

My heart sees what the world cannot comprehend.

My heart sees the loneliness that she feels when the world shuts her out.

My heart sees the ache when all she wants are friends that include her and think about her.

My heart sees how walls have been built because they are a form of protection.

My heart sees a young woman trying to find her fit in this life and feeling hopeless.

My heart sees a child that looked for love in all the wrong places because she didn’t feel loved enough at home.

My heart sees a child that wants to feel needed and loved unconditionally.

My heart hurts because I cannot fix the problems she fears and the failures she remembers

My heart sees what all the negative words have done as they have penetrated her soul and become her beliefs, that she is worthless, useless, lazy, not loved.

My heart cries because this is not who she is. She is beautiful.

My heart sees the struggle she lives within herself; I remember when she was carefree.

 

 

My heart sees that coping isn’t easy and sleep never comes.

My heart sees a woman that loves her child but doesn’t know how to show it all the time.

My heart sees a woman who wants to have a job, have friends, be independent, but doesn’t know how to achieve it, because her self-esteem has been battered and bruised.

My heart sees where I have failed and my heart forgives itself because holding onto that kind of thinking can cripple a person.

My heart hopes for her, that one day she will be the person God has created her to be.

My Heart Katlyn

My heart sees the fierce compassion she carries within her own heart and will defend those she says she doesn’t love because that’s what family does for one another

.My heart longs for her to accept that she is worthy of love, real love and so much more.

My heart waits for her to understand that life gives us lessons to make us stronger and not to withdraw more.

My heart leaps when I see her artistic ability and I only wish she could see this gift of a talent she has.

My heart perseveres in knowing she can be anything she wants to be, she can be the best at what she hopes for and she can soar.

My heart prays for the day that she is not afraid to spread her wings and fly.

My heart weeps because the anxiety that is part of who she is how it  stops her in her tracks and as much as she wants to be a part of something, anything, she doesn’t know how to move forward without fear creeping in.

My heart loves this person with so much love, that I will never look at her except as the beautiful child I know her to be. She grew inside of me for 9 1/2 months. She is my daughter. She struggles with depression and social anxiety. She has but a few friends and I weep because I know she desires so much more for herself than I can give. I love her with a fierce love and I always will. I pray daily that she will know how much she is loved and will not only know it but embrace it. I love you, Katlyn Nicole with all that I am.

May you know how much Jesus Loves You!#HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings til next time!

Stand Up & Be Kind

“Bullying is something that we need to talk more about. We need to stop it from happening if we witness it. All of us have the power within us to make a difference, but the fact is many people allow it to go on because it’s easier than getting involved.

Cyberbully

When I was a child, I was bullied because I did not fit into the mold of the correct size of peers my own age. I was very tall and I felt oversized. I used the excuse of being big-boned like my grandma and that was how I was created. The fact of the matter was there was nothing wrong with me or my size. I was the right weight for my height, but that didn’t help me feel any better. It was like I had to make excuses for why I was the way I was all the time. We have all heard it said, “kids can be so cruel.”  I have learned over the years that if parents don’t teach their children the right way to be toward others and to see differences as just that and not reasons to be mean, children will continue to be cruel even if they don’t realize they are. Most children are honest to a fault, because they haven’t learned that sometime’s being honest about how someone looks or how they dress, may be the best they can be and being different can be scary to others.

I grew up with a sister that is deaf. So, I automatically became a defender, even if she didn’t want one or need one. There was no way I would let anyone mistreat her with words of ignorance or any other actions. The truth is she didn’t need me to stand up for her, she did this quite well and still does today.

When our children were going through grade school, junior high and senior high school, they too faced times of bullying and as a parent, that was not okay with me. They did not want me to step in, that would just make it worse, put a target on them, so to speak. I did step in, I did contact the principal, guidance counselors, teachers and anyone else that needed to be talked to because I wanted my children to not only get an education, but I wanted them to feel safe at school and not afraid to go.

I have learned over the years that most people who target others to bully, demean or belittle have their own issues of insecurity or have never been treated kind, and they lash out instead of facing their own difficulties.

STOP BULLYING

As we have progressed as a society, and electronics have become a way to live, communicate and thrive, it has also opened up doors, bigger than any of us can close on our own, on bullying. Now it doesn’t have to be done face to face; it can be done through social media posts, Instagram photos and cyber attacks that can’t be traced.

Most. if not all reputable websites have policies in place against bullying others, being vulgar or using profanities, but the Web is a huge and controls put out there to monitor such actions can’t keep up.

I know I can’t change the world all by myself, but I can choose to create ripples of kindness instead of ripples of hate. Every word and thought I have I choose. Every way I choose to react is a choice. Each time I see someone being belittled or hated on, I can choose to speak up against it or I can turn away.

My choice is to be kind and to show kindness still exists.

Tonight, a dear friend, was telling me about her day at work and how she had to defend someone because another co-worker was being insensitive and mean. She talked about how it angered her that the person being mean thought it was okay to act like that. She talked about how she was bullied when she was younger and I think that those of us that have been treated unkind know what it’s like and we don’t want another person to feel that way. Ever.

My mother always taught us that it costs nothing to be kind. We never know what kind of battle someone is facing. But we can always be kind.

My challenge to all of you reading this is this: be a little kinder, turn the other cheek, remember we all have struggles, real or imagined and being mean, hateful, spiteful, or hurtful doesn’t help. Think before you speak. Love each other. And the Golden Rule, if you can’t say something nice, keep your words to yourself.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers, and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. – Galatians 5:13 NLT

There is enough evil and hate in this world. It’s time we start taking the world by the horns and showing others what living in love and living like Jesus is all about!

May you know how much Jesus Loves You!

Blessings to you!

 

 

 

 

 

Hazy Days

Lately, I have had to stop in mid-sentence to try and recall what I was about to say or continually ask the same question, knowing I was given the answer multiple times, but I just can’t recall what it was. I do not like repeating myself and I don’t like asking others to repeat themselves. When this happens, I am tripping over myself apologizing and having to explain that sometimes the “brain fog” of Fibromyalgia is real and not an excuse for not listening.

Hazy Fog

It’s like leaving the room you’re in, to go get something from another room, but you feel like the rooms have moved and you have no idea how to get there from where you are. You think you must be losing your mind because you can’t keep track of simple details. It’s maddening, for me.  Sometimes the “fog” is like a haze. I stumble through my day, writing myself notes and writing everything down because I don’t want to ask again, and then misplacing the notes, only to find out they are right where I put them.

And going to the grocery when the “fibro fog” has settled in for a spell is a whole new thing. I must write everything down I need. If I do not put pencil to paper and notate it, even if it’s only two items, I will not be able to recall it.  I used to be able to remember the smallest of details. My mind was sharp. It’s frustrating because you never know when it will happen.

I play word games with friends and read to keep my mind active. I am working on teaching our grandson letters and numbers that he will need for preschool.  I think the most frustrating part of this “fog” is when I forget something that is really important. There are no do-overs. Apologies can be given, but how many times will that happen before people will stop relying on me?

I have always been able to stay on task and now I start something and don’t finish it because I forget what I started and move onto something else. Then I realize a few days later, I need to finish what I started. As I said, for me it’s maddening. The only solution I have found that truly helps is prayer. When I pray to Jesus and ask for His Peace to help me remain focused, I can sit with Him and just let His Peace wash over me.

Philippians 4:6-7New Living Translation (NLT)

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Before I retired, I could work with vendors, keep track of all the details of a delivery, write up reports and take care of details, like a boss. Now, all the details seem to blur together and I have to sift through them to figure out what is important and what is not.

( “I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”)

 

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I often wonder if this is how people that suffer from dementia feel. If this is the same type of feelings they go through when they are searching for the right words to communicate their needs.  It is scary to think that a disorder such as Fibromyalgia could affect my brain in this way. Fibromyalgia is full of surprises. It’s kind of like the line from the Forrest Gump Movie,  My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”[1]See Footnote.

Lifting the Fog of Understanding

Fibromyalgia is a lot like that. You never know what you will get. I can guarantee from my point of view, though, it will not be sweet or delicious, as that chocolate might be. This fog that I live with does lift from time to time and I am very thankful for that.  I can’t imagine being in a haze all the time. It’s like trying to look through the thickest pair of eyeglasses there are (remember the term “coke bottle glasses”), and they are all smeared because you tried to clean them with a tissue that had lotion in it. No matter how much you try to rub the smears away, it just makes matters worse. That’s what the fog is like for me.

As with any symptom I face, I seek out the Lord and rely on his Word to pull me through when the days are tough to manage. When I want to give up and throw in the towel, I remember how much Jesus loves me. I remember that he has a plan for my life and I keep pressing on, knowing that the trials and afflictions I am facing now, prepare me to comfort those and encourage others that are in this silent battle. I am a warrior. I battle daily to live a normal life. I joke with others about old age and memory loss, as a way to cope.

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If you find that you, too, suffer from this thick, dense “brain fog” due to Fibromyalgia or another illness, know that you are not alone. As a warrior with a chronic, life-long illness, it is easy to have feelings of hopelessness. Remember Jesus is our Hope. Cling to Him. He will bring you through every trial you face. #HopeAlways#HaveFaith

John 14:27New Living Translation (NLT)

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Lord Jesus, help all of us that suffer from “brain fog” to remain clear and concise, to discern what is of you Lord and what is not. I ask that you pour out your Peace upon us, the only true Peace there is and help us to stay calm through the storms. In Your Mighty Name, Jesus. Amen.

May you know how much Jesus loves you and may your cup overflow with blessings!

[1]Forrest Gump Movie Quote

Let’s Be Real

Hello, dear friends! I’ve been away for a while now. I would love to say that I have just been so busy that I didn’t have the time to write. That would not be accurate or honest; anyone that knows me knows how much I value honesty.

So, I am coming clean with you. I’ve been suffering from some mild depression for a while now and instead of taking my own advice and seeking the counsel of others and pressing into the Lord, I’ve just been trying to cope with it any way I knew how. Food has become a comfort to me in such a way that I have managed to gain a significant amount of weight and have some tough decisions to make.

There are some medical reasons for the weight gain, but I can’t say it’s all due to hypothyroidism. I could infer it is because of my quitting smoking, and that’s the reason for the excessive weight gain. The truth is that since I no longer work, and I am home all the time now, food is always accessible. And food choices aren’t always the best.

I’ve always battled my weight, ever since adolescence. I have never been this heavy in my life and in order to be at a healthy weight, I need to lose over 250 pounds. It really is overwhelming and depressing and this is the mindset I need to get rid of. 1398614719289

I know that I can work to eat healthier and slowly lose the weight or I can have surgery that my doctors have recommended. Either way, it will be a slow process and I am not entirely sold on the weight loss surgery.  Since I am considered to be Morbidly Obese with a BMI of over 61, I am a high-risk surgery patient already.

Hearing the words morbidly obese puts it all into perspective. Morbid meaning unhealthy and could lead to death. Truly a scary thought! I am not ready to die because I weigh too much. I need to start moving and doing. I can give anyone a pep talk, but giving myself pep talks never seem to have much of an effect.

I am blessed to have a friend that is nutritionally wise and has agreed to help me formulate a plan for me. She has offered several times over the past couple of years, and I know now is the time to take her up on the offer. And I also am aware that I need to be “all in” or “nothing”.

Addictions are hard to beat. It took me 30+ years to quit smoking. And I have to remind myself daily that I do feel better now that I don’t light up. That doesn’t mean that I don’t crave a cigarette from time to time or when I smell smoke from a passerby that I don’t want to inhale it; because that would be a lie. But I know for a fact that if I was still smoking, I would need more than weight loss surgery to make me healthier.

I never thought of food being addictive until now. The truth is I love to eat. And now that I don’t smoke, so many foods taste really good and I love flavors. Now I have to learn to eat healthy for life. Not a diet, but a lifestyle change.

I have felt spiritually attacked on many levels in my life also. Satan knows when we are down and he knows exactly what will get to us and uses that to bring us down and become discouraged. And if we don’t recognize that, we can spiral out of control. It can be a slippery slope for sure.

In John 10:10 the Bible tells us that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came so we could have life abundantly. In

In 1Peter 5:8, we are told to be self-controlled and alert because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

I have always been able to hold onto the Joy in my heart placed there by the Savior. I don’t know what happened or how it happened so fast; I realized that I was running on empty and needed serious refueling. My love languages are quality time and touch. I love spending time with people and giving and getting hugs.  Being in the confines of the four walls of our home, not being around others, was truly having a depressive effect on me; even though I have always been the type of person that has no desire to go “out”. I would much rather stay home with a good book.

I have heard versions of the Serenity Prayer but never seen this one until recently.
Serenity Prayer
– Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.

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So, in accordance with that prayer, I need to change what needs changing to help me live a longer and fuller life, accept what I cannot change and be wise to know the difference. I need to remember to live one day at a time, enjoying each moment I am given and realize that the hardships that I go through help grow me and teach me to rely on the peace of the Father. I need to surrender to the Lord. I am blessed.

In Proverbs 3:5 the Bible tells me that I am not to lean on my own understanding but to trust in the Lord and he will take care of me and make a straight path for me.

In John 14:27 the Bible tells me that Jesus leaves me peace, that only He can give. I am not to let my heart become troubled or afraid.

I know that every single day I must trust in the Lord, for EVERYTHING. He gave me life and he came to earth as a man so he could die for me and I could live forever with Him in eternity. While I am here in my temporary home, I need to honor the Lord with my temple. This temple needs a good shaking and cleaning. I’ve let it go for way too long!

May I encourage you today that whatever you are in the midst of, know Jesus is there with you. He is your mighty King and creator. He loves you. Trust in Him.

Blessings to all~Carlene