Belief, Faith, Family, Love, Mindset, Parenting, Reflections

This Is Too Hard

The past two weeks have been extra tough. The fatigue that plagued me for several years came back a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t relented until today. Just to give a little context, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s on August 1, 2018, which was exactly one month before my husband at the time texted me to let me know that essentially our marriage was done. In spite of that, I have been able to manage it without medication. However, yesterday was the first time, I have ever considered going on medication due to level of exhaustion that I have been feeling.

I don’t recall there being a specific event or activity that happened that would have thrown me off, or caused me to feel this down, but something did happen to remind me that I am not invincible and I shouldn’t expect to do it all. Which sounds completely insane to me, when I have to do it all, because there is no one else to do what I do. Or perhaps, I’m expecting more than I should. Perhaps, it should be simpler.

This is the trick about growth, sometimes when you make the decision to elevate your life, you sometimes have to tap into areas that you may not want to tap into. When I started working with my Business Leadership Coach, I knew that I would have to tackle mindset and vision, but to go to places that I had never prepared to visit has been harder than I thought it would be.

I believe that I am in the land of limiting beliefs and instead of confronting those beliefs, I have allowed my brain to use the avoidance key, so that I don’t have to tackle what I know to be true and that awareness has manifested itself in the physical of overwhelming fatigue.

An overwhelming fatigue that was finally helped by my taking a walk with my daughter this afternoon. While I chatting with her, I realized that in order for her to do the hard stuff, I have to model it for her. When my mind wants to give me the option of avoidance, I have to conscientiously say no, otherwise nothing changes and my daughter will not understand the meaning of sticking with it, even when you think that you can’t.

While I still have more mind clearing to do, I am keenly aware of the eyes that are watching me. While I may get worn from time to time, it’s okay to allow my children the opportunity to see that I am fallible and that I am still learning too. I am learning to walk closer to Jesus and to leave my burdens with him. I am building my confidence by adjusting my habits and my expectations. I am giving myself grace when I fall a bit short and I have accepted that breaks are necessary to prevent the overwhelm and burnout.

My journey has only just begun and I will arrive where I am meant to be at precisely the right time.

With grace,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family, Love, Parenting

I Don’t Have to Live in Fear

I could say, that the fear is completely gone. But, if I did, I’d be lying. There was a period of time when the seizures weren’t here. It was the space between my dad’s wedding and the move to Georgia, but then they returned or perhaps they never left….

I often think, that seizures are like a wound that just refuses to close. It’s like it closes with medication and then something happens or maybe it doesn’t and the wound begins to weep again. The pus flows out into our lives just as we are beginning to accept that we’re in a good space until we’re not and once again, I recognize that it’s not under my control. I am not control.

In his ten short years of life, he has probably seen the inside of an ambulance more times than I have in my entire fifty years. My heart breaks, each time we have had to take that ride. Each time, it’s the same questions, it’s the same answer, “his doctor needs to increase his medication and that will stop the breakthrough seizures,” well until it doesn’t. Why continue to throw medication until it sticks without asking why? Why are they happening what is the root cause for the seizures? The answer, “sometimes, we just don’t know.” But we can run some tests? Perhaps that will give us a clue. “Sure, I say, let’s run more tests, perhaps there is something we missed in the nine thousand other tests.”

When the tests come back normal, the answer is once again “we just don’t know, but we have still more medication options should we need to go that route.” How can we be so dependent on a system with so few answers about keeping us healthy? Perhaps, keeping us healthy isn’t the objective at all and so they run tests and remain vague just to give us enough hope to keep going back for more medication and the “it’s just inevitable.”

This morning, we worshipped online, because the seizures came and my son was of course in no condition to get up and going. It’s in those moments that I realize how not normal my life really is. You see, just when we think that seizures are in our rear view mirror and we begin to feel as though we can live normally, they come and we adapt again. Again.

Perhaps the average person, would give up and curse God. There have been times that I have contemplated those two things, but then somehow God reminds me of all of the times, He has kept his promises and brought the people and resources into my life when I couldn’t see how whatever it was would work out. Each and every time! By His divine authority it has come together for our good. I weep with gratitude.

As Christians, it often pains us to see the suffering around us and to not get caught up in what the world may say about God and His existence because of all of the devastation. But then I am reminded that Jesus bore it ALL. Not some of it, all of it. Every tear, every sin, every pain, every seizure, Jesus bore all of it.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. I Corinthians 10:13

I am not without help, I am loved, my Ethan is loved and He is providing for us, so I will continue to trust in Him. And I hope that you can too.

Agape!

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family, Love, Mindset, Parenting

Separation

Spoiler alert! What I am about to write here is not going to be easy. In fact, I am almost reluctant to write this post because the topic that I am about to write about makes me vulnerable and lays bare my heart for all the world to see.. literally.

You see, my life was not supposed to be this way. I had a wonderful childhood, Christian upbringing. My parents were married until the day my mother died twelve years ago. They collectively raised us to believe in the Bible and to put God first. Going to worship on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s was expected. To my parents, nothing outside of an illness or an act of God, should keep you from service. Even when I went off to college, I maintained the same habits because well it was expected and trying to explain to my godly parents why I didn’t attend worship was just not an option of consideration.

Fast forward a couple of decades later and here I am divorced with the responsibility of raising two children, who happen to need both parents on my own. I’m not going to complain because it was my choice to marry the person that I did, without understanding the ramifications of unequally yoked when I said, I do. First, mistake.

Well, it wasn’t all bad because over the course of “the marriage”, I was blessed to give birth to two beautiful children. But didn’t realize how significantly different our child rearing philosophies were until, rearing was needed. Second mistake.

But it wasn’t until the day that my son had his first seizure that I truly began to understand how deep the fissure was in my marriage and very likely could not be repaired. But luckily for everyone I was taught that divorce or separation was not an option. So I stayed and I stayed. We even relocated to a different state with the hope that we could make it work. Third mistake.

But when he decided that he had enough and did not want to spend another second in wedded bliss, it became abundantly clear that staying all those years had lasting perhaps permanent effects on my children. My daughter, in particular.

My daughter turned 12 this past Saturday, officially a pre-teen. But what does that even mean, when you’re squished between wanting to have a tiny bit more freedom and having to be your mother’s helper? Because your younger brother has extra needs and complaining and be ungrateful would be mean spirited to your mother, whose plate is on the verge of shattering!

Tonight, I felt it! My daughter sobbed in my lap, not for any particular reason, but for one very important reason, her mother’s attention! All of the behaviors and push back was a little girl crying out against separation and feeling unworthy because her parents aren’t together. Feeling out of place because she can’t share the typical brother and sister stuff with a brother that is broken. All she knows is that she only gets a piece of her mother, just like everyone else that she has to fit into the nooks and crannies of her life.

You see, I can’t relate to the divorce. I can relate to separation in the context of the death of my mother. I can’t relate to not having my grandparents around because both sets were Big in my life, my Nana in particular. She was my mother’s mother. I can’t relate to being unable to travel to see the one person that treated my daughter like royalty when she would go to her home for visits because of Covid-19. This is uncharted territory for me. Because well, my life wasn’t supposed to be this way. My children’s lives were not supposed to be this way.

Fall 2020

Separation in any form is very likely devastating, but this kind of change all at once is crushing. While I was honest with my daughter tonight and explained to her that I don’t have all of the answers, I do know the one who does. I know the one who can carry all of our burdens, I know the one who came to give us abundant life, if we make his will and his way our priority. He is the only one who can make our lives different.

I asked her if she could trust me as I trust Him. I also told her to start crying out to Jesus, when it feels like it’s too much to handle. I too need to do a bit more of that myself. Though the road ahead is not easy, two very important lessons emerged, one, my daughter is watching me and two, she needs more of the real messy, mustard see faith me to guide her to Jesus. There is nothing more urgent than that!

Growing in faith with grace,

AngelaChristine

American, Faith, Love, Mindset

Why Don’t You Believe Me?

Why don’t you believe me when I tell you, you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Why don’t you believe me when I tell you that I know the plans that I have for you, to give you a hope and a future?

Why don’t believe me, when I was the one who sent my son to die on the cross for your sins? Why don’t you believe me when I told you to be anxious for nothing? I provide for the birds of the air and the flowers in the field, would I not do even greater things for you? Or what about when I’ve told you to seek my kingdom and my righteousness and everything you need will be given to you?

Even still, I have told you not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and to do what is according to my will. Are you even listening?

Those questions, play out in mind almost daily. They are what I imagine, God would ask me, if we were to have a conversation. I can see so very clearly, how easy it is to disregard God’s word when our minds are set on being a part of the world around us. I get it, it’s very similar to when the Israelites begged Samuel for a king. They wanted to be like everyone around them instead of what God wanted them to be, an example of God’s sovereignty in their lives. We are no different today. We want to be like everyone else and at the same time we expect God to bless us and when he doesn’t because of our own actions and choices, we blame him. Can I get an amen?

I have grieved so deeply this past year over what our country has become. The relationships destroyed by fear and lack of knowledge. The fear driven desire to have everyone conform to an agenda that is not rooted in truth, but instead, control. How as Christians do we reconcile, our behavior with John 10:10, when Jesus himself said, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly?” How is cowering behind a mask, closing houses of worship and taking an experimental vaccine living abundantly?

I know that tomorrow isn’t promised and holding on to what we think this life should be, is not what God has called us to do. So as hard as it is to watch, many of my friends and family members living in fear and unable to reason, I will continue to follow Jesus and to the best of my ability provide a safe space for anyone who asks. I will release the burden of trying to save everyone from running into the burning building. I will release the pain that comes from watching it all happen. I believe God. I take him at his word. I can trust him. I will trust him. I will love you and I will pray for you, but only through Jesus Christ can you be saved.

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Faith, Holidays, Love, Service

To Love is to Serve

Not in love? No problem, neither am I. But that doesn’t mean you and I can’t participate in this season of all things love. In fact, when I began to think about it in the context of being a Christian, this month is especially suited for us. With I Corinthians 13:4-8, in mind, I came up with of list of tips that all of us can do to love and to serve.

Tip #1- Share your favorite scripture with your friends and tell them why it’s your favorite. It’s so easy to become discouraged and sending a note to a friend with your favorite scripture may just be what is needed.

Tip# 2- Write a note to a friend or family member using eye catching stationary and mail it! I know it’s a bit old fashioned, but who doesn’t appreciate receiving a handwritten note from someone special in your life?

Tip #3- Share the name of a book that you read recently that you found extra special. Perhaps do a book exchange.

Tip# 4- Cook a dish that you know your friend would enjoy and use that as an excuse to pay a visit.

Tip #5- Invite a guest to Bible study or to church. How many times, have thought I wish, Abby were here? She would have loved to hear this lesson.

Tip#6- Share your favorite Valentines Day dessert recipe with your best friend.

Tip# 7- Make a batch of hand sanitizer with your favorite essential oil and give it as a gift.

Tip# 8- Go thrifting with your friends. Set a five dollar limit and exchange gifts on Valentines Day.

Tip#9- Offer to watch your friends’ children for afternoon, so that she can take a nap or get a facial.

Tip#10- Actually meet up for coffee. Set a date and keep it!

Tip#11- Go to your favorite exercise class together.

Tip#12- Commit to checking in at least once per week.

Tip# 13- Offer to walk the dog, so your friend can go and see her grandmother in the nursing home.

Tip#14- Go out as a group to celebrate your friendship. The more the merrier!!

Bonus tip, write a poem about friendship and share it on your social media timeline. Go here for tips on writing poetry. https://self-publishingschool.com/how-to-write-a-poem/

While the world may view love from the lens of chocolates and romantic dinners, although very nice, love is so much more! It is abundant, compassionate, durable and it serves others exactly where they are. 💗

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Faith, Love, Mindset, Reflections

I Cannot Sit in that Space

I love you, but I can’t sit in that space with you. My days are much too full with work, homeschooling, transporting to this therapy and to that one. Never having more than ten minutes to myself, to think or process. No, that space is much too confining for me.

You see, I have a special needs kid who also happens to have seizures, primarily controlled by medicine, but there have been times when they were not. I’ve ridden ambulances too many times to count. I’ve spent days, a week or two in the hospital after an uncontrolled seizure. So I know fear, I have faced it head on and no, that is why, I cannot sit or be in that space with you.

I know the media has you all up in arms over this virus. Pump the fear, control behavior. It’s a perfect strategy, if you ask me. Ratchet it up enough and motives are never questioned. And right when you think, they may be losing their grip, they up the fear again. The cycle is endless. But I still won’t sit in that space with you.

I had to bury my mother, my best friend, while pregnant with my first child, my daughter. I watched my precious son have a full blown seizure at my dad’s wedding, which I never got to see because I was headed to the hospital in one of the first of many ambulance rides. I was cast aside by my then husband in the midst of my own medical crisis. So you see, I cannot sit in that space of fear.

Fear is a weapon, that is used to control and limit. It’s too overwhelming, it makes me feel even more isolated and alone. So it is not something, I will embrace. The Bible says, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7. Those are the qualities that this world needs now more than ever.

While it may be easy to sit in my home and listen to the news and entertain the doom and gloom, I will instead choose faith, love and hope because I do love you and I know that when fear is present, I cannot sit in that space.

With more love,

AngelaChristine

Faith, Love, Mindset

I Am Guilty Too

Why is it so hard to hear God’s voice? Why is it so hard to do what he says? Why is it so easy to live our lives on our terms and only think of God, when all of sudden it becomes too hard? Do we not know or understand James 1:2- ” Count it all joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” Do we think like the world and expect that the world will see us as different when essentially we concern ourselves with the same things non-Christians do?

This last year has given me time to reflect on those questions and to really search my soul. To dig deep into my heart to determine, if my life reflects the Jesus that I claim to love and serve. Honestly, when I study the scriptures and examine my own life, there are several areas that could use some serious work. I mean serious, like tear down and reconstruct work.

I guess, up until the coronavirus and masks became a part of our daily vernacular, I think that I thought that I had my finger on the pulse of my relationship with the Lord. I worshipped every Sunday, studied the Bible with my kids and did my own personal lessons. But this is where it gets interesting. I didn’t exercise my faith. I read, I understood, but I did, what I always do. I did it myself. That’s my default. If God doesn’t answer fast enough or do what I need him to do in that moment, I will find a way to fix, resolve or repair. As if, I could do a better job of managing my life than God. I limited God’s power over my life!! I made him small, while I elevated myself. I did all the things my way.

Fast forward to today, how many people need Jesus? That answer is simple, everyone needs Jesus! But how many people have I passed without proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ? How many times have I not spoken about his love for us because, I too have been consumed with what is happening in the world around me. I guess, I am just angry because many of the people that I know, don’t really recognize what is happening. They don’t seem to process the deception and evil that has taken hold of our nation. Even God’s own people don’t seem to understand or worse, care. It’s as if they are so consumed by the cares of this world to the point, that the idea that Jesus could return at any moment is the furthest thing from their minds. Mine too, if I am being honest, because I am still attached. There is a reason that the Apostle Paul, writes “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2. I want to care more about Jesus than our current state of affairs.

Our country is in the midst of ungodliness, perhaps too far gone, but that is nothing new to God. Throughout every period of history man has found a way to dishonor themselves and God. What is also true is that, God has always provided for the righteous. Always. And he has always created a path for his children to share the gospel. So, while I may feel disheartened at times by the state of our nation, it is never okay to not be busy doing the will of my father in heaven and allowing everyone to see Jesus in me. I am aware of what is going on around me, but it is more important for me to spend my time telling people about the one who saves and gives us everlasting life. It is only in him, that I will find my peace.

And you can too!!

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine