My Big Life Change!

Picture taken by Abby Austin of 1000 Miles on my own two feet.


To transform my life, with God's help of course, one step at a time.

1. Get healthy & honor God with my body

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

2.Become at least 50% sustainable with emphasis on doing our part to take care of God's planet.

3. Live life as an adventure, experiencing new places, things & people.
18 out of 150 bucket list goals accomplished

4. Become debt free & build security for my family, so we can then bless others financially also.

5. Continue to grow closer to God, building My family's faith & sharing the Gospel with those we meet, by using the talents and gifts God has provided us.

6.Continue to make money by creating and sharing my thoughts and beliefs through artistic expression: all the while hoping that my art will impact others. "Holly Kennedy

: All I know is, if you don't figure out this something, you'll just stay ordinary, and it doesn't matter if it's a work of art, or a taco, or a pair of socks! Just create something... new, and there it is, and it's you, out in the world, outside of you, and you can look at it, or hear it, or read it, or feel it... and you know a little more about... you. A little bit more than anyone else does... Does that make any sense at all?" Quote from PS I LOVE YOU

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Boundaries or chains

Ouch! Is the first thing I said when I looked at our after Christmas shopping finances. Wow, why is it so much fun to spend that we ignore the warnings. The phrase, "Your Cup Runneth Over" is playing over and over in my head right now. Not only did the spending run over, but I can't help but think about how blessed we are. To have the money to buy any presents at all for our family is a blessing. To have a warm place to live is a blessing. I could go on and on. So why isn't it enough? Why are we always wanting more? I don't have an easy answer to the age old questions, but I can tell you what I struggle with and with that how I know God can help.

I am a person with sort of obsessive/compulsive disorder. You wouldn't believe it if you saw my life though. Most people categorize those people to be neat, clean and always on schedule. Well that is what a want in my life. In fact if my life is not like that I give up on all of it. If I can't see order then I don't even try. My brain is always wanting to make lists. Always! I want to organize everything. I can spend an hour or more at a Walmart, organizing the 5 dollar movie bin. I love doing it! But my house is always a mess. Because my brain can't figure out how to keep it clean, so I don't try. If it was only me in this house I would have everything in a perfect spot and it would never get moved. But I have never lived alone. I grew up with 1 brother and 1 sister that would move or disturb my stuff. A mom who didn't clean either and a dad that was extremely organized but was never there. I couldn't find any peace in my life. No plan that fit. No drawer big enough to hold all the messy stuff so that the rest of my life could be peaceful and organized. No one showed me how I was supposed to organize or clean up the messes. I look at a messy room and want to clean the smallest part first so that I have one organized part. The problem with that is that I make the rest of the room messier by organizing that one drawer and never have time to get the whole area clean when I focus on such the small details.
But as I get older I have learned some great things about myself.
1. I do much better if I have a deadline. Although I tend to procrastinate until close to the deadline.
2. If there is a list to follow I can follow it. ( But I do tend to always want to update my lists and make them prettier.)
3. I absolutely do very badly if there are no boundaries. Boundaries are necessarily!

We learn about boundaries often in Celebrate Recovery. Many people need boundaries to function. Life without boundaries for me, always leaves me in chains. If I don't have boundaries with my money I will end up chained to a loan company or owing the bank too much. If I don't have boundaries with my food, I am chained to my addiction. I am constantly struggling for freedom from my addictions and my habits that bind me to a life I don't want. But what I am learning is that if I want freedom I will have to apply boundaries. The idea of limiting myself is scary though. What if I do without? What if I can never get what I want? What if I feel trapped? These seem like silly questions! But these silly questions have kept me from enjoying freedom for so long. They have kept me in a comfortable madness state, too afraid to move because it is scary not knowing what will happen. But I know the truth! God is my creator, He formed me and loves me and wants the best for me. I have to truly trust Him with those feeling of doubt and fear. He will break those chains on my wrist of addiction and habits that I don't want. But I have to trust Him and do what he says. And He is telling me to apply some of those boundaries to the issues I have dealt with for so long. You see even the boundaries will fail me at some point. I will fail me, my house and drawers will always be over flowing with junk, but He can still give me that peace that I seek. The organization my heart seeks. And may this next year be a year of cleaning out the old junk drawers and making room for the good stuff that I have really longed for. Like a healthy lifestyle, that I can spend more of my time enjoying life instead of eating. That I can teach my daughter to love her life too! And I long for organization in my household. That I will have a place for everything and know how to stop clutter before it begins. And with my money, that we will stick to our budget and then have the funds to truly give to God and his people when he asks me too. I could do so much with that money if I applied boundaries.
2012 goals
make and stick to the budget and have our emergency fund accomplished (Financial Peace University)
lose 60 lbs by applying a food plan and working out.
start and maintain Joslyn's preschool schedule
Find a way to organize the house, especially Joslyn's room and my financial paperwork.
Teach Joslyn how to keep her room clean.

These are some of the goals I am setting for myself and I have started making boundary lists( I can't help it) to follow! I hope that you find some peace in 2012 also! What are some of the boundaries you have set or goals you have set for 2012?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lord let me be a Mary

When I look into the mirror and don't like what I see
I dream of someone different that I would like to be
When life gets me down and I can't stand to be me
Lord please, Let be me a Mary

Her life was small and simple,when the angel came that day
and told her of her future and the part she got to play
A child only herself betrothed to a man she loved
Though innocent he'd feel betrayed by someone up above
To have the baby Jesus as a child of her own
Lord give me that kind of courage, to be that kind of strong.

When I look into the mirror and don't like what I see

I dream of someone different that I would like to be
When life gets me down and I can't stand to be me
Lord please, Let be me a Mary

When she heard the Lord was coming to visit their way
she leaves the work to Martha and goes out to play
Time with Him would be more important than the chores of the day
Through all the busy moments by His side she would stay
Lord, help me take the time to hear you and to pray
And not to let the busyness of this World keep me away

Through all the noise of this world, I want to hear your voice
When faced with Your glory they made the right choice
The miracles and wonder of knowing you,
humbled them and gave them sight clear and true
Lord let me be a Mary, to know you intimately
A woman with integrity I really want to be

He healed her from seven demons, afflicted for so long,
She traveled to be by His side, when this world had done him wrong
Perfume and oils she would pour on His broken body that lay
In a tomb that was meant for another, but the stone was rolled away
When others ran in fear from who they didn't see
To her He showed himself  first, What an honor that would be!

When I look into the mirror and don't like what I see

I dream of someone different that I would like to be
When life gets me down and I can't stand to be me
Lord please, Let be me a Mary

Written by Teresa Ellifritt 12/25/2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lead me


I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I am called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't you lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing dreams that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this out home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

When I first heard this song I bawled my eyes out. I had always dreamed of a husband that would lead our family God's way. After all I had been a Christian so long it was expected of me to find a husband that would be a Godly man. So when I met and fell in love with John, a non believer my family was shocked. "You will have troubles" I kept hearing. I didn't care at that point, I was so in love and so young. In fact, I was like most young people, you couldn't tell me anything I didn't already know. HA! But when I found that the wedded bliss wore off and I was left wondering, is this it? Is this the rest of my life? Living my life alone? The part where he sings I know we call this our home But I still feel alone, really spoke to me. I did feel alone and I couldn't figure out why. 

Last night, I got my 4 year chip for codependency at Celebrate Recovery and I am so excited! 4 years since I took that blue chip, surrendering our marriage and my part in it. I still remember like yesterday praying to God to just give me the courage to give up control of those things I wanted to change so badly. To live each day in my marriage knowing that God is working in me and my husband and that instead of changing my husband I needed to change. It was a night of true surrender for me and it didn't take long before a peace set in. Let me back up and tell you a few things that needed to change in me and then I can tell you what I've learned. 

It those first few trying years of marriage so much learning is to be done. Learning those annoying habits your spouse has that used to be cute. Learning how your spouse handles tough situations, and learning how they deal with someone new trying to control them. Alright ladies, I know you say not me. I don't try and control him! Yeah right! have you ever caught yourself thinking if he would just do what I ask in a timely matter we wouldn't have an issue?If he would just see it my way? If he would listen to me, I can convince him that I am right? All of these things I thought and would even say to him, not understanding why he thought my way wasn't the best. Marriage for us was a constant power struggle. Me wanting to have him comfortably under my control and have a peaceful home. And him wanting to maintain some freedom and decision making and have his dutiful wife submitting to him. Both of us were sadly mistaken. Now our situation was not uncommon. When I started going to Celebrate Recovery small group I heard woman after woman saying the same things with different situations. Whatever the issue was we just wanted it done our way and all we could see was our side of the situation. Only when God helped me to notice my inadequacies  in the marriage did my view change. I learned a phrase called unrealistic expectations. I had those for my husband. I expected him to perfectly balance his time between his work and our home. I expected him to be there for me spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically and to never let me down in those areas. If he did let me down I would hold it over his head. Then I would cry and moan about how hard my life was living with someone who did not get me. I learned that my old fears of abandonment played havoc with my new home and that I was terrified of being left alone. I knew I wasn't perfect but I never thought that I was hard to live  with. After all my friends and family loved me, I was a nice church goer, I was kind and considerate. So why wasn't it working. Why did I dream of running away everytime things go too hard? Why couldn't my husband and I hear each other even though we were begging to be heard? 

Going through the Celebrate Recovery step study helped me to sort out those old feelings and emotions that crept up from the past and threatened to ruin my marriage. The questions helped me figure out why I reacted certain ways when my life wasn't easy. I began to see patterns in my life that kept me on a path of fear instead of stepping out in faith. I saw how I really kept God at a safe distance in case he turned out to be like my earthly father and let me down. I saw clearly the expectations I had for my husband and realized that no one could live up to those standards. Not even me! I gained tools to use when life got scary on how to turn to God instead of relying on my husband or myself. I really started understanding that my husband had a history and baggage like i did, and now was interested in his side of the story and why he does things the way he does. 

So I bet you are wondering how our marriage is now. Well this isn't a fairy tale we didn't live happily ever after. But we do live much happier! I can tell you that the peace and contentment is much more present in this marriage. yes we still disagree occasionally but no longer do I dream of running away. Rarely do we have a fight that doesn't get resolved right away. I don't go to bed angry with him any more. I don't hold grudges with him. And we have had more conversations then we have ever had and I actually listen to his side and when he listens to me he hears me! This is a great thing, ya'll! And it is all because I let God lead me, and I know that with my heart he really will take care of the rest. He knows my desires and fears, he knows my future and cares about every little thing. When I lean on Him things are easier, He carries my burdens. Maybe one day my husband and I will pray together and church and tithing will be a shared vision. Maybe one day we will live our lives completely on faith in Him. But until then, I trust that God is working and thank him for what I do have, a wonderful husband that does love me and takes care of his family to the best of his ability. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Baking Extravaganza 2011

I will start out saying that I don't think I have ever baked as much stuff in my life as we did during this. Secondly, I was a little overwhelmed at first, but it ended up being so much fun and we had a blast!

My best friend Amey and I usually get together every Tuesday at her house and make something fun or just hang out and have lunch. I love that I can go over there and not have to be on edge the whole time about what Joslyn is into. Amey is so good with Joslyn and I love watching them together. Amey's son Brayden is in the third grade and is such a smart child and usually loves to get involved with whatever project we have cooking. So when Amey suggested we do some holiday baking together I jumped at the chance. We took a couple of Tuesdays and planned on what we would make and bought stuff. Then when Tuesday rolled around I was sick with a sinus infection. So half the day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we put these things together and had so much fun making them. I am going to post the list of what we made but I am only posting a few of the recipes, because if I posted them all it would take all night. If you want a recipe that isn't on here comment and ask for it and I will do my best to get it to you. All of the recipes came from The Cookie Bible, Hershey's holiday Favorites book or Pinterest/Internet. Isn't Pinterest wonderful? I hope that you enjoy the pictures and the recipes. Merry Christmas!!!


Peanut Butter Fudge Balls


angel bites

pumpkin fudge

rocky road brownies

iced sugar cookies

recipe from internet here

recipe from the internet here

recipe from Hershey's Holiday Favorites 2007 book

2 pkgs Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Bar, broken into pieces
1 2/3 cups (10 oz pkg) Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup roasted peanuts or toasted almonds ( coarsely chopped)

1 Cover tray with wax paper
2 place chocolate in medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave at medium 1 minute then stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 30 seconds at a a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.
3 immediately place peanut butter chips and shortening in second microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium 1 minute then stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 30 seconds at a a time, stirring after each heating, until mixture is melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in peanuts
4. Alternately spoon above mixtures onto prepared tray; swirl with knife for marbled effect. Cover; refrigerate  until firm. Break into pieces.
recipe found on internet here

these could easily be my favorite cookies

recipe from The Cookie Bible

1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Suggested decorations, such as decorating gels, colored sprinkles, nonpareils, peanut butter cups and twizzlers pull n peels.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and baking soda: mix well.
Shape dough into equal number of 1/2 inch and 1 inch diameter balls. Using 1 small and 1 large ball for each snowman, place balls, slightly overlapping, on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/4-inch thickness with bottom of glass dipped in flour. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake at 325 F for 19 to 21 minutes, (it took us about 16 minutes) or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Sprinkle each snowman with sifted powdered sugar. Decorate to resemble snowmen. If using peanut butter cup for the hat, cut cup in half and stick on with icing or decorating gel. (Makes about 3 dozen cookies)

recipe from Pinterest here

Better than store bought!

recipe from internet here

These are so good, especially in hot chocolate!

recipe from the internet here

Totally worth the extra pounds!

recipe from the internet here

the easiest and best fudge recipe I have ever had!
Seriously good! I have never had a fudge I liked until this recipe!

Here are some fun pics of the kiddos decorating cookies! Please remember we had been baking for 3 days when we took these pictures. We were so tired!

Monday, December 19, 2011

12 year anniversary!

Today I celebrate my 12 years anniversary with my husband. I wanted to dedicate a post just to him. So here it goes.

When John and I stood up in front of God and our family and friends to take that first kiss as husband and wife, I whispered something to him. Two little words: No tongue!!! To this day he will not let me live that moment down. My hubby is a jokester! His way of getting attention or calming down a situation is to make a joke. I am mrs. serious and I hate having attention drawn to me especially if it is a crowd of people. John loves attention and being the center of it. He naturally draws the attention of the room.

Being complete opposites really has been a challenge sometimes. We have had to compromise on about every decision we have made together because naturally we choose different sides of the spectrum. But it has also been an amazing gift. John makes me see the world in a different way. He has amazing faith in me that I could never have in myself. He likes things to be just so and I like to go with the flow. But he is very open to risks and new things and can be very spontaneous if he wants to be. I am more of a "lets not change things if it ain't broke" kinda girl. I am allergic to adrenaline according to him and he is right. He is one of the major reasons I decided to do an adventure list. John has always had the ability to bounce back from a tough situation and he works so hard and believes in the power of working hard. I am very lazy. I will wait till the last minute to do the things I don't want to do, John would rather get it over with. He challenges me to be a better person.

 If John and I were types of candy, I would be the soft chewy caramel and he would be a blow pop! Hard on the outside but once you got to the middle you found the good sweet stuff. His life has been hard and so he tends to be hard to get to like, but if you take the time to know him, you know that he would do anything for you. Most of my immediate family has lived with us and that would be too much for some husbands. In fact out of the 12 years we have been married maybe 3 or 4 of those we have actually lived alone. John not only put up with my family living with us but suggested it when someone needed a place to stay. He has such a big heart.

Seeing John as a dad has been the single most amazing gift of our marriage. As where I was a shoo-in to be a great mom, I think most people doubted John's ability to be a great dad. And I have to say that he truly far exceeds me in the great parent award! He is so patient with Joslyn, where in I tend to be short on patience with her. He is fun and interactive and gives her lots of his undivided attention. Anytime I am overwhelmed with life living with a toddler, he has the ability to help me face another day.

 I am so grateful that I don't have to do this thing called life alone. I truly believe that God designed us to be together. We compliment each other and stand up for each other. One thing we always said was that divorce was not an option and we stick to that like glue. Any problem arises we deal with it together. I am not the easiest person to live with and neither is he. But everyday we seem to handle issues a little bit better and we have a little more respect for each other. I love him so much!

 Thank you John for loving me, and I love you so much more everyday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

the birthday party

Today is Joslyn's 2nd birthday party! And instead of going all out on a party with a theme this year I have decided to let My Big Life Change affect my decisions. Last year as planned for Joslyn's big one year party, I got affected by the bug. You know the have to have a perfect party and impress my friends bug. I was bombarded with little hints that her first birthday had to be "special". My hubby insisted that she wouldn't remember it, but I had to have a good first birthday for her. It had to be memorable! 
What a load of crock! Excuse me if I am blunt, but where in the world was my brain? Is this what God had planned for me? No way! I got sidetracked as usual and my worldly side got the better of me. Please don't get me wrong, I am not condemning fancy birthday party's by any means! But I am talking about getting so lost in the idea of a perfect birthday party that stress and worry and the thought of by any means necessarily, must this party come off. When bows and tutu's have to be the perfect color and decorations must be all just so, and the amount spent on a party has to be as much or more than last year or more than Johnny what's his names party, then we need to stop and reevaluate. 

Who are we throwing this party for?
-    Is it the child that is going to benefit mostly from this party? Is the stress from the party planning affecting your relationship with your child on their Big Day? Would you be more upset if your friends never came to the party then your child would? Are you willing to do almost anything to make sure that your child has a memorable occasion? These are all questions I have to ask myself. Because I am a codependent, I am easily brought back into people pleasing mode, I have to work hard to keep myself out of that mode, especially on big occasions. 

What are We teaching our children?
- When I would fill in at my friends store it would always amaze me the things people would do for their children. Big huge ordeals would be made if the tutu was 2 colors off of her daughter's perfectly pink party. If the bow wasn't just so, or the gift was just right, the parents would throw a perfect little tantrum till they got what they wanted. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the kid. Four or five years later this kid is going to do the same thing to it's parents and they are going to be scratching their heads trying to figure out why their kids are so bratty? I am by no means a good parent, I have made more mistakes then I ever dreamed I would do. But I do know that if I keep my eye focused on Jesus, it is easier to see the world in a different light. What if we focused on the child instead of the party? What if we taught by example instead of expecting our children to pick up good habits from somewhere else? What if we taught our kids the value of giving instead of receiving?  What if we made little changes in our lives that would affect the world, one little step at a time?

What if I stopped caring what other people thought about what I do for my child? This year is going to be a little bit different. This year I am going to not worry about who comes to her party. I am going to let her have fun. I am going to teach her that her value is not in what gifts she gets, what clothes she wears, who her friends are. I am going to teach her the God values her, that we value her, the way she is! The way that Celebrate Recovery has taught me to value myself. Happy Birthday to the single most valuable person in my life! My daughter Joslyn! My precious child!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book review - Invasion by Jon S. Lewis

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis

This book is packed with all the Sci-Fi goodies; action, adventure, monsters, aliens, bad guys and your handsome hero! Perfect easy read for teens and adults alike.

Colt McAlister is a happy, typical teenage boy living the dream in California, when his life changes forever. His parents are killed in a car crash, leaving him in his Grandfather's care. As if moving to Arizona wasn't enough; he over hears a conversation about his parents being murdered. As he adjusts to a new school and new friends he starts to see the world in a different way.

To most of the world, Trident Biotech is the world's largest corporation who sells miracle drugs. But when Colt is drawn into the truth that the owners are actually aliens and the miracle drugs come with mind control chips; Colt has to make a choice. Take over for his mom's job of exposing the truth or lay down and pretend it isn't happening. Will Colt make the right decision and can he and his friends out wit the Earth's toughest enemies? Will Colt embrace his destiny? Stay tuned!

This book was very good. It was easy to read and entertaining. This is the first book in a continuing series that Jon Lewis writes called the CHAOS Trilogy. It was more on the level of a young adult read though. And though I felt it was packed with action, it was lacking on the deeper level. I did really like the how the characters romantically liked each other and yet there was no intimacy. The book is pure enough for Joslyn to read someday.  I think it was well written though and I enjoyed it enough to want to read the second book.

I review for BookSneeze®

I was provided a copy of this book for the purpose of a review. All opinions are mine and are real thoughts of mine. If this book sounds like something you would want to read click here. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Saturday is my 33rd birthday! I can't believe that time flies by so fast. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was a teenager listening to songs and daydreaming about boys. Playing mash was one of my favorite games. I could daydream about the cute boys that were in my school. My imagination has always been very active. It is a defense mechanism that helps me cope with my crazy life. Day dreaming is so much fun! I used to dream about having a fabulous life as a wildlife conservationist. In my dream I had thousands of acres, fenced in really good and I would take in old lions and tigers and all kinds of big cats. I had created a wonderful playland for these animals to live out their last days. We had a couple of veterinarians on staff to care for their medical needs. But the best thing was that the animals could run and run and explore their territory. Nobody wants to die in a cage! Have you ever seen Secondhand Lions? I love that movie! And I love that the lion gets to be free in the end.

Now that I am thirty my daydreams aren't as vivid. It is sad how the doldrums of  life can take away our ability to dream. I believe that God gives us some of our best dreams. Dreams that fulfill our desires and if we let the world tell us we cant then we are letting the wrong people tell us what to do. Now I am not saying that all of our dreams will come true. But I am saying that we should work hard to find the dreams that God is giving us and work towards them. I don't think that my dream of being a wildlife conservationist is going to come true. But that doesn't mean that I can't rescue animals. It also means that God probably has different dreams for me now. Some of them are on my adventure list  some of them are small and some of them have to do with Corinthian Writers and they are huge! Only God can help me accomplish them, but only if I keep dreaming.
 What dreams do you have?
Are they dreams God has put in your heart?
What can you do to accomplish them?

Love, Teresa

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Musicals (part 2) The List

For explaination read part 1. Otherwise this is my musical list! This list is not all of the musicals I have seen, but the ones I have watched since starting my adventure list.

1. Fosse - This is a musical based on the choreographer Bob Fosse and the songs he has choreographed. 30 songs from such wondrous musicals like Pippin, Chicago, Cabaret, All That Jazz and so many more. It's a 3 act production without a story line but featuring some of his famous dances. There are so many talented people in this musical but I loved Ben Vereen and of course Ann Reinking. Ann Reinking played Grace Ferrell in Annie whom I got to play her part in our little high school production of Annie! Love her! Apparently, Bob Fosse was unbelievably talented.

2. Victor/Victoria - there are 2 movie versions of this musical. I watched the one in 1982 with Julie Andrews and James Garner. I really loved it! The plot of the musical was a struggling singer is finding a very hard time finding work when she runs into an older gay man who introduces her to idea of her singing as a guy pretending to be a girl. Well she becomes a sensation but trouble arises when she starts falling in love with a guy, who thinks she is a guy. Well although the topic of the musical is taboo, I really loved the witty script and of course Julie Andrews is amazing! She hits the glass breaking note many times in this musical and I will always be in awe of her.

3. Cats - Watched it last week and was sorely disappointed. Cats is one of those musicals that is talked about and talked about. But because of my highly active toddler, it was very hard to hear the words and I was expecting a major storyline so I was very confused. So I have decided to read the book that it is based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. And then watch it again when kiddo is asleep or gone for the night.
When I do, I will update this list!

4. Little Shop of Horrors(1986) - Okay who knew this musical was so good! I have to admit I had not heard what this movie was about but stayed away from it. When I started the musical and saw Rick Moranis and Steve Martin was in it I was hooked! I couldn't stop laughing and watching it! I thought it was wonderful! My favorite song was Suddenly Seymour when Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene realize their love for each other. And of course when ... well that would spoil it. Watch this movie, so much fun!

5. Sarafina!(1992) - This movie musical was made in 1992 after the Broadway show lasted 597 performances. It was conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema. When I saw the preview on the T.V. I thought that Whoopi Goldburg was the main character. But in fact she is not featured too much in the movie. The story line is about students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to the Apartheid. Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo) is a student who dreams of being a star but she is stuck in a tough time where freedom is just a dream. Sarafina is encouraged to fight freedom without killing by her teacher (Whoopi Goldburg) but when her teacher is arrested for teaching the truth, Sarafina has to find her own way. This movie is hard to watch but I was glad that I did.

6. Oklahoma (1999 musical film version) Oklahoma has been made into 2 movies, the original film done in 1955 and this new version in which the stage performance is filmed. I had seen the original Oklahoma long before in my teenage years, when I was in lust with theater and stage performance. But when I saw that Hugh Jackman was a main performer in this version of Oklahoma, I had to see it! It also starred Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey and those 2 together played a wonderful performance. I really enjoyed hearing Hugh sing and watch him dance and there were so many wonderful performers. You need to see this version!

7.Star - is a 1968 American musical film about the life of Gertrude Lawrence. This 175 minute film stars Julie Andrews who is one of my favorite actresses. I had to watch this movie in sections because of its length. But it is really a great film, and was nominated for 7 academy awards. Julie does a great job protraying Gertrude who loves the theater more than anything else in her life including her 2 husbands and daughter and is very conflicted about it. The costumes are fabulous and so is the content, but my favorite parts are the extremely witty comments by her best friend Noel Coward. He was hysterical. My favorite song was "Jenny", Andrews did many stunts for this song alone, it was quite impressive. I loved this movie!

8. South Pacific - (the 2001 movie version) I have seen the original version such a long time ago. But I have to say this version is the best I have ever seen! Glenn Close was phenominal in this movie. She sang beautifully and her on screen romance with Race Sherbedgia felt so real. And of course Harry Connick Jr. was wonderful to look at in this film. I was saddened by the fact that "Bali Hai" was shortened, but "I'm Gonna Wash That Guy Right Out Of My Hair" was done great. I recommend this film for sure. In fact I would love to buy this film.

9. Hair - made in 1979, this film is a hippie revolution. Treat Williams stars in this film that is based upon the very popular musical. Set in the sixties in the middle of the Vietnam war, one Oklahoma boy (Claude) heads to New York. He has been drafted and with only a couple of days before he has to show up to the drafting board, he meets some unlikely characters. A band of hippies who oppose the war and most forms of conforming, take Claude for a ride. With the sexual content, drug use and nudity, this show is not for the faint of heart. There were a few laughable moments including the song "Black Boys". But for the most part, I didn't like the movie. Not because of the shady content, but mostly because it was too serious and sad for me. I rally couldn't relate to anything in the movie and although with most musicals that isn't an issue, it was with this one. Sometimes I was very confused on what was real and what was an LSD trip. I don't recommend this one unless you relate to the issues, the age or the rebellion.


Musicals (part 1) Explaination

Musical -Also called musical comedy. a play or motion picture in which the story line is interspersed with or developed bysongs, dances, and the like. Ref.

Changed something on my adventure list. I originally had number 114 as visit 100 museums and then changed it to 50 museums. The reason I chose museums was because they are a great way to learn culture. But as I thought about it more I really don't like most museums. Scratch that I love museums! But I don't like how stuffy they are and how kids friendly they are not. If I was a single gal with plenty of money to burn, you would find me at all the museums in the world. But since my world involves being financially strapped  with a toddler in tow, I figured out a better way to gain culture. 

The musical world has always held my appeal! Since I was a small girl I would often be involved in school or church plays. I can't remember many of them, because we moved so much, so my memory is lost. But I do remember being in the musical in 6th grade I think of The Electric Company! And sometime in junior high I was in my church play For Unto Ya'll as Mary. Both of them were enlightening and exciting. But in my junior year I got to be apart of The Wizard of Oz in Moore High School's yearly musical. This was my first experience with true choreography and music that is involved with a musical production. The most exciting thing was the teamwork that was involved in putting this production together. So many people working so hard to make something that was non sequential to many others. It gave me this huge respect for movies and musicals and plays and ALL that are involved. When someone goes to a show and has no respect for the people who have put it together they might be missing the biggest part. 

The cast, the crew, the director, the writer, the choreographer, the costume designers, makeup, the paperwork and accounting side of the work! So many people working together for one goal! How can we say that isn't important? Yes you may not like the end result, or certain aspects of the show. But respect should be paid. Can you imagine what would happen if all the world was a stage? All of us different people coming together with our different talents and helping each other make this world better. Guaranteed you probably will never respect the true talents of the crew of a musical, until you have been on one or needed them. Can you imagine putting on a huge musical without anyone running the lights? You would never see it!!! Or what about those beautiful costumes that were sewn by some amazing people and that person never feels important? Because they aren't the actors doesn't mean they are any less important. So to embrace my respect for these wonderful productions, I am going to watch 100 of them or more. And I really want to watch more. I have never found time to watch some of the most influential musicals that I have always wanted to see. And I really want to include some that may not seem so appealing on the outside. But I know that I can respect the effort that was put into these productions and even more important I can teach Joslyn the respect for the arts. Because what am I really teaching her, to value all talents and people, because they are important and should be valued. You never know what part they will play in your life or how your life will be lacking without them!

So What I will be doing in watching 100 musicals and writing a little about what I like on each. Since I will be writing so much I will be splitting this section unto 2 posts. This one and the next one will be the lists of the musicals I have watched. So I wonder if you ever have had this experience with a musical or movie or play? And are there any musicals that you think I should watch? Due to money constraints I will have to watch many of these in my livingroom, but I would love for you to watch some with me!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our bed!

This is where I sleep! I know it's not a four star bed with a mattress that produces amazing dreams. In fact it probably would count as a negative star. The bed is never made and the pillows are always askew. There is always something unexpected under the covers, like a stuffed animal or a random toy. The mattress is lumpy and then there is the issue of 2, count em 2, comforters! After all this momma doesn't share her covers. But it is our bed! Our wonderful, comfy bed! Some of my best memories have been made here.

Okay I know what you are thinking, and yes I have many of those types of wonderful memories! In fact there was this one night... aww never mind. I am actually talking about other types of memories.

I use my bed for many things. There is the ever important sleep, that I never get enough of and I love to read in bed. I recently got a new bedside lamp thanks to my dad and I love to read in there. There is no more comfy spot in my apartment then my bed. Then there are the memories I have made with my daughter in my bed. When Joslyn was born and we first brought her home, I did all of my breast feeding in my bedroom. My dad lived with me and my hubby at the time and I did not feel comfortable yet feeding anywhere else. I would feed her and then set her in her bassinet that was next to the bed. But breastfeeding was not a happy time for this momma and baby. So my sanctuary was turning into a nightmare. So I retreated to her room to do the feeding and eventually gave up breast feeding all together. Once bottle feeding started I was a different momma and enjoyed the heck out of feeding time and loved feeding her in my bed or on the couch or anywhere. Some of my happiest memories are feeding Joslyn in the middle of the night, just her and me snuggled in the bed. I really got to know her coos and cries and the lines on her face and on her fingers and toes. Yep good memories!

Now when I was pregnant I was convinced that I would never be one of those parents that would let my baby sleep in bed with me. I had all the tools to keep my daughter safe and happy or so I thought. I had a crib for when we were ready to let her sleep in her room. I had a bassinet by the bed so that I could have her within arms reach when she cried and needed me. I had it made. But getting in and out of the bed with the bassinet next to it was awful, especially for someone who just had surgery. And the bassinet was higher than the bed, so I couldn't look into it and check on her without fully sitting up and rolling over. I couldn't even put my hand on her to comfort her without sitting up fully. When Joslyn sleeps by herself she is very noisy. She would grunt and groin in her sleep and whimper. She still is that way! Except that she is like her momma and rolls over too! I quickly learned though that if I was holding her while she slept, she was quiet as a mouse. She needed that comfort and protection that she felt in her momma's arms. And I needed the sleep I only got when she was quiet. Soon all my fears about what I heard about babies that slept in bed with their parents, were soon replaced with comfort and joy. My mind and body said that this was right for us, and every moment I spent in bed asleep with her in my arms was peaceful!

After Joslyn turned 6 months old, John convinced me that it was time to get our bed back to it's original owners me and him. And although it was very hard for this momma to let go, I knew it was time also. Joslyn wasn't cuddling to go to sleep with me any more in fact it was pretty difficult to get her to lay still to fall asleep. Instead of cuddle time, bed time turned into fight time and then sleep turned into getting kicked and hit in the middle of the night. So with reluctance we dealt with the weeks worth of crying and screaming at bedtime and sometimes in the middle of the night until she was just as comfortable in her crib as she was in my bed. And oh the freedom I felt once those first few weeks were over. I could finally stretch out and roll over without having to take her with me. John and I could cuddle and move around in the bed without worrying about waking her. It was bliss.

But my bed is now something even more special. When sleepy baby wakes up from her toddler bed, (ouch how did it go by so fast) the first place she runs is to our bed. That is when we hoist her into bed with us and start the morning with her jumping on the bed and tickles and songs like itsy bitsy spider. It is one of the most special times we have each day, because daddy is there with us and we all play together. So many memories each day. Every morning she surprises us with a new word or phrase. We even try to get the doggies into the mix, but they don't much enjoy the excitement. No matter how bad the night was, morning will forever be special to us in our bed!

So Where do you make your special memories? And what do you do in your bed that is special? HEHE!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What I want to be when I grow up

Thinking today about what Joslyn is going to be when she grows up and it makes me think about what I want to be when I grow up.

Today John and I went to eat lunch at Ted's (yum) For those of you that don't know about Ted's it is some fabulous Mexican food! And while we were sitting there an older couple in about their fifties or sixties comes in and sits at a table next to us. The woman had a scowl on her face the whole time they ate there and they barely said 5 words to each other the whole meal. -- I want to be a woman that doesn't let life and circumstances take the fun out of me and I still want to be in love with my husband until I die.

It is a stereotype that home-schooled kids aren't very smart and they can't follow a schedule. And one of biggest fears is that Joslyn and I won't survive home school without my daughter fighting me all the time and hating me. -- So I wanna be a momma that home-schooled her kids/kid and they are successful and respectful and don't hate me!

My adventure list is still lacking in adventures and my husband and I were watching glee tonight and they did a whole show about Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now I don't like Rocky Horror Picture Show, but my husband loves it! And one of my fears has always been being cast as a hypocrite or a bad example. But one thing I know is that no amount of good deeds gets me any closer to God, He knows my heart and my reasons and He loves me anyways. -- So I want to be a person that lives really lives and stops worrying what others think about me. So check out my blog adventure list and see what number 130 is!

I think a lot about my weight goals lately and my reluctance to commit to anything. My husband and I agree that the YMCA is going to get 3 new members soon. Joslyn is needing social interaction with other kids for reasons that she needs to share and I am really hoping they will encourage her to potty train. And the YMCA allows you to put your kid in the daycare for 2 hours for free everyday, while you work out. I really think and hope that I will take her there, because she needs it and that I will get the benefit of a workout, at least 3 times a week. Let's hope and cross our fingers. -- Because I want to be a mom that is healthy enough to play with Joslyn and I want to teach her good eating habits by being the example. 

One of the blogs I follow posted a very long blog that talked about spending our money and time on what God commands us to do instead of Black Friday Shopping and buying food so we can stuff our faces on turkey day. She also posted how she knows that she will offend some people but she needed to write that stuff. I commented that Jesus offended people all the time but did what was right and true. It is tough to speak your mind and stand up for what is right, especially when you know you will get persecuted for it. Matthew 5:10 says "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, 
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." -- that is why I want to be a person that follows the Lord no matter what happens in my life. 

And those are a few of the things I want to be when I grow up, How about you?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thoughts of a not so thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of happiness and cheer, or is it? I have learned so much about many things since wandering into Celebrate Recovery for the first time. So many things that have changed my views on life but one of the most surprising things I have learned  is that many people don't like or enjoy the holidays. It was a huge shock to me!

As a kid in a disfunctional family, I loved the holidays. When my dad left the house the first time, my life changed forever. Instead of Mom and Dad buying us presents, my mom would work and work and do everything she could to make sure that we would have a good Christmas. If mom would work on Christmas Eve, we would still have Christmas that night when she got home no matter what time it was. Then on Christmas day we would eat a big meal and visit family and friends. Thanksgiving was the same way. It was one guaranteed day that we would get to spend with mom. Time with mom was rare since she was always working. So after we ate ourselves silly we would clear the table and play cards! Laughing and hanging out around the card table was our favorite family past time. Even if we went to Grams's house the cards or dominoes would always come out! Such good memories are surrounded around my holidays!

But now that I have experienced life a little through recovery eyes, I can see why the holidays aren't always good occasions. First of all, the holidays usually bring back memories of loved ones that are no longer here.
I have a friend that lost her mother the other day. I went to the funeral for this lovely woman who was all about her family. But although she is in the best place you can be ( with Jesus) I imagine her family is really going to miss her tomorrow. Not to mention going through Christmas without their mother, wife, sister or grandma is going to be extra hard. So many people out there are going through life missing part of their family. It is easy to pretend that life is not hard without them when we keep busy, but when we have to slow down sometimes our mind goes overboard with memories. Some people are completely alone for many different reasons. Like my dad! Although alienating himself was his doing, the holidays can be very hard on him. And although he would probably not admit it, he would rather not be alone. So luckily John's family is very good about welcoming him in. We go get him on Thanksgiving and get to have much needed time with him and other family. Right now my mom is apart from us and I am very thankful for the friends she has that takes her in on Thanksgiving and Christmas when she can't come home.

Secondly, living with addiction is hard. And if you are a food addict like me Thanksgiving is a holiday where my addiction stares me in the face. But as hard as it is for a food addict during the holidays, it is nothing compared to dealing with an alcohol or drug addiction. Alcohol was never part of our holidays growing up, but I have learned that many families include alcohol as part of their family festivities. Now I am not judging anyone, so if you have alcohol or eggnog during your holidays don't think that I am saying anything to you. But  for drug and alcohol addicts. Holidays are really hard times. Many started their addictions because of events that happened in their families. Whether it was abuse of some kind or growing up with too strict of a lifestyle or many many other reasons, getting back together with that family and reliving that trauma is too much for some people to handle. Also, even if their family is not the reason for them to be in their addiction, sometimes hanging out with people that point out your addiction even if not on purpose, can be really hard. I also want to tell you that I have learned of many occasions where sexual abuse has happened within families and for whatever reason the victim lives in secret oppression from this person. Seeing this person during the holidays and other occasions, can be very traumatic if not dangerous.

Thirdly, holidays are very expensive and busy. We grew up poor in money but not in spirit. One of my mom's spiritual gifts is making friends. My mom can make anyone feel at home and can turn a stranger into a friend in minutes. Because of this, mom has always had many friends at church and at home. And mom's church family always took care of us during holidays where we were having trouble coming up with food or gifts. In fact, year round they were always there for us if we were in need of anything. But for many people asking for help is not second nature. Pride can cause many a man or woman to fall. And sometimes people don't know where to go for help. So spending the holidays without food or gifts to give your children can be devastating. Also, with the stores competing for your attention on the best deals on food and gifts, we can over spend so easily! Then along with dealing with after thanksgiving belly aches we are looking at our empty wallets and trying to figure out Christmas. Buying the biggest and best toys and games for your family can cause major headaches and heartaches. I have been invited by some of my friends to go with them Black Friday shopping. I would never do this. First of all, I can't stand crowds. Secondly, I am the complete opposite of a morning person and cannot stand getting up early. Thirdly, I believe that competing with others for perfectly meaningless reasons only causes more frustration and cause to forget what we are thankful for. I have always wanted to ask some of those crazy black Friday shoppers what they are thankful for while they are freezing their little tushes waiting for a store to open.

So the point to this very long monologue is that we should be mindful of why some people may not share your holiday spirit. And I am saying this to remind us of why we are all broken and we all need Jesus. And as His hands and feet we are to portray Jesus's love and message to the world. His second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. So maybe the next time Mr. Scrooge gets in front of us in the grocery line, or passes us on the highway, we will show compassion and remember why Jesus came in the first place. And that is why Celebrate Recovery never has a night off. This Thanksgiving I am going to spend time with family during the day but at night as normal on a Thursday night, I will be spending time with my CR friends. Because recovery is a process and it doesn't stop because it is a holiday. Thank you for letting me share!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My best friend!

I have always had many different types of friends. Friends that were fun to hang out with. Friends that I can talk to and feel happy. And then there are those friends that I can cry to, yell at and  laugh my butt off with. The ones that are stable. And I want to introduce you to my best friend Greenie. Well her Real name is Tanya, but to me she will always be Greenie! Full name Greenie Beanie!

Greenie and I met in Metamora, Illinois at a girl scout camp called Tapawingo, in May of 1998. We had both signed up to be cooks for the summer with a program called Hungry Camper. I arrived by train to Bloomington, Illinois, then was driven by my new boss to the camp. When I arrived Greenie was standing outside our little cabin in the woods!  Isn't it cute! There were 2 cabins in the whole camp that had electricity and we were lucky enough to have one of them. So I introduced myself to her and we hit it off instantly. Soon we were old pals working together running the kitchen and causing all kinds of mayhem. Because of us working at a Girl Scout Camp, all the counselors and staff were supposed to have nicknames so that the girls didn't know our real names. I don't know why we needed them, but I had a name already from my first 2 summers of working with the Girl Scouts. My name was Brownie and hers was Greenie Beanie, shortened to Greenie! We always called each other by our camp names and got so used to it, we didn't need our real names. I had never had a friend like her before. We spent all our time together in the kitchen and out of it. We learned so much about each other and yet we still remained best of friends. She learned that it is best not to try and wake me up early and I learned not to go canoeing with her unless I wanted to do all the work She helped me learn so much about life. She was the smartest and most mature person I had ever met. She still is! During the camp days you could find us working in the kitchen, swimming at the pool, or singing at the campfires.  That is us right there, don't we look cool?
Both of us love to sing and her voice is phenomenal! We used to sing at our counselor cookouts, The Rose. And at the end of camp we even turned The Rose into our own special song The Rose of Tapawingo. The year I met Greenie was also the year I met my future husband John. And as I wrote letters to him that summer, I shared my thoughts and fears with Greenie. Her guidance helped me through the scary points of having a new relationship. Like when he had a motorcycle wreck and I couldn't be there with him, and when we said I love you the very first time. She laughed with me and cried with me and cooked with me and sang with me. What a blessing she is to me!
We even sang a song together called Chances Are and sent it on tape to John! How cheesy we were!

For two summers in a row we went to camp and spent the summers laughing and living. I felt that we were on a special world, cut off from the hard parts of life and hidden from the elements. She became my soul mate! Sorry John, it's true! I have never felt so at home with anyone else. After camp though, we found it hard to not let life get in between us. Greenie shipped off to Maine to get her Bachelor's Degree and I settled into married life. We talked quite often and even wrote journals back and forth to each other.
In 2003, I got to visit her in Maine and got to go to the ocean for the first time! I was like a kid in a candy
Greenie and Maia on Graduation day
store. I even made a castle! We had fun hanging out on the college campus and going to parties. I also met one of Greenie's new friends Abby, and learned to love her too! We all enjoyed hanging out and having a good time. The longer the years went though, the more we grew. Most friends I have had grow away from me. We end up at different points in life that don't mesh. Greenie and I never have. We always grow together! Sure we have both had really down points in our lives at different times, but instead of it pulling us apart, we grow even closer. She will always be someone I look up too.  Greenie started blogging before me and I was encouraged to blog by reading her work. Now granted she has a degree in writing and I can barely spell, but it doesn't matter. She is my best friend and that will always be! I love her and am thankful every day for her! Check out Greenie's blog here and her new blog that she writes to Joslyn, her goddaughter here! I am so proud to call her friend! To this day we still talk regularly and we plan to take a cruise in 2013 together. We even want to try and go to Italy in 2017 to take Joslyn on a tour of Europe! She is a big part of my life and I cherish every moment with her. Thank you Greenie for being my best friend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Its Thirty Questions Thursday!

I was wanting to do something in celebration of my thirty followers today! I know that this doesn't sound like much, but remember if I get 100 followers I will get a tattoo! So in celebration of my 30 followers, I will answer 30 questions! Any 30 questions you want to ask. Embarrassing, funny, serious, anything you want to ask, I will answer truthfully! If you follow me through Facebook then just ask it there and I will add it. If you follow me through email, then just email me back and I will add it. I appreciate all of you! And your involvement in my big life change. So this is your chance to talk! Come on and get involved!

1 Have I ever read the whole Bible yet and what is my favorite book of the Bible? Great question! No I have not read the whole Bible yet tho it is on my adventure list I have read most of it and my favorite book is Romans. Every time I read any verse from there it is so profound I get a different view of what God is telling me. That is a great book! What are you all's favorite books of the Bible?

2 How is the diet thing coming? Also great question! I am doing well with my calorie intake, my food plan did not work like I planned out, mostly because I didn't follow it, but my weight fluctuates. I have lost ten pounds and then I gain it back and lose a few and gain it back, so I will say that I am at square one. But I have the opportunity to try out weight watchers for free thanks to a friend willing to pay for it. So I am considering trying it, I don't know tho. Anyone tried weight watchers? How did you like it?

3 As a Christ follower, what is the most important lesson you have learned the hard way that you wished someone would have told you? Awesome and tough question! Okay, so I guess that the hardest lesson I had to learn was that God truly forgave us. I had to go through about 6 months of depression before I was sent to a counselor to help me work through my issues. Turns out that I didn't think that God would forgive me for marrying a non Christian and I was afraid that He would take away my husband, for disobeying Him. My counselor also had a husband that wasn't a Christian and she was able to break down my fears and help me realize what insecurities I was holding onto. Before then I never thought that had done anything bad enough for God to be angry with me. Boy was I in denial!

4 Am I a Church of Christ Christian or in a deminational type of congregation? Awesome question!! I happen to go to church right now that is Church of God. My other CR family is Church of Christ. But I have gone to Baptist churches and evangelical, and many other. I firmly believe that non-denominational is my official title. I have seen such an amazing change in churches that have Celebrate Recovery, because it crosses the lines of denominations and really focuses on helping hurting people and drawing them to Christ. Period! No arguements about the little stuff and the non important important stuff. I truly believe that some churches do more damage than good, because they are more concerned about being right then leading someone to Christ. If Jesus were here today, hidden among st our community, would He be accepted and loved in those churches? Who knows. Okay sorry, off my soapbox now!

5 What item on my adventure list am I most afraid to do? Hmm, okay I think it would be the sky diving. Not because it is so high, but because I have to lose weight to do it. My weight would have to significantly decrease before I would be able to qualify to do it. Once I lose the weight, I think that it would be very liberating to do it though.

6 What Item on my adventure list that I have accomplished has brought me the most joy? Hmm, I think that it was the food fight! I really enjoyed having so many of my friends around me enjoying my adventure with me! I think we will definitely have to do that one again!

7What is the significance of Joslyn's 5th birthday to accomplish my goals? Well I realized that I needed a goal date for sure. And 5 years seemed like a good time frame. But one of the biggest reasons is that I didn't want Joslyn growing up with the fears and the insecurities I have for life. I figure that if I were to accomplish most of these things before she starts school, home or regular, then maybe she would have a better quality life.

Remember any question!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Responding with Grace

Joslyn Halloween 2011
Oh, how I wish that I could say that this is easy. I thought being a mom would be easy for me. I have always been good with children, and I waited a long time, learning so much along the way. So, when I find myself at odds with my toddler a lot lately, I feel like a failure. Terrible two's is no joke. Joslyn is only 22 months old and they say that this lasts till 4 years old?!?!!! Some days I hang my head and cry. She purposely does things she isn't supposed to. All day long it is a battle from morning to night. It is exhausting and hard to have a defiant child. I am a peacemaker, I want quiet and calm in my house. But when you get me angry I do not bring peace not anymore.

I have been a codependent person for most of my life. Before Celebrate Recovery, If you made me mad; I would cry, stew about it, blow up or hold it in, and forgive you, because losing a friend was devastating to my ego. It was worse to lose a friend in my mind then to be misused or walked on by one. Once I worked the 12 steps I became aware of these problems. I learned that instead of having feelings of my own, I either ignored my feelings or picked up feelings from those around me. Now, I have feelings, lots of them and I don't like them all. I get mad, really mad sometimes. This is hard to admit, because I liked not feeling anything. I liked not responding. But not responding, hurts me. It hurts more than standing up for myself. Because I realize who I am. I am a child of God! I am made in His image. So when I let others destroy me I am personally hurting God. His child, whom He loves and sent His Son to die for.

So I respond! But responding with anger? That wasn't part of my plan? I don't like to get angry. And I am afraid of getting angry. What if I get angry with Joslyn and hurt her feelings? What if I screw her up? These are some of the things that this screwed up momma thinks about. So many more what if's and what to do's. But God is working on me about responding with grace. There are many times and instances I do respond with grace. In traffic for instance...

I was riding with a friend a couple of weeks ago. She is a great friend and we always have lots to talk about and we have lots of fun. But, I learned something about her that day. She has road rage. I have heard about this but have never known anyone to have it. I was shocked at some of the things she said while driving and how her whole world was altered by the other drivers. It made me think, at how my responses are still based on others. When Joslyn runs away from me the hundredth time, or takes of her diaper again, or rips up another book, I respond to her actions. But if I am living a life that reflects God then I would respond like Jesus did. And Jesus and God respond with grace.

I wonder if God responded to me the millions of time I ran away the way I do with Joslyn, how I would be? I also wonder how awful my life would be if God never responded to me? Both reactions make me sad and embarassed. I don't want to live a life that deflects God but reflects Him!!! And I have learned that responding with grace is something that I learn over and over. Because God responds to me with grace over and over. Only because of what He did for me, I can do for others. I also learn that God puts people in my life that can help me stay accountable with that. When I respond with grace to something that you are struggling with, you are able to respond with grace for something else. This is how we share God's grace and love, is by helping others. Thank you for responding with grace to me and keeping me accountable. Now I need to go clean up another mess and use wisely this opportunity to respond with grace.