Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Friday, November 9, 2018

God's Uncontainable Love

"so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Ephesians 3:17-19

I went to see me mom and dad today.  And I took the long way home, because I just needed to see what I knew was going to be a glimpse of the ocean as the sun was setting fast.  I don't remember seeing much but knew it was there just the same. 

I longed to touch the sand, even if the beaches were technically closed and the unknown was out there.  Fear and time kept me away.  I longed to touch the water's edge, but obedience and responsibility won out.   I felt I missed what my heart was longing for.  And wonder how much I do the same with the One who created me and the moments I am in.

On the whole journey home, I kept thinking about God's love for me and my love for Him.  I know my God is constantly present but how many times am I missing Him because I let responsibilities, obedience to the world and fear and time demands dictate my time with Him.

I can't help but see how vast the ocean is - I knew that no matter how far I looked, even if I had the best technology I would never see land on the other side of the ocean.  I also knew that the ocean would continue up the coast farther than the highway would allow.  I couldn't help but think of the verse written above, and wonder if I could just grasp a bit of God's love for me. 

I'm not going to get into the detail … but bottom line, I feel unloved - more so, unworthy of love; yet I know full well I am.  But I'm an emotional being - a feeler and long to feel over know the truth of love.   And because I struggle with feeling loved by those who know me, I can't help but struggle with God's love for me.  I know it is true.  I know He loves me … but if I could just feel it over the knowing. 

I visualized my 5'6" body in the center of the ocean water, picturing the miles and miles from my body to the ocean floor.  I saw the waves crashing over me, drenching me - almost drowning me.  I saw God's love doing the same.  I also saw me splashing out of glee of the water around me and splashing the water back up to the heavens … yet, with all my might the water splash couldn't reach.  God sees the attempts of my love for him, but He wins … His love totally out does. 

I continued my journey home.  The road was quite dark except for the occasional headlights that would come and go.  Yet even in the darkness I knew the ocean was west of me.  I could see the glow for a while, and then eventually that faded.  When I rolled the window down, I could smell the salt air, and I could feel the ocean breeze.  When I sit in His presence I am reminded that as I go through the motions I may not feel His presence, or even doubt He is with me … but if I sit and look I can see His light around me, I can take deep breathes of Him all around and feel His movement.  But I have to make the effort to pursue so I can experience.

The highway that was once parallel with the ocean took its turns and curves and even took me up some steeper terrain.  Yet no matter how many turns of the roads I took, no matter how high up in altitude I went, I knew I just had to turn my head to the west and the ocean was there.  This journey of life, with all its turns and curves, and challenges and depth of despair … God is still there, I just have to turn my head and see.  

There is one part of the drive that has trees that remind me of those in Snow White, where they grab her and long to scare her.  I admit my heart races, and I pray my truck doesn't break down at that point of the drive.  But I am also reminded just like the ocean remains near, so does God as I face those scary and overwhelming times in life.  

Eventually my ocean side highway came to an end, and I had to journey inland.  Yet in order to make it home I had to use a bridge to cross over the bay waters (an extension of the ocean I once saw).  And when I drove on that bridge and looked all around me and saw nothing but water - it was then I smiled and was a bit giddy as I was reminded how God's love still surrounds me.  I saw that even the ocean couldn't be contained and overflowed inland, throughout the bay up the creeks and rivers.  I was experiencing then how His love overflows for me.  

I was just miles from home, where the familiarity was amongst me, the knowing what lies ahead, the smells I know so well, the expectations, everything I fully know - but too - even the grumpiness, unkindness, and the quickness of anger of those around me - all of which I have also come to know and accept.  I was in the midst of what I knew that I had almost forgotten the journey I had been on.  I took the time to remember.  And as I journey on with the demands of life and the clock and those around me that offer encouragement and some not so much I can remember, see and even experience the greatness of God's uncontainable love.  I'm reminded that I am not only loved, but find joy and peace within.  

I am hoping that I can return back to the ocean's edge this weekend with the ones I hold dear … as God's love isn't just for me, there is an overabundance for all!  

Saturday, October 13, 2018

S-t-r-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-t-c-h!

That's the word today in my study.  To be stretched.  To make yourself available to God, and to simply say yes.  It is also something that hurts when doing but make
s room for strength and conditioning.  It's a good thing.

The challenging question for me is … where is God stretching me?  I feel like for the first time in a long time, I'm at a place that I'm getting comfortable in.  So why am I not being stretched?  Or am I?  Or greater … uh oh …. am I about to be?

It's not a secret that I am adopted.  I have talked about how emotionally and spiritually impactful that was for me a few times.  It's also not a secret that we have pursued adoption a few times, only to have them fail.  I have worked through all the emotional scaring and impact these have had on me.  I believe I am over it.

Yet, why are these things coming up in my life again?

I don't know.  I am also confident in saying that I have no desire to pursue anymore or have any layers left to work through with my story.  I'm done.  I'm in a good place.  Yet …

I have seen in my previous post of how I was able to connect with someone at a deeper level, reach someone no one else was able to reach.  Today I was able to share with another of how we have something more in common, which has connected us more.  What is God doing with my story?

Today in my study I am reminded of how guarded I am at church.  I have been deeply hurt by "the church" a couple times in my life.  I have been thrown down and trampled.  I have received judgment instead of compassion and love.  Fingers have been pointed and I have been shunned.  And just writing these words, I see Jesus carrying his cross and being treated the same.

Why are we so hard on one another?  Why do we allow our hurts to hurt others … or in my case, keep a wall up and guard myself.  Because we are all broken.   And just like broken glass, some pieces can be a little more sharper than others.

I have forgiven those who have offended me.  I've worked past that.  But can I allow the walls to come down and allow others to come into my life at a deeper level?  Can I take a risk with a possibility of backs to be turned my way?  Can I risk those getting to know the intimate side of me and use it against me?

One of my favorite shows was Fixer Upper.  Chip would make it clear that his favorite day was "demo day".  In order to make room for the vision, the newness, the open floor plan, and organized beauty he had to tear down and demolish the walls.  He had to get rid of the old to make room for the new.  The house couldn't grow and accomplish what was to come if the old was still there.

Karen's Demo Day … it's how I'm being stretched.  I have to demolish the walls that are holding the vision God has for me, the newness and open floor plan God has created in me.  I have to get rid of the old to make room for the new and destroy those walls.

The question is this … who is swinging their sledgehammer with me?



Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Second Mile

It's not a surprise for those who know me.  I work at Chick-fil-A.  I remember the day clearly when God sent me.  I was having my quiet time and heard God's still small voice tell me to go.  I also remember me telling him "I'm to good for Chick-fil-A", but I went.

Image result for chick fil aWhat is a surprise to you, is even beyond the passion I have of the company and the young adults I work with, I still struggle with knowing if I'm doing what God wants me to do, and if I do it well.

And what is a surprise to me, is how God still reveals himself through the "mission" He has placed me in.

When we relocated to California, I thought my journey with this company came to an end.  I was working at a different location, and the commute was just too far and quickly doing me in.  I called it quits after a few short months.  I was on Facebook in the middle of the night when the current location I work at reached out to me.  And now the rest is history.

I am the Administrator/Training Director at the restaurant.  I am using the gifts God has placed in me.  Some things I do I find quite easy to do, other things are successful challenges.  But no matter what I find joy in the job itself.

I would be lying to you if I told you that I don't doubt myself sometimes - not just in my job, but just in my everyday life.  I always question if I'm doing what God wants of me.

I have measured my success with what society has put before me:  including the type of job I have.  I have struggled with being proud of where I am, as those close to me saw me in the "fast food business" and in all honesty, I too never expected to find myself at Chick-fil-A.  Yet I have found many stories through my journey there that have grown me in my walk with the One who created me for just a time and place as this.

I don't have a "rags to riches" type testimony, but one that makes me ever so grateful of God seeing me and pulling me out of the pit I was in.  However, there are many others that are such more impactful and bring so many others to Christ.  And so I wonder how in the world can God use my story.

As the training director at Chick-fil-A it is my job to introduce the company to the new hires as well as share the passion of the founder.  Truett Cathy reminds us:  1.  We are not in the chicken business, but the people business.  2.  Our mission statement is "to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A." 3.  How we are to go the 2nd mile …to go above and beyond expectations and develop unique experiences (based on Matthew 5:41).  I speak it weekly, I hear the words each week as if they were new and there is a quickening in my spirit.  Yet …

Yet … am I glorifying God?  Am I being a positve influence to those who I come in contact with?  How can I go the 2nd mile today?  And … am I doing what God calls me to or is there something else?

I had a little chuckle the other night as I read my devotion before bed, written by Max Lucado.  It was titled "The Society of the Second Mile".  Each word I could associate with my day to day journey with God at my work.  The words confirmed I was to be where I am at and God wasn't done with me yet.  However,  I was challenged:  "serve the ones who hate you; forgive the ones who hurt you.  Take the lowest place, not the highest; seek to serve, not to be served.  Retaliate, not in kind, but in kindness."

Even as I work with passion, I have challenges each day.  I am human.  And I work with young humans with high emotions.  I just had a couple of team members hurt my feelings the other day.  My flesh wants to just give them the cold shoulder, just ignore them.  I have guests that call and tell us how we forgot to put sauce in the bag, which was requested and how they deserve a refund and how frankly we stink at our job.  I want to cry, hang up on the call and lash out in words.  My first instinct is how I feel, what my initial reaction is.  But I continue to listen, apologize, solve and thank.  I'm to be quick to forgive and to love… shake off my sandals and still go that extra mile.  It isn't what is required of me to be a team member at Chick-fil-A, but as a child of Christ.  I'm really representing Jesus, not the cow.

I went into work yesterday for a couple of hours.  Nothing was going as planned.  Nothing.  Attitudes weren't at their finest.  And I saw a lot of flesh wanting to take over.  My flesh included.  But I have to roll with the punches, and offer the other cheek.  A team member wasn't feeling well, and I kept her near my side in the office, inspite of what I needed to get done that day.  One thing after another started pouring out of her.  Feelings of defeat and failure.  Being an only child and it's demands.  Pressures of doing what is right according to society and wanting to please parents.  Curiosity and loneliness.  Depression and anxiety.  What was pouring out before me, was the "younger Karen" I once knew….it was my old story.  And then I heard these words:  "Ms. Karen, are you busy?  Can you talk with me?"  I let go of what was on the agenda and made myself available.  God allowed me to connect with someone at a deeper level:  soul to soul, and I was able to speak truth over someones life, as well as encourage and give hope.  And today I pray over her.  I soon realized my day wasn't about training and customer service, but instead going the extra mile and walking by someone specific and to see how my story was used to encourage and connect with another.

I still am that only child, wanting to please my parents and whoever the authority figure is in my life. I still question if I do.  But today, I see my calling … to walk the second mile in it's flowery path and the muck and mire.  Mine is at Chick-fil-A and the simplicity of the community that surrounds me, and the family within my house walls.  And today I feel a little closer to the One who has gone a million miles for and with me over and over again.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Jonah … Or Rather … Karen

I have been laying low this week.  I have noticed that a bitterness that has taken over my soul, and am wise enough to know that I shouldn't be around people and affect them with my negativeness.  And I also know full well that there is only One who can remove such bitterness.  So this week I have been seeking.

My youngest came to me.  She is struggling with a reoccurring area in her life.  As she shared, I was able to discern that there was some lie she has bought into that she needs to shake off.  I was able to discern because I was dealing with the same thing … different lie, but a lie.

Today I felt a tug to enjoy a good story … Jonah.  I have always prided myself that I would go wherever God would have me go.  I'm a woman of obedience, but am I?

God sent Jonah.  He didn't want to go and ran.  But even in his disobedience those around him came to recognize how great God is and gave to Him.  God sent a giant fish to swallow Jonah and it was in the belly of the whale that Jonah knew there was only one who could save - and God did.  Jonah went to Nineveh, and spoke over the city.  Countless lives were changed as they turned from their evil ways and God had compassion on them.  Jonah became angry because he knew what kind of a God he served and that the people didn't deserve such graciousness and love. Jonah went off to sulk.  God provided a vine, which made Jonah happy and then God provided a worm to destroy it.  Jonah was so miserable from the heat and wind that he just wanted to die, and God reminded Jonah of who He was.

God sent me from Colorado to California a little over three years ago.  I didn't want to go, but I didn't run from it - at least physically.  I obeyed - physically, but emotionally I wasn't going to forgive God for tearing our family apart.  I resented Him.  And for the last three years I have been in the belly of the whale … misery from bills, a dysfunctional house, unrest in relationships, health issues
and lack of peace.  I have finally recognized fully of the God that saves, and that can save me and this week God has spit me out …. in Concord, California.  I can't say that countless lives have been changed because of where I have spoken over them, but I can say that I have developed countless relationships that have come out of the crevices of places these past couple of days.  God has compassion on them, and I have the privilege of not only having these people in my lives but I get to pray over them too.  God had compassion on them, as He has for me.  I still have held onto that seed of bitterness and have sulked that God didn't quite understand the fullness of how He affected me.  He provided a home that I have become accustomed to, and see so much potential in.  And it was less than 24 hours ago, I questioned if we would still have it, as we were uncertain of Duane's employment once again.  And it was in the conversation I had with my daughter, I am reminded of the God I have, and that He sees way more than I.

Oh Jonah … Oh Karen!


I read something yesterday; "interesting fact:  people over the age of fifty will start to lose their dislike for foods that taste bitter".  Now first let me let the world know … I'm not 50 yet!  However, the warning is just the same.  I remember my grandfather.  He loved me.  Yet, to be honest with my readers …. he was grumpy.  He always had reason to be grumpy.  He had an opinion about everything and judgment just the same.  He had a the brow of anger, and the tone in his voice just the same.  He lost his dislike for bitterness and it turned into a grumpy and a grouchy mess.  And unfortunately he'll have that remembrance.  I was heading toward the same direction.  But was wise enough to see there was a taste I didn't want to get accustomed to …. and I sought the truth.

I have believed a lie that "I get what I deserve".  So with that lie, comes the thought … I deserve to be away from my babies.  I deserve to have a broken family with miles apart.  I deserve this disruption in my life.  I deserve my lack of identity … because of another lie "I'm not good enough".  I never realized until yesterday the depth of these lies and their hold on me.  But enough is enough.  God has allowed me to recognize and today I am set free.

It wasn't about the move to California.  It wasn't about the goodness that God has displayed on me.  It wasn't even about the lies that kept me bound.  It was about me obeying God full heartily and full heartily trusting Him.  Not just trusting Him with my babies, but trusting Him that He saw something more.  Trusting Him that He will plant me and for me to be ready for whatever is to come my way.  Trusting Him with ALL that I am and ALL that I have.  Trusting Him with my identity.  It was about God breaking me free.

So today I sit in the solitude of our home, letting those things that are nagging attention to just wait.  I hear the promises, truth and prayers of the music surround me and let it carry my spirit.  And today I am ready to be unlike Jonah and just go full heartily.  I expect the best because I have a God that wants the best for me and those that surround me and have my heartstrings.  I serve a God who sets me free … and will set you free as well.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Not Your Normal Tuesday

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10

It was another Monday in the Archibald house.  Duane was coming out of a week off from work and entering the demands that just sat on his desk screaming louder as deadlines are approaching.  Courtney was heading to the dermatologist again, and having another minor surgery to remove some early caught skin cancer.  And me  juggling Courtney's appointment in the midst of two jobs that were also desperate for my attention.

I have enjoyed the life I live.  I enjoy both jobs for different aspects.  The core of one seems to match the core of me and it has been a perfect "marriage".  However, others have taken advantage of this passion of mine and have destracted me with demands that aren't necessarily mine, nor mine to even take on.  And the other is in the center of my community that I love so much and have much joy connecting with, and where I feel called.  However, unappreciation and disrespect lie throughout, as well as confusion.

I made a commitment late last year that would take some of my time this year.  Honestly, I felt a hesitation, not recognizing where it was coming from, but still decided to say yes because in all my logic: "I had nothing on my plate".  Now in hindsight, I believe that hesiation was the Holy Spirit, as He saw me coming into two jobs and life as I see now.  

And now it is another Tuesday, following up after a fifteen hour Monday, without any breaks except the to and fro in the car, tired and exhausted and facing burnt out once again.  And I searched my Bible knowing words in my spirit and this verse stands out.

I always hear the first partbe on guard for the one who is coming after me in full force to destroy me.  Yet I forget how he does it, through busyness and over commitments, and distractions   But today I rest on the second part of the verse.  That Jesus came so I could not ony have life, but have it to the full. 

He has given me permission and has given me a gift  life and embracing it to the fullness He has intended.  Where He has given me this gift, I will find Him.  

Again, a lesson I haven't mastered.but to live without saying yes to everything, but to say yes to him with a trust He knows what lies ahead.  And accept the things He gives us to enjoy.  It's ok to say no to things that keep us away from the things we love .. even if it seems silly to others (like my cats and bunnies).

I don't have to live with a plate so full that I miss the things that He has given to you to enjoy!  Because when I miss the things He has given me, I am missing His heart and ultimately Him.  And I don't want to miss that!

So today I ponder  what are the things I love in life?  What are the things I want to embrace and fully live?  My family - especially the ones who I share our home with.  The love only a husband and wife share.  I know quality time is my love language, if I am so busy how can I feel loved?  Spending time with my parents is important to me too.  My cats, bunnies and chickens give me peace and a stillness in my soul.  Time to be in my home, cleaning it and fixing it up brings an ownership and a place of serenity.  Going to the Farmer's market, eating God's goodness in the fresh vegetables and fruits.  Feeding my family by my own hands is important to me as well.  Going for walks or to the Y not only for the excercize of it all but just to clear my mind and fill it with His.  And even naps!  To experience rest, and in His craddled arms.  

I have been carrying guilt that I haven't had much time with God, and believed that God wanted me to carve out more time with Him.  He does.  But it doesn't have to be kneeled before Him for so many hours, or even with an open Bible to get so many chapters behind me.  Today is one verse.  And today I see that the gift of life is full because of Him, and all the gifts He brings and to be embraced so you can experience Him.

So today is not going to be another Tuesday, but today I will take the time to ponder and shift my full plate around.  I'm going to have to get rid of some things.  And put bigger helpings of  the things of life that I enjoy so I can have the strength to do the things He has called me to.  Today I will embraceand as I live life to the fullest, I will be thankful to the One who is the center of it all.  And I will celebrate Him today - and the life He gave.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Facing Your Fears - Part 1

1 Samuel 17

Today finally was the day.  The day I dreaded.  I was sick yesterday and even hoped it would carry through to today, but it didn't.  Today was the day I was facing my biggest giant yet.

When I was a child, I was learning how to do something and in the process I made a mistake.  My instructor ran out of patience with me … can't blame them, as I'm not the easiest to teach, but still words hurt, the anger turned to be a lie of how stupid I was.  It was that day I said I would never do that task ever again.

I signed up for a class a couple of months ago.  I have been fearful, but had hid behind the grace of time.  And during the time I prepared myself by going to some quick lessons.  I look forward to the outcome as to what I am going to learn, but I was not looking forward to the actual process.

I came across my very first obstacle earlier this week, and it took some time to work it through, but I found someone to help.  But as I went to practice this morning before class the obstacle returned.  And that is when I had my tantrum.  Through the anguish, as I through my hands in the air and let the tears come out, I realized how big the giant was that I was going to face.

As I threw myself against the wall and speaking all the words I believed as a child, I knew God was walking me through a life lesson that in the weeks to come I will accomplish.

We hear in church how fear is a liar.  We sing about it, and it has become truth.  We are taught to face our fears.  The cowards, like the Israelites, don't face them at all and let the giants torment them constantly twice a day (1 Sam 17:16). And we are taught that once we face our fear, they have no control over us and we can be victorious and move on.   When we are told this over and over again, it seems it is almost instantaneous.

Yet God is showing me it's a process.  And it's the process that is the key.

There is a preparation that comes with the actual battle.  I mentioned that I had some lessons.  And I also did some practicing.  I needed more of these, but still I prepared.  So did David  (1 Sam 17:34-37).

We say it takes a village to raise a child, well it still takes a village to come around us to conquer our fears.  I noticed that I had my Mom who equipped me with tools for the trade and a team of people to train me.  David had his dad … his dad sent him to the fields (1 Sam 17:15, 17-18).

I woke my daughter up in the wee hours of the morning, full of tears and pleaded for what knowledge she had to help me with the first obstacle I was to face.  David's first obstacle was his brother (1 Sam 17:28).  Like I have taught my girls, our words can bless or curse.  Either way, what comes out of our mouths can not be taken back…so we are to chose wisely.  I'm thankful my daughter chose to bless.

I had my husband, who rushed in after my tantrum, laid his hand upon my shoulders as I sobbed into the wall, stood there beside me as I tackled the obstacle once again.  I knew he meant well, but the pressure and deadline that was quickly approaching I needed him to go so I wouldn't say anything I would regret.  And it was me being sent, not him this time.  However, I knew full well he was praying me on, and I know full well he knew exactly how big the giant I was getting ready to face was.  And like Saul said to David, I knew as we parted ways this morning as I went to battle, Duane was there praying "may the Lord be with you", 1 Sam 17:17.

Driving, is my best time with the Lord.  My mind was focused on what was ahead, but my ears heard the worship music, and my heart was instantly with God.  Words like:
"Though the devil try to break me, my sweet Jesus won't forsake me, when I'm in my Savior's shadow, where I'm supposed to be"
 "I have won, and I have lost, got it right sometimes and sometimes I did not, life has been a journey, I've seen joy and I've seen regret, Oh and you have been my God through all of it"
 "God sent His son, they called Him Jesus.  He came to love, heal and forgive.  He lived and died to buy my pardon.  An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives".  
I was entering the battle field, but I wasn't entering it alone and I experienced the value of worship.  David knew this fact too (1 Sam 17:45).

I was just a freckled face, long haired little girl with knobby knees and without much to offer.  I was tackled that day by fear, chained by it for many years that followed.  Today, I still see the same little freckled face little girl…hair a little shorter, and knees not as knobby … but feeling so small, just the same.  I entered the first round on the battlefield.  I came out bruised, shattered and teary eyed … BUT I'm still living.  I remembered who I was, with the help of my husband and worship … and David knew who he was (1 Sam 17: 45-47).  But more importantly I'm reminded it's me heading out to the battlefield … but the battle is not mine, it's the Lords!  (1 Sam 17:47)

I knew today wasn't the day for it to be conquered as there are a few weeks left, but I also knew God was teaching me how to face my fear and I was to remember.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Embrace The Moments

"You don't know what you are asking,"
Mark 10:38a

"Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'"
Luke 23:34a

I have mentioned to you the place I have been in … loneliness I am now calling friend, which brings depression and sadness at times.  However, today I have seen the life around me … the housework that is begging for me to embrace and the little "to do"s that are on my list.  

I haven't had much motivation.  However, I have learned to embrace the season I am in.  But today I really embracing it.  

We live downtown in a city … BART is walkable, the grocery store is down the street and we are just a 10 minute walk to the center of town where the Farmer's market comes each week, the smells of many restaurants grab our attention, we can catch the newest release at the local theater, and shopping is at our fingertips.  We are a hop, skip and a jump from the on ramp to the freeway.  Life and it's busyness is all around us.    And yet … our little corner of the world seems to be a little country … critters and eggs to gather, a white fence and a gravel driveway, a little land to develop and a Ford truck.  It seems God has intertwined the country girl in me in the midst of city life.  And it works!

I have been searching for a job.  And I'm at that stage of life, I don't just want a job .. but something I can make a difference in, something I can have passion for and something I can believe in.  So looking for something just doesn't come easy … after all, God has always brought all of my jobs to me.  So yesterday, I let it go into God's hands and I have now embraced peace.

But today …. I haven't done much.  But what I have done is been reachable to the daughter who is trying to make her own decisions and share her frustrations.  A new little "critter" has come to stay .. and I was able to teach him how to explore his mansion we built for him.  My cat has been exceptionally social with me today .. giving, protective and loving, as if to say how thankful she is that I'm just around.  Creations have been started for my husband's birthday.  I'm home much more, so I am able to let the chickens out of their pen and spoil them with conversation and snacks and in return they have been very generous with their egg laying.  My husband may not walk in to a home cook meal, but he does walk in to a home full of peace.  I have labeled my not getting things done as laziness … but I just now have seen them as embracing my moments and the life I am in.  

I pondered the above verses in my head.  I know they are out of context … however, for me, it goes to show that God knows more than I.  I think I want a job, then He shows me to wait, be still, and embrace the moments I am in.  Now I think I don't want a job.  It is fair to make the observation "I don't know what I am asking" … because I don't know what to ask.  However, I do know I want to be in His will.  

I am thankful that Jesus, in his final breath asked for forgiveness for this very season I am in … of not knowing what I am doing.  Because Lord knows, I have been so angry, so condemning, so lost that I needed every ounce of forgiveness I could receive.  

So I will wait.  I will embrace.  I will enjoy the critters that surround me.  I will be thankful for the joy they bring, and see that God has allowed me to be me in the midst of it all.  And I will embrace the season I am in. 

Loneliness is not my friend … Embrace is.  And through embrace I have found peace and comfort.  

God I am thankful for You, and how You have been speaking to my heart!






Friday, January 19, 2018

The Missing Puzzle Piece

My daughter loves puzzles.  Ha!  So do the cats!  Thus the reason she can't get her big 9000 peice puzzle out, or the cats will have ever piece under the couches, chewed on or just all over the place.  Sometimes we end of with one piece of a puzzle in another's box … or I'll just find a loose piece that got missed getting in the box.

I feel like that missing puzzle piece.  I feel like I am a step behind and just gets forgotten to get in with all the rest or I just don't fit in.

Perhaps it's my age and all that's on our plate.  I never felt old until this winter.  I injured my foot six weeks ago and I still have a lot of pain.  Doctors can't seem to do anything, so I continue with my chiropractic care which is helping … just not fixed.  I'm used to getting injured and being healed in a matter of a few days.  And then this year with all the illness' that are going around.  First I got bronchitis and then the flew.  I'm still not 100% better.  

Finances are a bit out of control in our household.  We are getting caught up like everyone else from the holidays, and trying to save what we can for an upcoming wedding.  We also have medical bills from an ending of a hard 2017.  Normal stuff … nothing unusual.  I mean other family's have it much worse.  But I like things just so, and they aren't.

Our marriage is like everyone else.  Duane works, comes home tired and then puts what energy he has into the house.  We have spent a lot of money in our past in counseling and we know our strengths and weaknesses and how to meet the other's needs.  But yet we stick to our stubborn ways and focus in the worlds we see and currently aren't meeting one another.  We are strangers.  I'm not worried about our marriage, because we always come back together again.  It's a normal thing … normal.  Yet, again, I like things just so and they aren't.  I really love my husband and think the world of him.  I need him now more than ever.  I need to know the extra weight, the starts of grey hairs aren't an issue with him.  And I need to know that he isn't going to reject me like the rest of the world.  Insecurity is still an issue at forty something.

My faith.  I have it.  I'm not hearing a lot from God latley.  I figured He is seeing how I don't fit in like I do … and doesn't want to talk.  But then I remember the God I have, and that isn't His character and figure it is me that isn't doing what I'm suppose to be doing to hear.  I'm not positioning myself in the right manner, or I haven't sought forgiveness for the thoughts and feelings I have.  I don't know.  I'm sure it's me…somehow it's me.  Perhaps I need to repent again.  However, I feel like I'll ever get to talk with him because there is so much to repent of.  

I have stepped down from a job that I was so on fire for - well, the roots of the foundation, the heart of the founder.  But I can't seem to find those roots and the heart at the store I was at, and there was so much drama, and the fact in got in the way of my family I chose to leave.  I listened to my husband and my mom and I chose to step away.  Now I'm looking for a job that fits our life, and I am starting to take it personal that no one wants a forty something woman.  

When we lived in Colorado there were so many times I wished we were back "home" in California.  I missed my friends and the friendliness of California.  Now we're here for the past two and a half years and the only thing we have going for us is the closeness of my parents and the possibilities in our new church.  I wish we lived back in Colorado now just so I can have our whole family together … and maybe my husband wouldn't be so absorbed with his work and commute and he'd have time for me and remember how to meet my needs.  And I would remember how to meet his.  I also know now California's relationships have come to a close.  My friends have their own lives, and they have moved on without me and I without them.  

On top of it all.  I have a birth father who sent a Christmas card wanting a "slow relationship".  He's in his seventies … I'm in my forties.  I don't think you can get much slower.  He has come and gone, and I've seen him a handful of times.  I'm nice, and I give him my phone numbers.  Yet here we're approaching the end of the month and not one call.  I hold my breath each time the phone rings.  And truthfully … I have forgiven him, and have been thankful things have ended up the way they did because I have the best dad in the world.  I don't need a relationship with him, but am willing to help him out.  Yet … I already feel rejected.  Again.  I don't think I could deal with his rejection once more.    Abandonement.  It brings so much baggage.  Not feeling good enough is the biggest fight I have dealt with all my life.  Once I think I have conquered it, the lie is there to taunt me all over again.  I know God says I am good enough and He had created me for a purpose and a plan … but people hurt his creation.

And home.  My house is a mess and I know how to fix that!  Yet I don't.  Maybe it's the lack of energy from being so sick.  Maybe it's the emotional baggage of missing the closeness of my husband and not being good enough for my father.  But my girls seem to remind me that I am able to clean up after their messes … yet I chose more for my life.  I should be honored, but I'm not.  I want to be looked at as more. 

My last post was titled "Let's Be Real" … perhaps this one should have been.  Life sucks sometimes and right now it does.  I feel lost.  Alone.  Forgotten.

I need God to find me and put me on the path He has for me.  

I'm waiting.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

And even though life sucks right now … I will pray - again.  I will rejoice for everything is good.  And I will give thanks.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Let's Be Real...

I have opened this blog … set up a new blog … posted a couple of times… come back to this blog….open it… and nothing.   I love to write.  I love to share my thoughts on paper.  But nothing!  I have nothing to write!

When I started this blog, we had moved to Colorado from California and this was a great place to write all the family adventures and all my "ah-ha" moments and share them with those who are now a far.  Now we have returned back to California and you would think I'll write all about our family adventures and all my "ah-ha" moments and now share with those who are on the other side.  But …

I have believed I have NOTHING to say.  And for the most part, that is true.  However there are so many thoughts, hurts and moments I have had that I have shared with my husband, yet didn't think anyone would care to hear about them.  Then I realized God whispered in my ear to start getting vulnerable and "get real".

Now I have focus and now I have much to say … you may be sorry. 

I look at this blog and I see the adventures of trying to adopt, trying to raise three girls, our pets, and my spiritual life.  It seems that when we moved back to California, I packed with me "I'm done" and "I'm not needed anymore".  My family has seen it near me, and even me calling it by name, and the deny it and try to push it out with the trash.  But I continue and bring it in the house.

And for the past two and a half years I have entertained this extra baggage.  Until this week.

You are going to be hearing about the adventures of a forty something woman and what life looks like in my eyes.  I feel like the years I am in are "forgotten" years.  I don't have children in school, so the younger generation thinks I don't get what they are going through and I can't relate to their situation.  I don't have grand children … so I'm not in that special club, and not even worthy enough to talk to them.  I have been snubbed off so many times because when I was working, I didn't fit in with the "non working women" and now that I don't work I don't fit in with the "working women" and the nonworking women have seemed to disappear.  I have been isolated and alone … and now I have fought through it to be able to recognize it and speak about it.

I am in what I call the sandwich generation … I still have to take care of my children (in a totally different way) and now I check in with my parents each week and take care of them.  Healing has taken place, and a different kind of connection has taken place with each of my family members.  It didn't come natural at first, but now I embrace it. 

However, the world isn't kind.  It's always been a hard world, but boy … has it been rough. 

There is no intention of being whiny, but there is every intention to be aware and make the world I see a bit softer and much more colorful. 

Welcome back to my blog!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Moments In The Grocery Store

It was moments after the previous post that I started out on my day … ready or not.  But that day was different.  It was a day I was going to search, but yet "be still and know He is God".

I had a list that seemed a mile long of things to accomplish.  And with my family's help, kitchen cleaning was added to it.  And thanks to jet lag, my day started off early which made the "to do" list get accomplished faster.

I was at the store.  I ran into someone I knew.  And I discovered something about me … I didn't know what to say, I had difficulty maintaining the conversation … something that is NOT me.  But yet again…if it was someone different, would it be easier.  Perhaps.  Probably.  It didn't help that it was someone that was part of a family that I was deeply close to.  I was being guarded.

Unforgiveness showed it's self once again.  You see it was only two years ago we transitioned back to our home town.  I expected to be welcomed and cared for by so many, especially by this particular family.  And not only have we not been welcomed, but we feel forgotten and unloved by this family.  I has hurt, and I felt judged by prior issues that took place before our move.  I hadn't gotten over it all.  They were our extended family, people I have admired and chosen to be like, and people I deeply loved (which I have a hard time doing).    But that's it … they are people.  People who fall short, people with their inperfections and mistakes … people, just like me.

God showed me I need to let go of hurt and forgive those who offended me so I may be part of what is next to come fully.  There isn't any room for His plans and Him if I'm holding onto stuff that isn't of Him.  I must forgive.  Today, I chose to forgive.

The next aisle over an elderly man asked me where he could find the salt.  We walked over to and then which one should he get.  We talked, we laughed and I was able to encourage.

I may not know the direction I am going … but I do know, I must master forgiveness so there is more in the journey ahead.  .

 “Be stilland know that I am GodI will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3:13