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

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.


  1. Every single loving mother on this planet has struggled with these very things. We wonder if we are doing our children more damage than good. All I can say is that it is by God's grace alone we don't mess up our kids! LOL He truly does extend massive amounts of long-suffering towards me. He will bring you through this, and you'll be stronger for it.

    P.S. "So when I let others destroy me I am personally hurting God."

    Yeah...that is profound.

  2. Thanks Layla! God has been so gracious and put so many wise people in my life. You are one of them!

  3. Well, as much as Jos may test you and you may feel the need to cry, remember this: You ARE a good mom. No, make that you are an EXCELLENT mom. I know I believe it and I've seen it first hand. And I know your brother believes it, even if he doesn't ever say it to you. :)

    We love you and you know that God loves you.

  4. Thanks, girl. So happy to be your friend. :)