life

Confessed Hot Mess

Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?

Jesus loves this hot mess!-2In an effort to “keep it real”, I have a confession to make.  I am a mess, y’all.  Not just a little mess, but a full on, bona fide, hot mess.  The list of things that qualify me as a hot mess is long.  It is filled with unfulfilled expectations that others have of me and that I have of myself.  There are things like my house never being clean.  There is clutter everywhere.  Blame it on the effects of a big family in a small house, but at the end of the day, there is junk everywhere.  (It drives me bonkers, y’all.)

Other things that make me a hot mess…

  • I second guess everything when it comes to making a decision.  It doesn’t matter how inconsequential said decision is, I always feel like I somehow make the wrong choice.
  • I constantly wonder if I’m one bad parenting mistake away from a guest spot on Dr. Phil.  Having four kids is a constant balancing act to make sure everyone feels equal and important while each of the four also gets the one on one time with me that they need and crave.
  • I am not always the best or most attentive friend.  My closest friends know that I am loyal to a fault, but because I have so many balls in the air, I’m not always as available to them as I wish to be.  I also am painfully shy and awkward when meeting people, so I do not have a lot of close friends.
  • I struggle to make ends meet.  This has always been an issue but now with a kid in college, oh my goodness!  Do y’all know what they charge for car insurance for teenage drivers?  Any guesses on how many times we’ve been to the emergency room in the past year?  Cars break down.  Roofs leak.  Life happens.  The cost of living goes up, but the paycheck remains the same.
  • I could write a book on body image but will keep it to a paragraph here.  It’s no secret that I struggle with my weight.  This isn’t one of those things that I can hide as well as some of the other items on my hot mess list.  It’s all out there for the world to see.  Most of the time I feel like people see what I look like and never go beyond that to find out who I am.
  • Then there’s the “f” bomb that dictates and controls my life.  Fibromyalgia.  There isn’t anything I can do about it, but it sure does cause me to miss out on a lot and leaves me feeling inadequate, forgotten, and alone.

Y’all, I am a hot mess.  My life isn’t perfect.  I’m not perfect.  The Apostle Paul could relate.  He wrote in Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT), “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Paul also understood what it meant to not feel worthy of the calling he had received.  He wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NLT), “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

Jesus loves this hot mess!

I’m guessing that you probably have a list of perceived disappointments and failures in your life too.  I would like to remind you that God is still working on you (Philippians 1:6) and His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

There’s still good news, y’all.  We don’t have to be perfect.  We serve a God who is.

Have a blessed week, y’all!

 

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Year of the Dog

Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?

24294103_1780979458641513_353045090737977088_nOf all the lessons God has taught me through my Golden Retrievers, and dogs in general, the importance of living in the moment is pretty close to the top of the list.  Dogs do not wallow in the regrets of of the past, and they do not worry about things that may or may not happen in the future.  They simply live life to the fullest extent at any given time.  I believe God intends for us to live our lives in the same manner.

Everyone who has achieved puberty has regrets from their past, and we all have at one time or another felt that we were victims of a situation that was out of our control.  Shame and regrets and bad memories can become chains that imprison us to a jail of our own making if we do not submit them to God.  Likewise, reliving “the good ole days” without regard to what is happening now, also causes us to miss out on life.  When we live in the past, we never fully live in the present.  Dogs may live conditioned to a past experience, but they do not let it prevent them from enjoying today.  Neither should we.

We also forget to live in the present by spending too much of our time worrying about the future.  Whether it is worrying about things we hear in the news like threats of war or weather predictions, or things that hit closer to home such as health and finances, worrying robs today of its joy.  In Matthew 6, Jesus taught us to pray saying, “give us this day our daily bread.”  Further in the chapter Jesus teaches us, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  My dogs do not worry about their future because for their entire lives I have cared for them daily.  They know when they wake up tomorrow, I will again provide for them.  We should have that same trust in our Father who provides all of our needs.

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According the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog.  I would like to encourage you this year to live more like a dog!  Whatever has happened in your past or what you dream or fear in the future, do not become so caught up in it that you forget to live life now.  Do not miss the things in front of you.  You only get to live each day once.  Make the most of it.  Make it count.  Have fun.  Be spontaneous.  Make good memories.  Philippians 3:13,14 reads, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  That should be our goal, as well.

Have a blessed week, y’all!

 

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The Life of Faith

“The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived - not always looked forward to as though the "real" living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.” ― Elisabeth Elliot

“The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived – not always looked forward to as though the “real” living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.” ― Elisabeth Elliot    (These five beauties are my personal pets: Scarlet, Cosmo, Angel, Boondocks, and Rose Bud.)