worth.

It’s truly a life-changing day when you finally realize your worth.

As much as I hate to admit it, it took me a little longer than most to come to this realization.  I’ve been known to be a people-pleaser.  My tendencies to take flight from confrontation transferred into friendships and even marriage.  I lived in constant fear of someone not “liking me” as if it would be detrimental to my livelihood.  Thoughts about my own feelings or needs were consistently placed on the back-burner in order to keep others content.  And honestly, I was quite comfortable with life.  My belief was that by making everyone else happy, that I had found true happiness.

Boy, was I wrong.

A little over a year ago, the happy little world that I had built up came crashing down all around me.  Oddly enough, I was shocked.  If I’m really being honest with myself, I saw it coming many months before.  But again, I was a pro at avoiding confrontation…believing foolishly that if I ignored it, it would just go away.  Nonetheless, I felt completely blindsided by my situation.  My first reaction was to withdraw myself.  Once a social butterfly, my days now consisted of coming straight home from work and just sitting in the same chair everyday.  I had no desire to talk about it.  No desire be even be around anyone.  I was tired of pretending that I was alright.  Tired of being strong.  My mind was locked away in a prison of “what if” questions whose answers I was terrified to know.

Had it not been for amazing leadership in my life, I could have lost myself during that time.  Their phone calls and encouragement helped me keep my head.  I’m so thankful for their hands in my life.

It was one of those phone calls that sparked something in me one Saturday night.  I answered and heard the voice on the other end ::

“Amber, I need you to get up, get dressed and get out of the house today.”

As much as I hated to, I did.

I spent the night surrounded by my amazing friends.  Maybe I wasn’t as talkative as usual, but I was doing a lot of thinking.  However, it was one pressing thought that would not leave ::

“What makes me feel as if I don’t deserve to be happy?”

As much as I wanted to convince myself that I wasn’t miserable, I just couldn’t.  I knew that what I needed was not unreasonable.

If that was the case, then why didn’t I feel like I was WORTH the effort?

It was then I realized that I DID believe I was worth it.  I was.  I still am.

But to make the necessary changes to find that, was what hurt the most.  I found that sometimes in order to gain what you’re worth, you have to be willing to take a risk.  And so, I did.

If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t get the answer I expected.  As a matter of fact, it’s not at all like I thought it would end up.  Even after stepping out and making the necessary changes, I instantly began reflecting on my worth again.  My brief moment of courage had quickly dwindled and sent me spiraling into an abyss of self-consciousness.  My mind wavered to the point where the only thing I felt was uncertainty.  But again, my amazing leadership took their time to counsel me throughout my confusion and I began to realize that I was worth so much more. I realized that I deserved better.

I’m amazed at the transformation that I’ve seen in myself since coming to this realization.  I’ve found that mental health translates over into your physical health as well.  I’m not only worth finding someone who loves the “real me”, but I’m also worth taking care of my health and being the best me possible.

The thing to remember is, the minute you negotiate your self worth and accept less, you say to the world that you are not worthy of anything else.

But for me?  Never again.

I deserve more than I’ve allowed myself to receive.  I deserve happiness.

I deserve to be loved.

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a change in the making.

“There’s a better version of me
That I can’t quite see
But things are gonna change
Right now I’m a total mess and
Right now I’m completely incomplete
But things are gonna change
‘Cause you’re not through with me yet

This is redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I am a change in the making.”

— “Change In The Making” by Addison Road

 

English novelist, Arnold Bennett once said, “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”

As I currently stand amidst the winds of change, I am floored at how true these words are.  I’ve always been one to embrace change with open arms.  My ADHD ways have come to crave it on a regular basis.  However, I wouldn’t classify my current changes as comfortable or even wanted.  They are uncomfortable.  Yet, I must realize that change is incredibly consistent in all of our lives.  I can embrace it and make the best of it, or attempt to ineffectively fight it.  I don’t exactly have any interest in wasting my energy.

While reflecting on the changes in my current situation, I find myself reflecting on change needed in my life as well.  There is a need to focus on becoming a better me.  Something that has been placed on the back burner for quite some time now.   I’m so confused as to why this behavior seems to be a pattern amongst many.  Why do we insist on depriving ourselves of the things that will create a more positive living environment for us and those around us?

I am thankful for a God that works in me and through me.  That is faithful to pour out His blessings despite my own inconsistencies.  As I look around me, I am baffled at how so many speak of their own Christianity yet show no markers of transformation in their lives and no contrast from the world.

Maybe it needs to said.  You cannot meet the Creator of the universe and remain the same.  If the God who is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present comes to dwell within your soul, you would expect at least a minor disruption.  I think there is a problem when people talk about “meeting God” or “knowing God” and yet remain unchanged by God.

We must live daily with a desire to be on the potter’s wheel.  To be molded and crafted into the person we should be.  Although the time on the wheel is often uncomfortable, the finished product will be one of great beauty.

 

running.

“I hear the voice,
It’s the voice of the One I love.
He’s calling my name.
I hear the voice,
It’s the voice of the One I love.
He’s calling my name.
Saying, ‘Come up higher,
And hear the angels sing.
Come up higher, my beloved.
Come up higher and leave this world behind.
You’ll find it to be beautiful.’

I am running
Running after you.
You’ve become my soul’s delight.
I am running
Running after you.
Here with you I find my life.”

Things have changed.

Not that I haven’t lived my life to follow after God….I just feel a call to something deeper. Not just to fall in line and follow somewhere off in the crowd.

I want to know Him. A mediocre walk will not suit me. A typical relationship is not what I want. I am not satisfied with mere lip-service. I am not “all talk.” At least I have no desire to be.

Oddly enough it seems that so often we claim to have a relationship with God. We claim to be followers of Christ, only to suddenly find ourselves standing alone……simply because we stopped walking. I don’t think it’s because we necessarily intended to stop, we just got caught up in “now” and forgot to keep our eyes on what is to come. You cease to follow someone when you’re no longer moving. Stagnant water has no movement.

I have resolved within myself to run. Run with all that is within me.

Runners often strip themselves of any unnecessary weights so that they may run unencumbered. We are runners. The question is, are we running unencumbered? It does not necessarily have to be sin that is holding us back. If it is not, we could be weighted by culture…by tradition. Could it be unresolved issues in my heart such as anger, fear, insecurity, or jealousy? Such things can often hold us back from greatness in God.

What is holding you back?

I cannot be comfortable in simply running after God’s blessings without ever running after God. I desire to know not only God’s works, but God’s ways. I want to know where He lives, so to speak. It is not enough to simply know about God. I want to know Him. It’s not just a casual request, it is a hunger.

….to know and follow hard after thee, O God!

“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection….” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

resolve.

 

“Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.” – Benjamin Franklin


January 1st.


Just yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people proclaimed their annual new year’s resolutions. Some stood determined to lose that extra weight. The double-chin. The flabby arms. The love handles.


Others vowed to hit the gym every day and to stay in shape. Visions of treadmills and stationary bicycles danced in their heads.


Some just desired to be more organized. Tired of being affectionately known as the family “pack rat.”


Yesterday. 24 hours.


Unfortunately, the majority of these potentially life-changing resolutions will be but a memory to some next week. Making a new year’s resolution became nothing more than a tradition. Something expected of us, but inconsequential if broken.


Paul wrote in Romans 7:15: “…for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that I do.” (KJV)
I like the way The Message words it by saying, ” What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.”


So many times I have heard others reference this passage, not necessarily to make sin exusable, but to defend their weakness or maybe lighten their responsibility to lead an overcoming life.


If they would simply continue in their reading to Chapter 8, they would find in verse 9 that we “are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.”


One cannot simply cling to the fleshly weakness of Chapter 7 and claim to be of the Spirit described in Chapter 8.


Society has made it so excusable to be wishy-washy. “Promises are made to be broken…” or at least that’s what we’re told. It’s perfectly acceptable to be as vague as possible so as not to ruffle anyone’s feathers. We have to be politically correct, you know. (sarcasm intended.)


Joshua 24:15 says, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”


Jesus said in Luke 16:13, “No [one] can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”


Who or what are you serving? What direction are you headed?


What have you resolved to do?


This is not a time for cowards. Nor is it a time for fence riders.
We must resolve to do that which is good and right, and then do it.


Resolve to have resolve.

no loitering.

– loitering :

1.  to linger aimlessly or as if aimless in or about a place.
2.  to move in a slow, idle manner, making purposeless stops in the course of a trip, journey, errand, etc.
3.  to waste time or dawdle over work.

 

 

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
– Proverbs 27:12

 

All over the world, cities are increasing in wickedness.  It is becoming more and more evident that those who remain in them unnecessarily do so at the peril of their soul’s salvation. On every hand are the sights and sounds of evil. Everywhere are enticements to sensuality and dissipation. The tide of corruption and crime is continually swelling. Every day brings the record of violence, –abuse, murders, suicides, and crimes unnamable.It seems like more than ever, life itself is more false and artificial. The intense passion for making money. The whirl of excitement and pleasure-seeking.  The thirst for display.  The luxury and extravagance.  All these are forces that are turning the mind from life’s true purpose. They are opening the door to a thousand evils.

Before we are relieved of such perilous conditions here on earth, the Lord calls upon us to prepare ourselves and to extend help to others.

The angels of mercy hurried Lot and his wife and daughters by taking hold of their hands. Had Lot hastened as the Lord desired him to, his wife would not have become a pillar of salt. Lot had too much of a lingering spirit. Let us not be like him. The same voice that warned Lot to leave Sodom, bids us, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean.” Those who obey this warning will find a refuge. Let everyone be wide awake for themselves. Let us gird ourselves for the work. God will reveal from point to point what to do next.

Lot trod the plain with unwilling and tardy steps. He had so long associated with evil workers that he could not see his peril until his wife stood on the plain a pillar of salt forever.
We have been given a Great Commission.  We are currently in the intermission between God’s accomplishment of redemption and His return to consummate His blessings.  However, this intermission is not a time for loitering in the lobby as consumers.  This is a time for urgent action.  A time of activity.  A time of loving and serving those that we come in contact with.
In society, loitering is a crime.  Businesses post multiple signs to deter people from idly taking up space.  Once one stops to waste time there, others stop to dawdle as well.  If we do not develop a sense of urgency or a drive to work, we become spiritual loiterers.  Sooner or later, our lackadaisical spirit begins to influence others around us until there are no workers…only bystanders.Luke 6:46 says, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do the things which I say?”

Lord, let me not be just a hearer of the Word…but a doer.

forks & mexican food.

Mexican food is yummy goodness.

While living in Texas, I seemed to partake in it more…..but even in my experience here, there is one common factor.

I always get the fork that has apparently been mangled by the garbage disposal.

The tines are bent up and facing every way but straight. Of course, I never realize until after the first bite. It’s during this time that the roof of my mouth is assaulted and stabbed. Either that or my lips are cut by the rough edges.

What I begin to wonder is if the last person who used my fork was missing a few teeth and mangled the fork with their poor dental work. And because I have ADHD, this sends my easily distracted mind on a wild journey of the imagination. I then begin thinking that some “snaggle-toothed” person with poor dental hygiene had their mouth on the fork that just recently left mine.

It’s at this time that I begin to think of all the reasons I can to begin carrying a personal silverware set in my purse. I could market that, you know. All of these cute little carrying cases of every design with your very own personal silverware setting within. Just slip it in your purse…use it at the appropriate time, and when you’re done you can slip it into the plastic bag (for neatness), place it back in the pouch and drop it in your purse. Ta-da!

Crisis avoided.

Of course, the fork will undoubtedly get bent up while being toted in my massive purse. I’ll pull it out, use it and realize that I’m back at square one.

What a vicious cycle.

can i keep him?

Disclaimer:  I know this does not apply to everyone, but it does to most.  Apologies if you don’t identify. ;)

What is it that gives dogs such an overwhelming power over people?

Man’s best friend.  So I’ve heard all my life.  Amazing how these four-legged creatures have almost become a necessity in every home.

I grew up in that very home.  With my parents being divorced, I had two houses with dogs.  We always had a dog.  I was the owner of my first when I was just two years old.  A German Shepherd.  According to my mom, her registered name was “Amber’s Little Heidi.”   Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about her.

This was the beginning of a love that I would never lose.  Dogs.  I love the companionship.  I love naming them.  Whether it was from my favorite television show or food….  One dog was named Murdock by my brother and I.  We were huge fans of the A-Team. Another was Oreo for obvious reasons.

My father was a rancher, so we always had more than enough room for dogs at his house.  I recall having 13 dogs at one time between my mom’s house and dad’s.  Of course several of those were dad’s hunting dogs.

I am now under the mindset that a home is not complete without a furry, tail-wagging friend.

My husband, not so much.  How we managed to exchange vows without me realizing this, I’m not sure.  Don’t get me wrong.  He doesn’t hate dogs.  He also doesn’t need them like I do.

Poor guy.  I see a dog without a home and suddenly I am the advocate for dogs everywhere.  No questions.  They now have a home with me.  Whether it be on the side of the road or at the pound.  I frequented the local animal shelter…just to visit.  I’m such a sap.  Deep down, I’ve always wanted to own a private animal shelter.

When we lived in Texas out in the country, strays were always dumped on our road.  If I found them, I led them to the house and fed them immediately, explaining to the mister that if they stayed for two days, they got a name and a collar. We owned a dog just before we left Texas.  He was beautiful.  A registered Siberian Husky named Zander.  I loved my Zan-Man.  But he was stolen.  It broke my heart.

Now I’m in California.  I no longer live in the country with land.  I live in town where I can’t even have a dog if I wanted one.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I’m dying.  I need a dog lover who wants to permanently board a dog for me. So I can visit and play.  haha

Until then, I’ll have to settle with a fish.