“You Survived”

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What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23

 This morning as I was opening a book that I carry with me, a piece of paper fell out. It was a copy of an email from a dear friend of mine. As always, the words were beautiful, inspiring and encouraging. I hadn’t read it in a while and one sentence caught my attention :

“The battle is over but the memories will have to be rearranged to the back of your mind and this is where God’s gift must be fully internalized…………………..YOU SURVIVED.”

This was a while before the full-on panic attacks had started and she was speaking of another time and another battle but I realized that it could easily be used in the terms of that struggle as well. As with any type of situation that causes us grief, pain, disappointment or fear, the lingering thoughts of that time will sometimes resurface and pull you back into a place where it seems as if you are reliving it all over again. This is especially true of anyone who has faced anxiety or panic attacks. We all know that the memories of the way that moment felt are what cause you to stay in a constant state of fear.

You really do have to rearrange those memories to the back of your mind. It takes a lot of will power and a ton of faith but it is do-able. I am proof. I think often of the worst days. I don’t let them linger very long though. I shuffle them back to where they belong and replace them with praise for the One who brought me through the fire, refined and strengthened.

If you are struggling, if your battle is all uphill, I encourage you to simply call out His name. Let Him show you how mighty and powerful He is.

And if your battle seems to be over, yet the memories are haunting you, replace them with thoughts of praise and thanksgiving. Prioritize your thoughts and bring God to the forefront. Remember that with Him, YOU SURVIVED.

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“Capable Hands”

Last week I had some things on my mind that I just couldn’t seem to shake. One night as I was praying,  I said out loud “God, I just don’t know what I am going to do!” No sooner than the words left my lips I realized it’s not what I am going to do, it’s what God is going to do for me. He is in control. We must never forget that. I vowed right then that I would leave it in His hands. And I have thus far. The weight is off my shoulders. He carries is much easier than I do. As it should be. Let go of your worries today. Place them in more capable hands.

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“She Shall Be Called Woman”

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Attention ladies! This one is for you…

Let’s talk about guys. You either love them or hate them right now. Am I correct? I’m willing to bet I am. I always have to laugh at that option on the Facebook relationship section. The one that says “in a relationship and it’s complicated”. Well of course it is. They all are. We are two different species. That’s how God made us. Isn’t that what all those books say? The ones about Mars and Venus? But God also made man and woman to complement each other. As it says in Genesis, God did not think it was good for man to be alone so He created woman.

I’m sure ever since the sixth day, when man and woman began sharing the earth, the  argument that men don’t understand women and women don’t understand men has been going on. At a time in my life when I was in and out of horrible and terribly complicated relationships, I would be the first to jump on the “men are stupid” train.  But the last few years with my love and the years before with the wrong ones have taught me a lot so I want to share what I know to be true, with you.

1)      Oh how I wish I could get through to all of you young teenage girls (and even twenty-something and thirty-something ladies) who are on the chase for a guy’s attention. STOP!! That movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You” is dead-on. Been there, lived that. If a guy is interested, sincerely interested in you, he will go out of his way to show you. He will text or call often. He will do what he says he will do when he says he will do it. He won’t make you feel like an afterthought or second best. He will treat you with respect. Don’t ever be someone’s option. And don’t every put 100% into someone who is returning about 10%. You deserve better. That’s the most important thing to remember.

2)      Love is respect. A guy who cares about you will not hurt you. He will not call you degrading names. He will not make fun of you or point out your flaws. He will constantly have your back. I have seen so many women, myself included, who thought they deserved what they were getting. They loved the guy and he would change eventually and everything would be okay. I’m not saying change is not possible but I think it takes another presence to  be involved for that to happen, which leads me to number three…

3)      God is a crucial part of a relationship. Up until now I had never had anyone who believed as much as I do that God must be the center of a relationship. The bible says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. How can a relationship work if one or both of you don’t believe? I pray often for Greg and he prays for me. We pray for our relationship. By submitting our problems to Him it takes the load off of both of us.

4)      This one is going to blow your mind. We women are NOT always right! Yep, I said it. We aren’t. We would like to believe that we are but we know deep down inside that there are moments when we are wrong. But here’s the thing: How often do you admit it? Most importantly, how often do you admit it to the man in your life? Are you afraid he may pass out if those words slip from your lips?! Or that you may choke on the words as they come out? I am wrong a lot. I am wrong when my patience wears thin and I snap. I may assume my way is always the best way, only to find out, it wasn’t. I was wrong. I can freely admit it and apologize on top of that. It’s a matter of respect.

5)      Men are not mind readers. I know, another shocker right? Let’s say you are extremely upset about something your guy did or didn’t do. He should know what he did wrong right? I mean, he should just know! Wrong. Men are simple creatures. Not to say that in a degrading way. They just don’t put as much thought into things as we do. We assume they should be in tune with every random thought that runs through our brains. But think about this…how many of those thoughts are there in a given day? It’s like having 300 tabs open at once on your browser. How could he possibly keep up? Here’s what you do. You tell him. That’s right. You tell him. Tell him what is wrong. Tell him what he did or didn’t do and work it out. It’s not that hard. It’s just that our minds are trained to believe that men should be tuned into our every thought and need. Not that he shouldn’t be aware of the most obvious ones but sometimes he just needs to be cut some slack. Are you flabbergasted yet? There’s more…

6)      Respect. Appreciation. Being needed. When you look in a mirror, what do you see? A reflection. The exact copy of what you are looking at. An image or likeness. You would be amazed at how much smoother a relationship goes when you give what you get and get what you give. Like an image in the glass. Show appreciation to your guy and I can almost promise you he will do the same. In my house, we thank each other every day. Just for the little things. “Thanks for doing the dishes”. “Thanks for mowing the yard”. “Thanks for helping me”. “Thanks for restocking the toilet paper in the bathroom cabinet”. Yes I said that a couple weeks ago! (It was very much appreciated when I realized the roll was empty and I hadn’t restocked the cabinet yet!) Men love to hear “thank you” and will return it more easily when they are being praised. It’s a simple matter, again, of respect. He feels appreciated and he also feels needed. Men need to feel needed. It’s born in them to be that way. Unfortunately women have spent decades trying to prove how strong and independent we are. Now there is nothing wrong with that to a degree but letting a guy help you now and then gives him a boost and he feels his role as your guy is being fulfilled. He is the supporter and takes care of you. So let him help you when you need it. Don’t be stubborn and try to do it all alone. It only wears you out… and you might break a nail.

I could probably go on and on but I think I have rambled enough. I dare you to try these things if you aren’t already and see how your relationship improves. We often think the man is the one who needs to change and maybe that is true in some situations but if we change as well, things can take an amazing turn. Let God into your relationship. Be more patient with your guy. Communicate! And show him how much he means to you. I can almost guarantee that the dynamic of your relationship will change.

And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh – Genesis 2: 2-24