I am “ME” again!

2015 was a blur for me…literally. I really had a hard year. I had so many health issues, my daughter and my mom had health issues, and I was just physically and mentally spent. One thing different than usual though – when I get completely ruined down – is that I didn’t feel spiritually spent this time. That is truly what got me through these rough times. I became closer to God and turned to him even more. I relied on him instead of myself and I made it through somehow! We forget how good God is to us and that we need to rely on him ALWAYS.

My favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

How amazing is that – God has planned out my life – how can I go wrong? Well it is so easy to go wrong – I know – I do it all the time! I make plans without getting advice from God. I tell him what I am going to do instead of listening to him. It’s hard! I want him just to make it easy for me but I have learned that all the twists and turns and mistakes have made me stronger and my journey was planned that way.
So, I thought I would share about some of my struggles – maybe it will help you know my thoughts and my frame of reference. I hope that you can relate or know that others may feel the same way or made the same mistakes. I am so busy taking care of others that I don’t focus on myself and 2015, I just about fell apart. I knew I felt bad and something was wrong, but I kept trudging along. I had my mom and my daughter; both, that had more urgent health issues and I needed to be the caretaker. I had lots of work on my job that I needed to accomplish and I just couldn’t take the time. I had community and church things that were always pressing and needed my attention. I always put other things in front of taking care of myself. I thought I was being selfish if I took care of me! WOW – I learned the very hard way when I almost had a physical and mental breakdown. I knew all last year that I was depressed, not confident, jealous, and grumpy and even isolated myself at times (I am a PEOPLE person – so this was something new). I didn’t even understand who I was and that made me even more stressed! Who was this person inside my frail, worn out body? I had NO energy, had brain fog, just felt terrible all over! I ached from head to toe…I thought I was getting old and that was just how it was going to be for the rest of my life. You see – I am overweight, have mechanical heart valve, high blood pressure, bad knees and a variety of other issues and I just accepted the fact that this was supposed to be how I felt. I grabbed fast food or something for dinner because I had to have food for my family (I am the mom!) Of course I was too tired to cook – I was barely making it through the day. I literally was too tired to get out of my car and make it inside – but I usually did.  Do you think I worked out – well I had a fitness center membership and paid my dues – but I guess you have to go – huh?  I literally had no energy to workout or even walk the halls at work.   Why would I think this was normal? How STUPID is that?
When autumn came, I had hit rock bottom…I was too tired to keep going. I had convinced myself I had cancer and thought I had a stroke or TIAs. Oh yeah, my left hand and arm started tingling…and still hasn’t stopped. I got to where I was not even able to think, forgot things, missed meetings and was just not myself. Who was this person? What in the world was going on? Where was I? Who was I? This tortured me even more. I usually can write about my thoughts, feelings and am never at a loss for words but honestly – I was having trouble even saying words. I didn’t tell anyone except that I wasn’t feeling great. Finally, I went to the doctor – had tests and blood work. I mean a lot of tests and a lot of blood. I had several things physically wrong with me but the biggest thing was that I was completely depleted of Vitamin D. I was even taking a supplement because this time last year – it was low. Vitamin D – the “Sunshine” vitamin is so important and I never even thought about it! I started taking a prescribed Vitamin D as small as a Tic-Tac and it has made such a difference. I have a few other issues and am doing some procedures and Physical Therapy to improve other parts of my body but a simple little vitamin has changed my life. So why did I wait so long to take care of me? Why didn’t I realize that I couldn’t take care of others if I fell apart and in fact, they may have to care for me – what a burden I would be then!
So for 2016, I have found “me” again and I am happy! I like and love me! I am back to who I used to be. Now I am going to be the first to tell you – there are many areas that I need to improve but I am working hard on those every day! I am excited to be going into a new year and finding a better me at the end of the year!

Images and videos of who loves me
I encourage you to take care of yourself. Don’t miss all those warning signs. You are not supposed to feel bad, if you do, go see a doctor. Do something for yourself – it is the best investment you can make. Also, most important…listen to God and follow his plans…he knows the way and he will guide you.
I hope to hear from all of you as you start the New Year to find yourself!


Stressed But Blessed

Stressed but Blessed

John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas” states…So this is Christmas, and what have you done, another year over, and a new one just begun…

Can you even begin to comprehend that this year is close to the end? Christmas time is here again and I still haven’t recovered from last Christmas…luckily some of my decorations were still out…so I didn’t have to put them out again! So much to do and so little time…Rush! Rush! Rush! Run from this store to that store, this party to that party, order presents, food, attend church, wrap presents – oh wait and all your work, family, church and community obligations that are always there! Exercise…ha! I get my exercise doing all this running around! Dieting…ha! I am not eating lunch most days…well I do snack on treats, cookies, casseroles and such because you can’t hurt anyone’s feelings so you have to partake! Why are the holidays so maddening? I think we create this world and we believe we have to attend all events, eat all the snacks, have the perfectly decorated house and cook, clean and have it all! We need to be the mom that makes the cute things from Pinterest, that has every room…laundry room and bathroom included, decorated; and we attend all the musicals, plays, visit all the decorations and lights in the area; and attend church of course! We must be the perfect mom and create the perfect Christmas experience! Do you feel the stress?

StopDropRollSTOP, Drop & ROLL!!!

OK STOP right now! DROP to your knees and just start thanking God for all you have…a great family, church, job, friends, community, and life. Yes – we all have certain issues but we all are blessed. Stop worrying and focusing on how stressed you are, but relax and pray and thank God for how blessed you are! Take a big deep breath, start seeing the positives instead of focusing on the negatives; start having fun and just let go and let God! Instead of planning all these great things to do – just jump in and have fun too! I am really writing this for myself today – you see I feel stressed and it is easy to think about sick family, messy house, overweight, unhealthy self, all the things I need to be doing but am too tired; and I need to see the Lord and focus on him and the things I am so very blessed with! ROLL up your sleeves and do something for others. Don’t stress or overthink it – just be kind, smile, listen…sometimes that is all people need.

I pray that you will focus on all that is good in your life and that you will thank God for it all! I pray that you will remember when you are so stressed….you are also so blessed!




Diet – the four letter word

So I know most of you know that we could never say “four letter words” because many curse words seem to be “four letter words”.  So we always tried to avoid saying them…well I feel the same about the word DIET.  As Garfield once said, ” Diet is DIE with a T…”  I am going to strongly recommend that you don’t do any diets.


So I am sure that you all have tried some type of diet in the past…Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup, Grapefruit, etc.  They all have ways of working for a short period of time but then our bodies start to scream and we get on that rollercoaster of eating good, then eating bad.  We feel like a failure because we couldn’t stick to it.  So I recommend that you DO NOT go on a DIET!  Change the way you eat, but change forever!  Make it a way of life, not a torturous thing that costs alot, is high maintenance and that you have to strain your brain to determine if you can have something or not!  The plan is easy…eat real foods – not processed.  Eat fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, nuts….this was how cavemen did it…this is how many of our great grandparents did it and this is how we can do it too!  I do leave off starches, sugars and most dairy too…most are processed…

I began in September on this path and I have lost 40 pounds so far!  I feel great, I eat great and I love the energy that I have.  I don’t count calories, I don’t stress about how much I am eating.  I just eat the right things.  My skin seems to glow more, and I just feel stronger, healthier and happier.  What you put in your mouth can effect everything about you!  Just eat healthy!  I have fun making great recipes and my family loves everything because it is fresh!  It is not boring!  I am eating more than ever!  I had to add a snack in the morning and one in the afternoon – apples, nuts, etc.  This is so awesome!  Eating more and weighing less?  Yes!  I don’t have cravings or even trouble finding anything to eat.


OK – so we all know that we always do a New Years Resolution to say we are going to eat healthy, exercise more, and get fit!  Well, don’t just say it!  Pray it, write it down, find someone to hold you accountable.  Plan it, Do it!  You have a few more days before the New Year begins so get ready, get set and GO!  Look for ways to make it happen, be positive, surround yourself with supporters, be happy, set goals…this is your year!  2013….

Thought for the day!  You can do it…just believe, be prepared, and be yourself!

It’s time to talk mental…

So, I have talked alot about physical and spiritual but not much about mental fitness.  It is just hard to really look inside or even discuss with counselor or friend.  So am I crazy?  Most of my friends will say YES, but I really am pretty sane.  I do have alot of things to work on though.  So I have been to several counselors through the years and they all seem to determine that I am co-dependent….what does that mean?  Basically I am an “alcoholic” for people’s approval.  Here is information below that explains.  I always try to please others, I over-commit, I always put others first even to my own expense sometimes.  Is it a bad thing?  Well – if it is the most important thing in my life.  I need to make sure that I look at each situation and ensure that I look at how it effects others and myself.  I am sure that many of you can relate to some of the issues below.  Its ok….we are all in this together.  I am admitting my problem and I am working on it.  “Hi, my name is Leigh and I am codependant”.  This is where you all say, “Hi Leigh” and we start working on our issues together.


from Melody Beattie’s classic best seller, Codependent No More

Codependency Traits listed below

Care Taking

Codependents may,
1. Think and feel responsible for other people—for other people’s feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being, lack of well-being, and ultimate destiny.
2. Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem.
3. Feel compelled –almost forced — to help that person solve the problem, such as offering unwanted advice, giving a rapid-fire series of suggestions, or fixing feelings.
4. Feel angry when their help isn’t effective.
5. Anticipate other people’s needs
6. Wonder why others don’t do the same for them.
7. Don’t really want to be doing, doing more than their fair share of the work, and doing things other people are capable of doing for themselves.
8. Not knowing what they want and need, or if they do, tell themselves what they want and need is not important.
9. Try to please others instead of themselves.
10. Find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others rather than injustices done to themselves.
11. Feel safest when giving.
12. Feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives to them.
13. Feel sad because they spend their whole lives giving to other people and nobody gives to them.
14. Find themselves attracted to needy people.
15. Find needy people attracted to them.
16. Feel bored, empty, and worthless if they don’t have a crisis in their lives, a problem to solve, or someone to help.
17. Abandon their routine to respond to or do something for somebody else.
18. Over commit themselves.
19. Feel harried and pressured.
20. Believe deep inside other people are somehow responsible for them.
21. Blame others for the spot the codependents are in.
22. Say other people make the codependents feel the way they do.
23. Believe other people are making them crazy.
24. Feel angry, victimized, unappreciated, and used.
25. Find other people become impatient or angry with them for all of the preceding characteristics.

Low Self Worth

Codependents tend to:
1. Come from troubled, repressed, or dysfunctional families.
2. Deny their family was troubled, repressed or dysfunctional.
3. Blame themselves for everything.
4. Pick on themselves for everything, including the way they think, feel, look, act, and behave.
5. Get angry, defensive, self-righteous, and indigent when others blame and criticize the codependents — something codependents regularly do to themselves.
6. Reject compliments or praise
7. Get depressed from a lack of compliments and praise (stroke deprivation)
8. Feel different from the rest of the world.
9. Think they’re not quite good enough.
10. Feel guilty about spending money on themselves or doing unnecessary or fun things for themselves.
11. Fear rejection.
12. Take things personally.
13. Have been victims of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, or alcoholism.
14. Feel like victims.
15. Tell themselves they can’t do anything right.
16. Be afraid of making mistakes.
17. Wonder why they have a tough time making decisions.
18. Have a lot of “shoulds”.
19. Feel a lot of guilt.
20. Feel ashamed of who they are.
21. Think their lives are not worth living.
22. Try to help other people live their lives instead.
23. Get artificial feelings of self-worth from helping others.
24. Get strong feelings of low self-worth —embarrassment, failure, etc…from other people’s failures and problems.
25. Wish good things would happen to them.
26. Believe good things never will happen.
27. Believe they don’t deserve good things and happiness.
28. Wish others would like and love them.
29. Believe other people couldn’t possibly like and love them.
30. Try to prove they’re good enough for other people.
31. Settle for being needed.


Many Codependents:
1. Push their thoughts and feelings out of their awareness because of fear and guilt.
2. Become afraid to let themselves be who they are.
3. Appear rigid and controlled.


Codependents tend to:
1. Feel terribly anxious about problems and people.
2. Worry about the silliest things.
3. Think and talk a lot about other people.
4. Lose sleep over problems or other people’s behavior.
5. Worry
6. Never Find answers.
7. Check on people.
8. Try to catch people in acts of misbehavior.
9. Feel unable to quit talking, thinking, and worrying about other people or problems.
10. Abandon their routine because they are so upset about somebody or something.
11. Focus all their energy on other people and problems.
12. Wonder why they never have any energy.
13. Wonder why they can’t get things done.


Many codependents:
1. Have lived through events and with people that were out of control, causing the codependents sorrow and disappointment.
2. Become afraid to let other people be who they are and allow events to happen naturally.
3. Don’t see or deal with their fear of loss of control.
4. Think they know best how things should turn out and how people should behave.
5. Try to control events and people through helplessness, guilt, coercion, threats, advice-giving, manipulation, or domination.
6. Eventually fail in their efforts or provoke people’s anger.
7. Get frustrated and angry.
8. Feel controlled by events and people.


Codependents tend to:
1. Ignore problems or pretend they aren’t happening.
2. Pretend circumstances aren’t as bad as they are.
3. Tell themselves things will be better tomorrow.
4. Stay busy so they don’t have to think about things.
5. Get confused.
6. Get depressed or sick.
7. Go to doctors and get tranquilizers.
8. Become workaholics.
9. Spend money compulsively.
10. Overeat.
11. Pretend those things aren’t happening either.
12. Watch problems get worse.
13. Believe lies.
14. Lie to themselves.
15. Wonder why they feel like they’re going crazy.


Many codependents:
1. Don’t feel happy, content, or peaceful with themselves.
2. Look for happiness outside themselves.
3. Latch onto whoever or whatever they think can provide happiness.
4. Feel terribly threatened by the loss of any thing or person they think proves their happiness.
5. Didn’t feel love and approval from their parents.
6. Don’t love themselves.
7. Believe other people can’t or don’t love them.
8. Desperately seek love and approval.
9. Often seek love from people incapable of loving.
10. Believe other people are never there for them.
11. Equate love with pain.
12. Feel they need people more than they want them.
13. Try to prove they’re good enough to be loved.
14. Don’t take time to see if other people are good for them.
15. Worry whether other people love or like them.
16. Don’t take time to figure out if they love or like other people.
17. Center their lives around other people.
18. Look for relationships to provide all their good feelings.
19. Lost interest in their own lives when they love.
20. Worry other people will leave them.
21. Don’t believe they can take care of themselves.
22. Stay in relationships that don’t work.
23. Tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.
24. Feel trapped in relationships.
25. Leave bad relationships and form new ones that don’t work either.
26. Wonder if they will ever find love.

Poor Communication

Codependents frequently:
1. Blame
2. Threaten
3. Coerce
4. Beg
5. Bribe
6. Advise
7. Don’t say what they mean.
8. Don’t mean what they say.
9. Don’t know what they mean.
10. Don’t take themselves seriously.
11. Think other people don’t take the codependents seriously.
12. Take themselves too seriously.
13. Ask for what they want and need indirectly — sighing, for example.
14. Find it difficult to get to the point.
15. Aren’t sure what the point is.
16. Gauge their words carefully to achieve a desired effect.
17. Try to say what they think will please people.
18. Try to say what they think will provoke people.
19. Try to say what they hop will make people do what they want them to do.
20. Eliminate the word NO from their vocabulary.
21. Talk too much.
22. Talk about other people.
23. Avoid talking about themselves, their problems, feelings, and thoughts.
24. Say everything is their fault.
25. Say nothing is their fault.
26. Believe their opinions don’t matter.
27. Want to express their opinions until they know other people’s opinions.
28. Lie to protect and cover up for people they love.
29. Have a difficult time asserting their rights.
30. Have a difficult time expressing their emotions honestly, openly, and appropriately.
31. Think most of what they have to say is unimportant.
32. Begin to talk in Cynical, self-degrading, or hostile ways.
33. Apologize for bothering people.

Weak Boundaries

Codependents frequently:
1. Say they won’t tolerate certain behaviors from other people.
2. Gradually increase their tolerance until they can tolerate and do things they said they would never do.
3. Let others hurt them.
4. Keep letting others hurt them.
5. Wonder why they hurt so badly.
6. Complain, blame, and try to control while they continue to stand there.
7. Finally get angry.
8. Become totally intolerant.

Lack of Trust

1. Don’t trust themselves.
2. Don’t trust their feelings.
3. Don’t trust their decisions.
4. Don’t trust other people.
5. Try to trust untrustworthy people.
6. Think God has abandoned them.
7. Lose faith and trust in God.


Many Codependents:
1. Feel very scared, hurt, and angry
2. Live with people who are very scared, hurt, and angry.
3. Are afraid of their own anger.
4. Are frightened of other people’s anger.
5. Think people will go away if anger enters the picture.
6. Feel controlled by other people’s anger.
7. Repress their angry feelings.
8. Think other people make them feel angry.
9. Are afraid to make other people feel anger.
10. Cry a lot, get depressed, overact, get sick, do mean and nasty things to get even, act hostile, or have violent temper outbursts.
11. Punish other people for making the codependents angry.
12. Have been shamed for feeling angry.
13. Place guilt and shame on themselves for feeling angry.
14. Feel increasing amounts of anger, resentment, and bitterness.
15. Feel safer with their anger than hurt feelings.
16. Wonder if they’ll ever not be angry.

Sex Problems.

Some codependents:
1. Are caretakers in the bedroom.
2. Have sex when they don’t want to.
3. Have sex when they’d rather be held, nurtured, and loved.
4. Try to have sex when they’re angry or hurt.
5. Refuse to enjoy sex because they’re so angry at their partner
6. Are afraid of losing control.
7. Have a difficult time asking for what they need in bed.
8. Withdraw emotionally from their partner.
9. Feel sexual revulsion toward their partner.
10. Don’t talk about it.
11. Force themselves to have sex, anyway.
12. Reduce sex to a technical act.
13. Wonder why they don’t enjoy sex.
14. Lose interest in sex.
15. Make up reasons to abstain.
16. Wish their sex partner would die, go away, or sense the codependent’s feelings.
17. Have strong sexual fantasies about other people.
18. Consider or have an extramarital affair.


Codependents tend to:
1. Be extremely responsible.
2. Be extremely irresponsible.
3. Become martyrs, sacrificing their happiness and that of others for causes that don’t require sacrifice.
4. Find it difficult to feel close to people.
5. Find it difficult to have fun and be spontaneous.
6. Have an overall passive response to codependency — crying, hurt, helplessness.
7. Have an overall aggressive response to codependency — violence, anger, dominance.
8. Combine passive and aggressive responses.
9. Vacillate in decisions and emotions.
10. Laugh when they feel like crying.
11. Stay loyal to their compulsions and people even when it hurts.
12. Be ashamed about family, personal, or relationship problems.
13. Be confused about the nature of the problem.
14. Cover up, lie, and protect the problem.
15. Not seek help because they tell themselves the problem isn’t bad enough, or they aren’t important enough.
16. Wonder why the problem doesn’t go away.


In the later stages of codependency, codependents may:
1. Feel lethargic.
2. Feel depressed.
3. Become withdrawn and isolated.
4. Experience a complete loss of daily routine and structure.
5. Abuse or neglect their children and other responsibilities.
6. Feel hopeless.
7. Begin to plan their escape from a relationship they feel trapped in.
8. Think about suicide.
9. Become violent.
10. Become seriously emotionally, mentally, or physically ill.
11. Experience an eating disorder (over- or under eating)
12. Become addicted to alcohol or other drugs.


Consequences has always seemed like a scary word to me. If you do something wrong, the consequences would be that you get punished. Lets tun this around….if you do something right, the consequences could be amazing

Definition of CONSEQUENCE
1. A conclusion derived through logic : inference
2. something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions
3. importance with respect to power to produce an effect <a mistake of no consequence; social importance
4. the appearance of importance; especially : self-importance; in consequence; as a result

We all learn about consequences in childhood, from the day we are born. Consequences are outcomes – negative or positive – of a person's action. By their nature, they reinforce our behavior because we as humans strive for positive outcomes or consequences or we try our best to avoid negative outcomes. There are two types of consequences basically – natural and logical. Both of these types can be positive or negative.

Natural consequences occur naturally, hence the name. They are not controlled or manipulated by anyone, they simply just happen but are not always a surprise. When you plant a seed in your garden and take care of it, it grows. That is a positive example of natural consequences. When you put your finger in an electric socket, you get a shock. That is an example of negative natural consequences. Note that natural consequences happen whether you know what the outcome will be or not and you cannot control what the outcome will be.

Logical consequences are situations created by the person in authority and they are logically connected to the wrong. It is logical because it "fits" the offense. For example, if your teen breaks curfew, they aren't allowed out the next night or you can tighten the curfew by making it one hour earlier. If they don't eat their broccoli, they don't get dessert. These are examples of negative logical consequences. Many times, parents set up a reward system like if student gets grades, they receive money or gift.

When anyone wants to learn from their mistakes, they have the choice of allowing themselves to deal with the natural consequences or set up logical consequences. But how do you choose between the two types of consequences? Do you just let things happen naturally or do you plan and determine logically what should happen?

Natural consequences are immediate. When you overeat,, you could gain weight, have stomach problems, feel lousy. When you touch a hot pot, you will get burned and are not likely to do that again. Many times, however, natural consequences are not immediate or are too dangerous to allow. Running into the street without looking does not always have immediate consequences; and neither does not wearing a seat belt when driving. Both actions, though, could have dire natural consequences in the future that no one wants. Therefore, the natural consequences aren't what a person should wait for because their responsibility of their own safety and it is up to them to sort out a logical consequence that will promote the desired behavior – in this instance not running into the street without looking or wearing a seat belt.

An example of logical consequences are eat right, get plenty of exercise and rest will allow you more energy and will help you be stronger and live longer. This can make you a better employee, parent and person; or if a child makes good grades in school…it will help them get into college, they will get better job, and life might be easier.

When setting goals, making decisions…think about what can happen if you do achieve the goal…but think what may happen if you don't. If you don't take care of yourself now…who will be around to handle everything you do now? Think through every detail and hopefully you will realize the consequences of NOT doing something may be far greater than if you do.

Romans 4:1-8, 10 What should we say about those things? What did our father Abraham discover about being right with God? Did he become right with God because of something he did? If so, he could brag about it. But he couldn’t brag to God. What do we find in Scripture? It says, “Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham’s faith, and so his faith made him right with God.” When a man works, his pay is not considered a gift. It is owed to him. But things are different with God. He makes evil people right with himself. If people trust in him, their faith is accepted even though they do not work. Their faith makes them right with God. King David says the same thing. He tells us how blessed some people are. God makes those people right with himself. But they don’t have to do anything in return. David says, “Blessed are thosewhose lawless acts are forgiven.Blessed are thosewhose sins are taken away. Blessed is the manwhose sin the Lord never counts against him.” When did it happen? Was it after Abraham was circumcised, or before? It was before he was circumcised, not after! NIV Bible

Abraham trusted God and we need to do the same. Consequences of following him is peace, love and knowing things will only get better.

Praying for understanding of consequences of right and wrong, of dieting and exercising or not, and even asking for help or not. Think before you don't do something and determine what might happen…


Matthew 6:5-15 “When you pray, do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They want to be seen by others. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. “When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly. “When you pray, do not keep talking on and on the way ungodly people do. They think they will be heard because they talk a lot. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him. “This is how you should pray.“‘Our Father in heaven,may your name be honored. May your kingdom come.May what you want to happen be doneon earth as it is done in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins,just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.Save us from the evil one.’ “Forgive people when they sin against you. If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as ‘to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt’. The concept and benefits of forgiveness have been explored in religious thought, the social sciences and medicine. Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives including forgiving themselves, in terms of the person forgiven or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ― Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Forgiveness…what a powerful word….a powerful feeling….a powerful way of life. It’s taken me a few days to pray about this topic because I don’t feel qualified to talk about it but God has put it on my heart to share. Well I should start…in the beginning….from the beginning God forgave the first sin….time went on and man continued to sin….God forgave. He gave his best and perfect son to show us that he forgives us, so why do we struggle with forgiveness? You need to look within yourself first…do you forgive yourself? Maybe for cheating on spouse, lying to children, stealing just a little money from friend, gossiping about a friends child, not praying or going to church as often as you should…ok you get the point. We could beat ourselves up about so many things. You may be working so hard to provide for your family that you have little time for your family. You may feel you always need to do for others and never for yourself…yuppers that described me. I didn’t take care of myself but killed myself to do for others. I had convinced myself I wasn’t worthy of Gods love and also was too busy making sure everyone else had Gods love. I didn’t even know I needed help, I needed forgiveness…well I needed to accept forgiveness and I needed to forgive….myself. We are so hard on ourselves and we need to talk to God brutally honest and just listen. He forgives, he loves, he will give you new life, a rebirth. Just let him!

Next, you may be harboring feelings of anger or frustration with others…maybe ex spouse doesn’t pay child support, or your friend used you and lied to you, or maybe someone let you down…follow Gods example….no matter what the sin, no matter how horrible the hurt….forgive. I cannot understand how God loved us so much to give his only perfect son so he could show me how he forgives. Did you notice, not only did he forgive…he gave his best gift to reinforce it. Forgiveness is so important and it can give you so much happiness if you really forgive. It’s hard…I wish I could say I have mastered it but I am trying to let go of feelings, I’m trying to be positive, and I leaning into God for guidance. Forgiveness…..give it away….and you will get the gift of peace forever!

This song was playing on my radio every time i would get in my car yesterday and I knew it was a sign. Full album on Itunes: smarturl.it Forgiveness (single): itunes.apple.com

Forgiveness by Matthew West
It’s the hardest thing to give away And the last thing on your mind today It always goes to those that don’t deserve It’s the opposite of how you feel When the pain they caused is just too real It takes everything you have to say the word… Forgiveness Forgiveness It flies in the face of all your pride It moves away the mad inside It’s always anger’s own worst enemy Even when the jury and the judge Say you gotta right to hold a grudge It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘set it free’ Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness Show me how to love the unlovable Show me how to reach the unreachable Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness, Forgiveness Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness It’ll clear the bitterness away It can even set a prisoner free There is no end to what its power can do So let it go and be amazed By what you see through eyes of grace The prisoner that it really frees is you Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness Show me how to love the unlovable Show me how to reach the unreachable Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness I want to finally set it free So show me how to see what Your mercy sees Help me now to give what You gave to me Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness

Working out is hard….but so is life

3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I know that your spiritual life is going well. I pray that you also may enjoy good health. And I pray that everything else may go well with you. NIRV Bible

So there can be many struggles in your quest for change. For me, when my health is getting better and I’m losing weight, enjoying working out seems like there is stress from somewhere else. Floor in bathroom needs repaired, need new carpet, teenagers within close proximity…..and the list goes on. I wonder if there is ever a time where everything will be going great at the same time? It is very easy to get discouraged and impatient with God. When I am down and out I usually go to Psalms and David has experienced and wrote about my issues. Here is a great example…

Psalm 13:1-6 Lord, how long must I wait? Will you forget me forever?How long will you turn your face away from me? How long must I struggle with my thoughts?How long must my heart be sad day after day?How long will my enemies keep winning the battle over me? Lord my God, look at me and answer me.Give me new life, or I will die. Then my enemies will say, “We have beaten him.”They will be filled with joy when I die. But I trust in your faithful love.My heart is filled with joy because you will save me. I will sing to the Lord.He has been so good to me.

It is good to share with others and talk through your issues. It’s nice knowing other people are as crazy as I am….we are…

Life is hard, but making time for God is tough too. You can do this…find your way to make it work and stick to it. Working out is hard and when your doing that extra mile or lifting more than last week…it is so worth it! It may seem to be a struggle in the midst of the event but what an excitement when you have worked through it and accomplished the goal you set out to do. Get a trainer, a friend or someone to celebrate with you. I had a friend text me this week that she had lost 3 lbs over Thanksgiving….she was excited and she needed to share it. Working out is hard and so is life but we are all in this together so drop and give me Twenty…..that can be Bible verses, push-ups, sit-ups, prayer for twenty minutes, etc. looking forward to hearing about your journey of change.