Categories
My Faith & Transformation Journey

Timing

I admit it—I’m a rusher. I want what I want when I want it and I have been known to manipulate the situation to get what I want. Did you catch that? I said “what I WANT;” This attitude has caused such pain in my life. I never asked if this was what God wanted for me. And even when I knew it was not what God would want—I did it anyway. Or worse yet, I convinced myself that no matter how wrong I knew it was, surely God would make it right for me!

This was especially true with relationships. I was always looking for better, or maybe just different. I could not stand the idea of being alone. So I was willing to do what I needed to have the relationship I thought I needed. I wasn’t willing to wait on God’s timing for me. The end result for me was three marriages and countless affairs in and out of those marriages. Nothing seemed to make me happy so I kept looking and manipulating. And then one day I said: “enough” and God said: “finally!”

I learned that the most important relationship I could have was with Jesus. Coming to know him by reading the Bible and talking with others about his love for me changed everything. Suddenly God was enough. He filled my life with wonderful new relationships—with other women. I can sit here today and breathe in his love and look at the change in my life and I am overwhelmed to tears. I am no longer hunting for the next husband or lover. I am content and trusting that if God wants that in my life I will know it is time. For today, I do my best to be available for all the good relationships God places in my life. It is so much easier when I take my hands off and trust God’s timetable for my life.

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?’ He replied, ‘Father alone has the authority to set those dates and time, and they are not for you to know.’
Acts 1: 6-7, New Living Translation

Categories
My Faith & Transformation Journey

Marmalade and Coffee

Saturday sounds fill my room.
Mowers starting up;
blowers moving leaves.
Engines turning over;
errands to be done.

Autumn breeze flows over me.
Covers pulled around;
breathing in the air.
The new season comes in;
rest in the moment.

Sunrise turns to day light.
Feet touching cold floor;
smells flow through the home.
Marmalade and coffee;
ease into the day.

Categories
Transformation Stories

Managing Energy Drainers

Energy drainers are those things that distract an individual from reaching their goals (Collins, 2009).They may be short-term obstacles that we can handle for a brief period of time without derailing our progress. Other energy drainers may pull us way off track and require us to take specific steps to reduce the negative impact. That said, there are a few things that I have allowed to stop me from doing what I believe God has called me to do and I am slowly finding ways to stop letting these things derail my progress. Some of these will be quick fixes while others will take longer to accomplish and require more of a change in my behavior.

Finances

One of my primary goals is to reach financial security and to get my spending under control. The first step for me was to pray and then to seek out a program that would bring success. I have taken some pretty drastic steps to get the ball rolling, including holding a yard sale to get rid of things that I didn’t need and giving away pretty much everything else. I moved out of a large house into a manageable apartment that costs me a fraction of what I was spending. I am building up my savings for emergencies and have a plan to pay off my expenses. I am more deliberate in my regular giving. It will be a long slow process, but I truly believe this is what God is calling me to do today. And from this will come one more testimony about transformation that I can share with others.

Family and Friends

I have a great relationship with my daughter; however, I have a real tendency to drop everything to hang out with her when I should be focusing on writing or my other tasks.  And I have a bad habit of spending money that I have budgeted for bills or savings on spur-of-the-moment outings with my daughter or with friends. I used to claim it was “single mother syndrome” but really it was just neglectful planning.  I have found it necessary to set boundaries in my relationships—to say “no” even when my heart says “yes.” I am committed to the Dave Ramsey[1]  financial plan which means I have to make changes in my overall lifestyle. Part of that change includes setting new priorities while keeping the focus on reaching my long-term goals.

Emotions

I guess you could say that the primary energy drainer for me is fear and panic. The fear is a byproduct of my financial insecurity and it has kept me from moving forward. I have learned that the most positive thing I can do is stick with my budget plan and continue to pay down my debt without acquiring more debt. And I am working with a spiritual director as well as a healing minister who are helping me to see God’s plan instead of my plan. I cannot begin to explain the newfound peace I have discovered in my obedience to praying, writing, and talking with others.

Home

Ok—I will admit it. The TV probably is the largest energy drainer in my life. When I feel insecure about my ability to step into this new role of story teller and author or I am overwhelmed by my financial situation—I retreat to mindless TV. I may spend hours at a time watching TV and avoiding the world outside.  Additionally, TV is sometimes a crutch for not spending money on things with my daughter and so we will sit together watching movies or TV shows rather than going out. This obstacle also keeps me from being more physically active, which is not a good thing for someone trying to live a healthier lifestyle. For now I will work to set aside time to walk instead of watching an hour of TV in the evening. I am sure I won’t avoid TV completely; however, I do need to set boundaries in this area as well. This may be one of the harder areas for me and it could continue as an energy drainer and stressor if I don’t get it under control.

Reflection

I have found it is useful to identify things in my life that are keeping me from reaching my goals and to consider the changes I need to make in my life. Some of these things were not easy to confront, especially since it made me realize how much time I have wasted.  It also became apparent that I cannot make these changes on my own and that I need to be honest with people who I trust about the obstacles in my life. It is equally important to have people in my life that will hold me accountable and encourage my success. One step at a time, I move forward.

Reference

Collins, G. R. (2009) Christian coaching: helping others turn potential into reality. NavPress. Colorado Springs, CO

[1] Dave Ramsey provides Christian-based financial counseling and provides a strategy to help individuals achieve financial freedom. Refer to: http://www.daveramsey.com/home/

Categories
My Faith & Transformation Journey Transformation Stories

Back to Basics

I grew up in Germany and lived in an apartment complex with hundreds of other military and government families.There was nothing fancy about it. Most of the furniture was government issued. We had a small storage unit for Christmas decorations and our bikes. Everyone knew everyone in their building and most of the complex. There were few secrets kept and we learned to share the bitter and glorious moments of life together. We were neighbors and friends for as long as we lived there.

Over the years I have had much and lost much. I left home right after high school and soon found myself living on the street. I lived with family for many years, nestled safely under their protective umbrellas. I married more than once in hopes of finding contentment and security. And recently, I gave it all away and came to settle back to the way I grew up. Living the simple life, in a small apartment with a balcony where God feeds my soul everyday that I am willing to meet with him. I have little and yet oh so much!

In Galatians 4: 1-7 Paul talks about us being slaves and the things to which we can become a slave. For many years, I was a slave to proving I was something worthy of notice. I was the invisible kid who never seemed to get it right. I thought that the more I had the more I proved my worth and value to my family, and to people I didn’t even know. I made some serious mistakes. I hurt some people in the process. And once I let go of the chains that captured me, I lost it all. And then I found it all!

I have found freedom in  the words of the Bible. I have found freedom in the stories others have shared about their journeys. I have found a new simple and happy life following the principles Jesus and his disciples shared with mankind. I am far from done with this new place God has set me, but sitting on my balcony this morning, watching the clouds move through, I have hope that I am finally back to basics and free of my old way of thinking.

“Because we are his children god has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out ‘Abba, Father.’ Now we are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, god has made you his heir.” Galatians 4: 6-7

Categories
Transformation Stories

Change is happening!!

I am in the middle of changing this site from one focused on defense industries to one focused on my new calling–to inspire those motivated to change and purposeful living. Stay tuned. New postings coming soon!

Maggie