My OCD Habits!

1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “But all things should be done decently and in order.”

Okay so after taking quite a few psychology and mental disorder classes OCD is not what the majority of the population thinks it is. It entails much more of a mental state of desperation than having to have things a certain way. But for blogging purposes I will just stick with OCD that the majority believes that it is.

I would like to think that I am an organized person but I am not. I have a couple but not many OCD habits. One of them is my desk area. I like to have that neat and clean. Of course that is not where I do most of my work because my desk is in my office and I do a lot of my homeschooling, Bible Study and work at the counter in the kitchen. Which of course is my husbands pet peeve. He likes to have it all cleaned off and neat. I try to have it that way when he comes home from work buuuut it does not always happen that way.

Another thing I am OCD about is my planner. I have EVERYTHING written in that planner. Meetings, Kids events, appointments, my blog posts, my prayer list, among so many other things. I really try and stick with it buuut again it does not always work out that way. God desires us to be organized. I know why. It helps us process things in our lives easier and live our lives with ease. Do not get me wrong. Often times chaos can sometimes be our organized. I can not tell you how many times I have organized a junk drawer and then lost whatever I KNEW I put in there because I put it back in the place where it is SUPPOSED to go.

I can not tell you all how much of a work in progress I am. If you are  human  we always will be I suppose. But the great thing about that is. No matter the organized chaos of our life God loves us unconditionally, and yes he loves our chaos too. So go on and be organized or chaotic. It is whatever works for you and however God created you! Regardless you are His and He is proud of who you are!

The Grinch!!!

Okay so if you took an x-ray of my heart it would probably most likely look something similar to the heart of the Grinch. I am not sure why I struggle with this, maybe it is genetic, something I have inherited from my past experiences, who knows. I do know I desire so much for it to change. When I took the test for spiritual gifts compassion and caring were the very very bottom. If I had to score a top 10 they would not even be included. My highest one is Prophecy. I believe in the word of God. It is all black and white, no grey area. Of course if I had compassion I could see the gray area, I know.

One instances really sticks out in my mind is when my daughter came across a pack of tissues I have in my purse. My preteen looked me right in the eye and said “Mommy, why do you have these? You never cry?” I have always thought that crying was a sign of weakness. As I grow in the Lord I realize that it is not. It is a sign of compassion. That I have a heart, and feelings. One of the most significant verses in the Bible and the shortest one is John 11:35 “Jesus wept”. If Jesus, someone who is perfect, God incarnate weeps, it surely is NOT a sign of weakness. It is a sign of compassion.

God has a funny sense of humor. He takes a gal like me, who scores the lowest of lows on compassion and places in my heart a desire to become a counselor and help people. We had a ladies night at our church a couple of weeks ago and our speaker was Amanda Williams. She is the author I have been bragging about and adore her books. She said something that really resonated with me and well to be honest… it broke my heart. God commands us to in Matthew 22:37-39 “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Amanda emphasized on love your neighbor as yourself. How do you love yourself? I sat there thinking and it broke my heart. All of my life I have had low self esteem. For reasons I will not describe here but I lacked anyone telling me any different. From the time I was a small child and was told I was vain by someone I loved to when I am now grown. Whatever the reason is I realized I do not love myself like God would desire me to. If I don’t love myself then how am I supposed to love my neighbor. Loving them as I love myself is not loving them at all. So I have decided that is where I should start. I am a daughter of The Most High! I am a Princess!! I have been promised eternity in Heaven with my creator!

Having a larger heart and more compassion for others is one thing that I desire. It is probably one of my biggest weaknesses. Why am I telling you this? We all have weaknesses. We need to be aware of what they are. Ask God to show you. You may not like what you see but God will help you and guide you as you learn to strengthen your weaknesses.  I just ask that you pray for me and mine and I will pray for you and yours.

My Biggest Fears

Did you know that “Fear not” or “Do not be afraid” is in the Bible 365 times? Do not quote me because I have not checked it myself. I find it coincidental that it is told 365 times. And yet…. we are still afraid. Why? Well first off we are only human and have carnal minds. Our thoughts are controlled by our minds which are controlled by our past, present, and future.  The experiences throughout our lives control the content of our thoughts. If you have been given a reason to fear all of your life then it will be difficult to change that. So let’s get on with it.

What are my biggest fears. Now that I am confident that my husband and my children all have accepted Christ I no longer fear for their passing. Sadness will be overwhelming and I pray I can rejoice in knowing that they are in Heaven with our Father. Aside from that I fear if I am doing the right things for and with my children, I fear that I am making my husband happy, I fear that I am making God most of all happy with the way I live my life. Looking back there is one time I can distinctly remember I was so afraid. Fear and loneliness consumed me.

In 2010 my husband deployed to Afghanistan for a year. I was terrified. I can not tell you how many times I almost beat the brakes off of the delivery guy or how I wanted to throw my phone each time an unknown number called me. It is natural to fear but I look back now and my fear consumed me. It made me shut off from the rest of my family and life itself. Loneliness became a very distinct side effect from my fear. I clung to it. I was terrified and no one understood what I was going through so I shut them ALL out. It was truly a low point in my life.

I clung to the Verse Joshua 1:9 the entire time. It was my life saving raft. The only bad thing about it instead of jumping into the raft I clung to the outside. Still up to my neck in fear and sometimes the raft would slip away and I would became submerged and have to flail around in the dark until I found my way back. Shortly after my husband returned home he had to leave again for demobilization. A trip that was supposed to last a couple of weeks turned into months. Right back into the raging waters I went. No raft this time.

‘After a while I could hear something. Imagine the scene in Titanic. Everyone is just floating the waters around you and then you hear the distinct sound of a whistle. Low and behold you are rescued. The whistle I heard was a small voice in my heart telling me I needed to do something. My kids were beginning to feel the effects of what was overwhelming me. I took them to AWANAS one night at a church I went to as a teen and young adult. I didn’t go into the service because well… I was in deep waters and I felt like I was alone and really I wanted it to stay that way. I ran across a table in the foyer. It was decorated with pretty flowers and had some books on it and a sign that said JOIN US. It looked Happy. I wanted Happy.

I called my mom and asked her if she wanted to do one of the Bible Studies the Women’s Ministry that our church offered and she said yes. We decided we would do this TOGETHER. I joined a group of some of the most AMAZING women I know and did a Bible study “Lord, Change My Attitude”. These ladies were the little life boat that God sent back to scoop me up out of the water and place me back on solid ground. I can never thank God enough for sending me them. Now I cling to Joshua 1:9 because I know its REAL. I KNOW God is telling the truth. He allowed my husband to come home from war back to me safely, He rescued me from the war waging within me.

Cling to the Bible. Heed God’s words. He means what He says. He keeps His promises. I’m talking to myself here too. I know even through the time I was in the water and I chose not to have God with me, He was still there. Always & Forever!!!!

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

My Biggest Fashion Accessory

I really pride myself on the fact that I do not care too much for flashiness. I do not need the fanciest clothes, or shoes (though I do have A LOT), or lots of jewelry. If I had to say what my biggest fashion accessory is. Something that I have to have all the time and can not go without. It would be my hair band. I know.. I literally wear my hair up ALL the time. Very rare occasions I have it down. So I either have a hairband in my hair or there is one very close by that I way I can put my hair up as quickly as possible. Its just so hot and I have three kids that I am used to chasing after. It is just easier that way. I don’t have the courage to cut it short though. Every time I have I wish it were longer. Not to mention my husband is not a fan of my hair being short.

1 Peter 3: 3-4 “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—  but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. “

Do not get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having accessories and dressing up and having nice clothes and things but as a Christian women that should not define us. Those things do not need to be the reason that other people are attracted to us or talk about us. It should be what our heart speaks to others that attract them to us and we share with them. Those things are lasting things anyway. The material things will just waste away. But what you do for a person from the heart is lasting.

Again, please do not mistake me, Accessorizing is a beautiful thing but Satan can turn something beautiful into something ugly. Do not let it. Let your heart and love for Jesus and God shine brighter than the most dazzling piece that you have! At the end of the day, in God’s eye, you are worth more than all of the possessions you have and even more than all of the riches of the world!! YOU are his most favorite piece. You are the sparkle in His eye! Never forget that sweet one!

Time Management!

I am the WORST at time management. It is not for lack of trying either. I have planners on top of planners and schedules I have written out over and over again. Its the sticking with them that I have trouble with. I know! I have three kids and a husband. It is very important that I manage my time better. I get it, I know. It is even in the BIBLE!!! Sometimes things that we think do not mean much, mean more to God than we thought.

Ephesians 5:15-17 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

In the book of Ephesians, Paul was writing to the church of Ephesus but also speaking to the entire church as a whole, the body of Christ. Paul wanted to make sure that the church was living their life intentionally for the Lord. Not squandering it away and getting lost in meaningless tasks. I can not tell you how many times I go to bed at night and look around and wonder what in the world did I do all day. Of course when what you do is constantly undone by your children you get it. However, I always question what did I do today for God? Did I spend enough time with Him? Did I even make time for Him? Did I spend enough quality time with my kids? Did we work on school work long enough? Did I give them enough time to do their chores? Did I give them time to be kids and play? Did I devote enough time to my husband? Did I devote any time to myself? Time for this? Time for that? Time………

Time is precious because we are limited in it. Many things our bodies need we can replenish it. We can buy more, grow more, or find more. Time is something that we can not get more of. So let me encourage you, and I am speaking to myself as well. At the end of the day ask yourself: Was I purposeful in my living my life for the Lord today? Was I intentional in making the most of my time to honor God? More often than not I do not like the answers to my own questions but we learn and determine that the next day we will do better always keeping in mind that we may not always have tomorrow to do better. Life your life intentionally and purposefully. God will bless you! It may not come in that very moment but the blessing will come. God keeps His promises!

Take a little time today and get alone with God. Ask him to reveal where in your life you are squandering precious time. He will show you. Then ask Him to help you fix that. He will help you. I pray that God continues to bless you! I thank you so much for reading the ramblings of my blog! I hope and pray that in some way it touches you or encourages you!

My Favorite Book

Well, that is a loaded question right now. I love to read.. and I really do not have a specific favorite, aside from the Bible. Anything by one of my favorite authors Amanda Williams or Joel Rosenberg I will gladly pick up and stick my nose in. You know how when you are a young girl you dream of growing up and being a princess. Well…. If I had to choose which Disney Princess I would most closely relate to, it would be Belle. I do not like to swim so Ariel is definitely out, I am not as brave as Mulan, Aurora sleeps a lot and has a beautiful voice, Cinderella can sew and does not complain when she has to clean, I am not the most beautiful in the land and no where near as kind so Snow White is out, I’m not a huge nature lover so no Pocahontas, I do not like adventures and have long blonde hair like Rapunzel, Jasmine can rock that outfit and has a tiger for a pet, the closest thing I relate to with Merida is I am married to a Scottish man . But Belle, We both just really love to read. And I have to admit, I am jealous of the library that the beast gifted her! Is that sad? LoL!

Currently though I am reading The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper. I will be doing a review of that book when I am finished with it. You can check out my review of a few other books that I have done: Love Lives Here & Hide and Seek! I am sure there are more but these are two of my favorites. I have to give it to my mom though. She really speaks my love language. She sent me the sweetest text message the other day! It was a screenshot of Amazon.com and its Joel Rosenberg’s book that he is releasing soon! ❤ ❤ ❤

I do wish I had more time to read but I know that it is the season where God is allowing me to read here and there and that there are more important things that I need to focus on. One day I am sure there will be a season when I can read until I get tired of reading. Until then I take advantage of every chance I get. Of course this is where my husband and I differ. He feels as though reading is not constructive and he can do something that is more constructive like tinker in the garage. I suppose they are right when they say opposites attract.

I have toyed with the idea of writing a book of my own but I have no idea where to even begin or what to write about. I just want to write something that people can read that they can relate to or they can read and get lost in an amazing story for a moment in their life and through that moment hear God speak to them. I suppose you would have to be a storyteller to do that. Other than my life I am not a person who is very creative in that sense, at least I don’t think. Maybe that will be a season in my life! Who knows! I just have to trust that whatever seasons I go through God will be there to guide me and my heart! I do know that whatever the future holds it will be fore Gods purpose!!! I trust Him!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

My Favorite Month

If you would have asked me a few years ago what my favorite month is, my answer would look a lot different than it does right now. Because what is now my favorite month was probably my least favorite month a few years ago. Not that I hated it, it just did not have the same meaning that it does to me now.

Growing up I did not have your typical childhood. We did not celebrate holidays and birthdays on the actual days. Due to my dad’s job, then my mom’s and then my 2nd dads job we had to celebrate these events whenever they were off. They did not always have the luxury of being off on holidays. As a matter of fact they would sometimes have to work all day on those days because their work needed them to cover for someone who did not come in that day. Looking back that would probably be my ONLY complaint about my childhood but that is for another post.

So what is my favorite holiday? I bet you are really wondering by now. Well folks. It is December. Why? Most of the credit goes to what we celebrate in December and that is the birth of Christ my savior. some of the credit goes to my in-laws. Not that I was not totally spoiled by my parents on Christmas they were not always available to have family time. I got a lot of nice things for Christmas and never wanted for anything but it was not until I got married and got involved with my in laws Christmas celebrations that I realized what was missing.

Please do not get me wrong. My parents worked very hard and I know that was their way of showing me that they care about me. For that I am blessed and always grateful. For a little while my mom was a single mom. She worked her tail off to support my brother and I. So she was gone quite a bit When she remarried my 2nd dad. He has very good reason to not feel celebratory during the Christmas season. He lost both parents around that time and it is their birthdays around then as well. So not a good time for him.

Anyway, my husbands family is all about gathering together and celebrating and eating. I remember a few times I went and visited family in South Georgia with my mom but my in laws, well this goes on EVERY year! It starts with decorating the house for Christmas and the Christmas tree. Coffee and lights and ornaments every where. We let the kids decorate the tree in Papas room. It drives me NUTS how they bunch everything everywhere but my in laws… well they don’t care. To them, its perfect.

Christmas Eve is at our Aunt and Uncles. There we have delicious snacks that she always whips up. We get to open gifts and they are always wonderful but there is one thing that is not lacking and that is laughter and LOTS of it! =) That evening we all head home and relax. Typically that is when we get our PJs but the family has grown significantly since that tradition started. But Christmas Eve we relax. We know the madness that will ensue on Christmas Day.

Christmas Day rolls around. The times of the traditions have changed a bit since my husband and his sister have grown and started their own families but the actual traditions. Still there. Christmas morning we celebrate at our own homes with our smaller families. This is the time my mom and dad come over and watch the kids open gifts. Then my husband whips up a HUUUGE breakfast. That is his thing. Breakfast and my mom, well she loves it.

Then its onto my in laws. We begin to prepare one of the largest Christmas dinner my eyes have ever seen. Ham, Deep fried turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, meatloaf… I mean stuffing, and the list goes on and on. Oh! And lets not forget the rolls. The rolls do not get passed around. If you need a roll put your hand in the air and expect one to come flying in your direction from the head of the table. After the hustle and bustle of dinner and cleaning is done then we settle down and we head over to my husbands grandparents house.

While we are his grandparents house we open gifts that they have given us and our kiddos. Meanwhile “Santa” is coming again at my in laws house. We spend some time with his grandparents and then head back over to my in laws. The kids go in last and there is usually an insane amount of gifts. They are excited and open them. At this point the adults are starting to feel like they cant keep their eyes open but the day is not over yet. Onto the big kids. My husband, sister in law, her husband and I head to Papas room and they never cease to amaze us. As we grow older we expect less from others as far as gifts. We know the cost now and we say over and over again it is not necessary but to my in laws it is. Just like our faces light up when our kids open their gifts, theirs do too.

So at the end of the day December is my favorite month for MANY reasons. But the main reason is JESUS. He is truly the reason for the season. The second reason is FAMILY!

Matthew 1:18-25 The Birth of Jesus Christ
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

Social Media Phenomenon

This is a touchy subject. Social Media. Is it a good thing? A bad thing? Well, honestly I believe it can be both. Something that is intended for good Satan always tries to use it for bad. I remember Myspace and when you had to be in college and have a college email to have Facebook. Before that it was messaging programs like AOL IM or ICQ. Crazy how quickly technology has evolved. Now I can just pick up my phone and video chat with anyone anywhere. Either way there are pros and cons to this Social Media.

Many of the pros can be lumped up into the category of reconnecting. I have connected with family members I have never met in person and probably never will, and reconnected with family I had not seen or spoke to since I was a young girl. I even managed to find my childhood best friend that I lost touch with when my parents divorced and I moved away. It gives us a way to share blogs, advertise for our business and read about other businesses. It has saved me so much money on stamps. I am able to share photos of my family for my family and friends who live across the country to see. It is a great way to involve others into your life that may not have been able to be involved for distance purposes. For those of us who do not always watch the news, it is also a way to keep up on current events. So see, Social Media can be a great thing!

The cons. I can not tell you how many times I have wanted to delete my social media accounts because of the things that I see. Some people use it as a way to bully others and degrade them. It is used to insult others and hurt them and “shame” them. I can not tell you how many family arguments or political and religious arguments have been had on Social Media. Shamefully some of my posts have been arguing with people who disagree with me and who I disagree with. Social Media has been an avenue that people use to lure people in, namely children and meet up with them and do the most horrible and unimaginable things to them. *shutter* People have posted lies about other people and their businesses on there and I can not tell you how many times I have seen someone post something they thought was news and it turns out to be false lies. Do not even get me started on the photo going around of Obi-Wan saying that he is Jesus.. People!!! C’mon. Chain letters in you facebook posts… I thought that was a fad that is OVER. Nope!

God does not let the devil take something good and turn it into something bad and then not continue to use it for good. Through all the good and bad people have been able to use Social Media to share their testimony and the gospel. Many have seen videos about someones testimony and it has changed their life. What a blessing. God can take something that Satan has tried to ruin and turn against Him and use it to benefit His kingdom!!! What a mighty God we serve!!!

Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

 

Music of My Heart

This one is difficult, I do not have a particular music genre that is close to my heart. I love all kinds and really it depends on my mood. Not to mention I can never listen to a song all the way through. I am like a 1 minute into the song then onto the next kind of person. There really is not a specific genre of music that I consistently listen to. There are a few songs that I have listened to all the way through but those are few and far between and a lot of times I am distracted and just forget to change it.

My music choice depends a lot on my mood at that present time. Sometimes when I am angry its usually heavy metal. Thousand Foot Krutch. Nothing like being angry and fueling it with hard core music. Sometimes I am feeling sad. I usually listen to more slower songs at this point. Lauren Daigle have some AMAZING slower songs. Sometimes when I feel like getting my boogie on I listen to Lecrae or Andy Mineo. When I am just wanting to chill and I do not want to hear other peoples voices in my head I often times resort to classical music or spa music. Just relaxing music. Sometimes I even listen to that when I am reading. It is soothing. Just close your eyes and hear the symphony and how each individual instrument supplies its small piece to create such a grand masterpiece.

When you think about classical music it makes me think about the kingdom of God. How we are each a small instrument in his masterpiece. We all have our own purpose and our own job. Sometimes we do not operate up to pristine standards but often times its the little quirks or slip ups that make the piece more beautiful. Each note is intricately woven into certain quatrains to tell a story. Our story is our testimony. Our testimony is but a small part of the masterpiece God is creating here on this earth. But do not misunderstand. Just because your part is small does not mean it is not important.

Imagine an orchestra without the piano, or the flutes or any instrument for that matter. Rock and roll without the electric guitar or country without the twang of the steel guitar. Rap music without the beats. It just would not sound the same.. Something would be missing. My dear friend the music of your heart is vital to the journey you take with our Father in heaven. The joyful noise you make through your life is the most glorious sound that could ever rest up on the ears of the Almighty.  He hears you! He loves to hear you! He desires nothing more for you to know that you are a crucial instrument in his masterpiece. Sometimes when we fall out of sync or out completely all together he leaves your space open for you to ALWAYS return to. Because he knows how important you are. Do you know how important you are?

Ephesians 2:4-9
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, …”

 

Love Lives Here

I have just recently read a book called Love Lives here by Maria Goff. I really just have to say that God’s timing is perfection. I had put off reading this book because… well.. life got in the way but the very moment I picked it up each word jumped off the page and into my heart. Some stood out more than others. I really love coming across a book that leaves a deep impact on your heart and life. Whether it is fiction or not. This book is not fiction. Maria gave inspiration for my faith through different real times in her life. She did not sugar coat anything, she did not make it all sparkly, Maria is REAL and the stories she told are REAL as well as the lessons she has learned and her precious heart has been lead to share.

She encourages us to dig deeper looking for the gold God has placed deep within us and to tell us not to compare what our gold looks like compared to others. That sometimes it is okay if we run away God will be waiting for our return, all the while staying with us the throughout the entirety of our journey back to him.

The one thing that resonated with me and really stuck with me was when Maria wrote about her Board of Directors. These are people in your life that when the world gets too loud you shut everyone and everything off except for them. They are the voices you hear through the chaos. They are the friends who are there no matter what. Not only did it make me think about the company I keep and the friends that I have it really made me evaluate the type of friend I am. Am I the type of friend that Paul urges us to be? Am I a person who is completely humble, gentle, patient and bears with another in love? Am I the type of friend that a person would want to surround themselves with?

After running through those questions in my head, Maria has inspired me to try and be that person. I know I fall short and I will continue to do so because well, I am human and I am thoroughly imperfect. It is stories like Maria’s that are simply put and well thought out that we can glean encouragement from, reminders that it is okay if we fall short on our journeys sometimes but God is still there with us. Through all of it. When we run away, the journey while we are gone and when we return home. How amazing is that! He does not give up on us. Ever.