Resentment

Music inspires me so easily. Although today I’ve really been moved in a different way. Today’s blog was only possible after replaying a song I heard at our morning worship service.  The lyrics grabbed me instantly. During the performance, I looked up the song on my phone so I could remember it again. Thank the Lord for smartphones 😉 I’d never heard of the band or the song until now. The band, Mercy Me, created this amazing song “The Hurt and the Healer”. This inspiration lead me to decide I should open up by sharing something very close to my heart. It’s kinda deep, you’ve been forewarned haha

First, here is the link to the video: http://youtu.be/mxqfDs-64I0 and below I’ve written out the lyrics.

~ The Hurt and the Healer ~
Why?
The question that is never far away
But healing doesn’t come from the explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains
So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering
(Chorus)
I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide
Breathe
Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through
So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering
(Chorus)
I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide
It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all the scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of weakness we must bow
And hear You say “It’s over now”
(Chorus)
I’m alive
And even though a part of me has died
You take this heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide
Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide
Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide
Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here

Resentment is Poison

We always ask why when we don’t understand things. We want answers but don’t always get them. Unfortunately answers don’t always give us closure. I know this a million times over. When we learn the reason for the action, it doesn’t always seem like enough. So again we ask, Why? Each individual person with our infinite differences will never allow us to completely understand another person. Our thoughts, emotions, actions, reasoning…they’re influenced by the many variables provided by our environment, background, the company we keep; I mean the list goes ON! How is it possible for us to ever fully understand why something has happened to us? How do we heal? Pain, deep pain, takes a while to heal. You can’t do it alone. How do I know? Experience…I can only share my experiences and through them can tell you I’m learning to heal thanks to HIM.

I have felt an emptiness from a very early age. I knew I was different. Unfortunately I grew to learn I wasn’t alone. This emptiness was stemmed from not knowing my father or having a father figure in my life. I was raised by a single mother. I have many fond memories that I hold close to me of a particular time period when she was her strongest. I looked up to her. She was beautiful, loving, creative, she was that warm safe place; she was home. From birth until I was about eight years old she was my everything. I didn’t feel empty even though I knew I was different by not having a “daddy” like everyone else. Our lives took a huge turn that year. I watched a distance start to form. The security I’d always had was fading but I didn’t know why. I didn’t have that safe place anymore. She was visibly there but emotionally became detached. It was then that I not only was aware of my difference but I became aware of an unknown emotion. I couldn’t identify it then but I know now that it was Emptiness. I wasn’t alone in this journey. I was joined by my older sister “M”. Although we were together in this journey; we were on two different paths.

“M” is almost 4 years older than me. I can only imagine the depth of the emotions she encountered. We clung to each other through the hard times praying for the sun to shine through the clouds. We fought for attention; affection. We yearned for what everyone else did; to be wanted and loved. We were children, we were lost, and we had no clue what to do during this phase in our lives. I found joy in the new people I met at school. I felt alive when I wasn’t home to face the truth of what my life really encompassed. I learned there was a world that I could escape to. I met other people like me who lived in a single parent home and we bonded. Although I had company, I still had to go home at some point and remember the struggles, the loneliness waiting for me at home. I dreamed of who my father was, that he was searching for me, that he just didn’t know where I was to come see me. I dreamed of all the things I could do in the world when I grew up. I had nothing else to do but dream. The sad part was that I didn’t know how to make those dreams come true. I didn’t know how to start the ball rolling or what to even ask; I was lost. I didn’t make the best decisions. When “M” moved away it was just me and a little sister I didn’t know how to relate to. I had no guidance. Although my mother was present during all this, it felt like she was completely out of the picture. I began meeting the wrong kind of people and my path lead me down a road that left me a prisoner with no control, no resources. This lost naïve girl became a mother a year after graduating high school. This of course took place whilst wearing an elusive pair of “rose colored glasses” all under the false pretense of a future with the father. After learning of my pregnancy he felt he had to pursue a life with another person, not me. I ended up marrying someone else I hardly knew with the hope that I found someone who finally wanted to love me. I struggled for 9 years with the belief that I made my bed and had to lay in it. I reached out to a neighborhood church but had no support from my husband. I learned we could never grow together, that I had settled and become someone I didn’t even know anymore.

I eventually woke up with a newfound strength and a new belief that if you weren’t happy, you needed to make changes. And so I did. I took a deep breath and took a leap of faith praying I’d be able to do this on my own. I was so afraid! I didn’t have a support system; I was all on my own. I was still lost for a number of years but I had two wonderful children who not only gave me this newfound strength but also reminded me of all the dreams I used to have. I knew my mother struggled alone with us. I knew she sacrificed things. I could see she was just as lost as I had been. I was lucky to meet some influential people who helped guide me in the right direction. I wanted to give my children a good life. I had a purpose and it was bigger than me. I sought to surround myself with strong, successful people with a positive influence to keep me on the right track. I was determined. Eight years after I decided to make a change, things started to happen for me. I was eventually blessed to finally find real love; a love with someone who wanted to grow together and grow as a family. I was also blessed to finally meet my father and my new extended family after. I had exhausted my many years of searching only to be the one who was found. I can’t articulate the emotions that followed that event. Although I had many questions, like I mentioned before, we don’t always get answers.  Through my daughter, we were lead to a church that we all felt comfortable with. I learned to look “Up and Above instead of Down and Around”. Our pastor actually used that line in his sermon this morning but he was so right. The sermon was about Resentment. It was like he was speaking right to me. Funny how that happens, huh? I knew I had a lot of resentment in my life because it seemed like I had been dealt a bad hand. Over the last three years of attending this church, I have found peace, understanding, support, and I’m finally healing from all the pain I’d encountered in my life. I can’t say this enough…you can’t heal alone. There have been so many times I tried to make things happen only for it to be swatted away. I have come to believe very deeply that “Things happen for a reason”. We can never know or understand why things happen to us but we have to dig deep in our faith to know that there’s something bigger involved. There’s a plan and we just have to let it happen the way HE planned.

I know patience is hard to endure. There are times you think you’re just not meant to be happy. Goodness do I know all about that!! By the Grace of God I never felt life wasn’t worth it but some days I just felt dead, useless…I questioned my faith and why I was bothering. I questioned if there was even a God! I mean, I clearly fell into short bouts of depression a couple of times, but knew I had to keep marching through what seemed like never ending mud. I didn’t know what was going to happen in my future but I knew deep within my soul that God loved me and was going to pull me through. I know my children were what saved me from going the wrong direction. I can’t possibly explain what that’s like to those who don’t know God or don’t believe in him. Some may feel it’s not realistic to believe in something you can’t see. That’s what Faith is though. Faith, Hope, and Love are my favorite words. They define what has helped me get through the challenges of life. Until you’re rock bottom, at the end of your rope, you may not be able to understand how to open your heart & soul to let HIM in to heal you. It truly is a leap of faith. I have never known happiness the way I do today. I’ve Alive!

Now do you see why the song grabbed me instantly? 😉

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Procrastination at it’s worst!

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Texas, it’s who I am

Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed

Cross Canadian Ragweed

I love to express myself by sharing song lyrics that speak to me. This is one I’m loving right now. You can click on the link to watch the video and hear the song yourself.

Song Title: Who I Am

Artist: Wade Bowen & West 84

I love to watch the sunset as it fades behind the trees
Love to talk with god and you down upon my knees
I love the times I spend with my family and friends
Love to dream about all the places I’ve never been

And I love to watch you laugh and smile, I love to watch you dream
Love it when you take my hand just to let me know you believe in me
And I love it that you’re my girl, I love that I’m your man
Now that you’re in my life Baby I know exactly who I am

I know I love the ladies, I love to go out at night
I love it how we make up each and every time that we fight
I love you oh so very much, love you more than words can sayy
And I don’t know how or why but I love you more every day

And I love to watch you laugh and smile, I love to watch you dream
Love it when you take my hand just to let me know you believe in me
And I love it that you’re my girl, I love that I’m your man
Now that you’re in my life Baby I know exactly who I am

(Instrumental)

And I love to watch you laugh and smile, I love to watch you dream
Love it when you take my hand just to let me know you believe in me
And I love it that you’re my girl, I love that I’m your man
Now that you’re in my life Baby I know exactly who I am

[The End]

If you’ve never been to Texas, you might not understand that Texans have some serious pride for being a Texan. Living in Texas has a way of life, it’s a Texas State of Mind 😉 We have a whole genre of music called Texas Country. There are many many amazingly talented country artists that love to just sing about Texas. The song above is one in particular from one of my favorite artist, Wade Bowen. They sing about the food (Tex Mex, burritos, jalapenos, beer), Floating the river (Guadalupe, Frio, Comal), the gorgeous Texas women 😉 (think Jessica Simpson, Miranda Lambert), and just about everything there is growing up and living in Texas.  We even have our own Texas Music Charts

Notice the comments from fans in the video link I posted above the song lyrics. We embrace our music and don’t like it to be messed up. I agree with a lot of those comments. One comment in particular announced to Nashville to Please not sign the artist haha but it’s so true what the comment goes on to say. It comes from experience with one artist in particular, Pat Green. If any of you readers have heard his music, you might not know the history behind him and what a legend in Texas he was before signing with a major record label in Nashville. We miss the purity, the heart of his original music and what he used to stand for. So many of his Texas fans have decided to not buy any of his new music. They call him a “Sellout”. It’s never understood how money and fame become priorities over the raw art of the music that made them “Stars” around Texas.   

Here are a list of Texas Country music artists I recommend checking out 😉

Wade Bowen

Wade Bowen

 

Granger Smith

Granger Smith

 Randy Rogers Band

Randy Rogers Band

Seth James

Seth James

Roger Creager

Roger Creager

Kevin Fowler

Kevin Fowler

Jason Boland

Jason Boland

Eli Young Band  

Eli Young Band

Brandon Rhyder

Brandon Rhyder

Reckless Kelly

Reckless Kelly

Deryl Dodd

Deryl Dodd

 Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson

Cody Johnson 

Cody Johnson

the Oklahoma based and former Cross Canadian Ragweed 😦

 

~Love & Guitars 😉

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Texas Bluebonnets are in BLOOM!

I’ve had quite the bout of writers block lately, as you can see. There have been a few topics I’ve wanted to write about but then nothing would come out. I’d sit here at my laptop and write a doodle or two but nothing stuck. I can imagine a lot of other bloggers have experienced that a time or two 😉 Sooo, here I go; I’m gonna try this again!!

Everyday on my commute home, I see the roads filled with Bluebonnets. As a Native Texan, we all know Spring has arrived. We don’t need a calendar or for a groundhog to tell us when it’s coming. We know it’s here because the roadsides have BLOOMED!!  Literally haha

Bluebonnets on the roadsides of Texas

It’s actually a tradition for some to take pictures of themselves, their children, or even their pets while sitting in a large patch of them.

My little sister Kimberly sitting in Bluebonnets

 I have known families who literally do this EVERY year. They not only take a family picture; they also take pictures of each individual sitting in a vast meadow of blue. Some people will pull over anywhere they find a large patch. Some people take a tour of well known Bluebonnet hot spots! The best place to get your fill is…well anywhere really, but I personally like to drive out in the country, the Texas Hill Country to be more precise. There’s such a peace about being out in the country, driving, and looking at all the gorgeous blue beauty all over the place.

One thing you should know about Bluebonnets aside from the fact that it’s the State Flower of Texas is that it’s illegal to pick them! JUST KIDDING!! Actually most people really do think it’s illegal but the Texas Department of Public Safety (who would enforce this law) states that it’s not true. THANK GOD! I am sure a lot of people didn’t know any different and have picked one at some point! Every Texan has been told this; I’m curious to know where it started. If you don’t believe me, check out the website Texas Twisted where Wesley Treat goes into depth about the urban legend.

 Wildflowers in Texas do not consist of only the widely famous Bluebonnet. You can also expect to see…

Indian Paintbrushes

Purple Prairie Verbena

White Prickly Poppy

Yellow Daisy

Evening Primrose

 
I have many fond memories with the Evening Primrose. As children, we used them as pranks to friends who didn’t know their “magic powers” ;). There was nothing dramatic about the set up. We would present them with the pretty flower, tell them to sniff it’s awesome perfume (don’t forget to get in close!) then upon sniffing, the petals will close around your nose and leave bright yellow pollen all over you! ahhahahahaa oh the fun we had. Who am I kidding, I still do it to anyone who will fall for it. What can I say, I still have a little child hiding inside me 😉
 
Do you have a local wildflower you look forward to seeing bloom every year?
 
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I can’t just have one!

It sounded like a perfect marketing campaign when Lays potato chips branded the line “Bet you can’t just have one”.

I beg to differ.

I dare you to test this theory

There are few times when I feel I can’t control my eating. I feel pretty lucky to be able to say that in this vast world of large portions and over eating buffet opportunities. I can buy a bag of candy and eat a piece here and there. I can make a pint of ice cream last a month just enjoying a few bites when I need to fulfill a craving. I can order dessert and take it to go to enjoy later. There is always a way to fulfill that sweet tooth without sabotaging your healthy lifestyle goals.

I know what it’s like to encounter such cravings that lead you to binge eating. I have consumed a hand full of various junk food items in a moment of weakness. In that same moment I have felt failure in how I’ve allowed myself to treat my body. I know all too well that lingering sweet chocolatey texture of chocolate cake followed by a lonely sigh. You’re in a brief moment of heaven.

Chocolate cake is meant to savor

It’s moments like that when eating dessert should be cherished but not OVER indulged in! Those are rare moments of pleasure that you should only allow yourself to earn in confidence; no regularly. Eating dessert every day eventually loses it’s novelty. With the novelty gone you might even notice a little belly pudging out above your jeans…what’s that called again? MUFFIN TOP! Not healthy, not attractive haha

I really don’t understand how portion control went OUT of control. I don’t mean to get on a soap box or anything but Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. It’s a form of abuse to your body. Obesity in this nation is all too common. Don’t get on that road. It leads to many health issues that honestly a few common sense lifestyle habits can help to avoid. In no way does this mean to not enjoy food or life. You only live once but savor those pleasures.

Say NO to Gluttony! Say NO to Obesity!

There are a lot of resources available to help clear up your confusion on what real portion sizes are. You can start with your doctor or a seek out a nutritionist. A common and very helpful habit to get into is boxing half of what’s served to you when dining out. Just last night I ate about 1/4 of my dinner and indulged in this amazing Raspberry  Chocolate Brownie.

Raspberry Chocolate Brownie...mmmm 🙂

Don’t worry, I shared it!! Even though I didn’t eat all of my dinner and could have, I didn’t feel right eating the whole thing. I didn’t want to walk away with that stupidly full bloated aching belly. What’s the best way to remember such a lovely dessert; the bloated aching aftermath or chocolate heaven? THIS my friends is a great way to control your portions while still indulging in a little heaven. You can figure out a way to fit an indulgence into your life. Eat good clean food all week (or all month for that matter) then have a little indulgence just when you think you don’t need it. Challenge yourself. Test your strength! I DARE YA! I guarantee you’ll enjoy it more.

Do you feel you have a clear idea of what a proper portion size is? How do you control your indulgences? How do you keep yourself from caving into your cravings?

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Spring time is here!

We just experienced Daylight Savings Time yesterday meaning not only did we spring forward a whole hour but we’ll be able to enjoy a little more sunlight during the day! EXCELLENT! 🙂 More sun! I’m definitely looking forward to getting a little color and eventually enjoying a little more warmth on my skin.

You know what comes to mind now besides tank tops & flip flops? SUNSCREEN! I had the pleasure of enjoying a fantastic french facial by Paulette at the Dolce Vita Day Spa last month. I’m not unaware that I should be wearing sunscreen when I’m outside but I’m hardly outside (especially when it’s super cold or super hot outside). As a lot of you ladies know, conversation about your skin and how you take care of it is kind of expected with your esthetician. Since I’m not usually outdoors on a daily basis, I skip the whole SPF coverage thing. On a typical day, I may be exposed to the outdoors for 30 mins in total. My outdoor exposure usually takes place in between locations I’m commuting. Not exactly the smartest thing but decided I was going to start making that a daily part of my skin routine.

Just this past fall I attended the Texas Conference for Women. While browsing vendor boothes I stumbled upon a company that showed you just how much sun damage you have on your face. You would put your head into this curtained box where a TV screen outside would show you the results. I was afraid to do it myself and you know why? It was because if I truly knew what kind of damage had been done I’d feel guilty about not taking better care of my skin. I usually feel pretty confident in the amount of time and effort I make to take care of my skin. I remove my make up at night. I’ve been using eye cream to avoid wrinkles since I’ve been 25! What I don’t make sure to do is wear SPF everyday though.   

After a friendly reminder from Paulette I decided I need to be more responsible with my skin. My current moisturizer does not have sunscreen in it. I’m a little surprised that a day cream wouldn’t have SPF already in it. I am keeping my eyes peeled for a new one. I’m open to suggestions. I once used a light, non-greasy moisturizer with SPF from Mario Badescu and I liked it a lot. The only thing that made me stop wearing it was traveling 25 miles to the store that stocked it. To my surprise, there’s an Ulta about 3 miles away from my house that stocks that product line. How about that! 🙂 I don’t want to waste what moisturizer I already have but I need the SPF! My answer to that is; combine some sunscreen to my moisturizer until I’m out. That is definitely something I do a lot, blend & mix. I do it with just about everything (ie: food, sauces, perfume, eye shadow, shampoo, music, circuit workouts).

Do you make sure to include SPF in your skin care routine? What products do you like to use? What other type of skin care do you feel you need to include in your routine that you don’t already do or used to?

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