Tag Archives: faith

Light Breaks In

tecza

Light breaks in as the day starts anew
I feel the warmth on me from you
The storm has passed and all is clean
No more darkness, all can be seen

Water glistens from the tall oak tree
High up above a bird soars free
Nature fought and the storm is done
Tattered and worn, yet we won

Lightning struck and thunder roared
Hale came down and rain poured
Still, around me I feel safe and sound
Feet firmly planted on the ground

Light breaks in as the day starts anew
I feel the warmth on me from you
You’re my strength, shining as the sun
Tattered and worn, yet we won©

by Mac

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Self Doubt

Sad-woman

Be careful what you wish for is what they always say
And I did not believe them until things came my way

For life is full of obstacles and though some are small
It has been the big ones I find are hardest of them all

Then I wished for patience and this was a huge mistake
Cause, my trials became almost more than I could take

It is said God won’t give you more than you can handle
I witnessed others do well, to them can’t hold a candle

I shouldn’t be comparing or say I have it much harder
As through flames I have learned to have a lot of ardor

I’ve gained much strength, seen who it’s made me to be
In the challenges remembering faith isn’t what you see

Evolving and changing, hopes I turn out much improved
But most of all I pray for the doubt in self to be removed©

by Mac

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It’s Beginning To Look

img_4511As the saying goes, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” And, over the years we have coined many phrases and customs that encompass this saying.

In our own family we have multiple traditions, from decorating the house and tree, to baking goodies. We enjoy the music and movies that accompany the holiday as well. We go out to see Christmas lights around the neighborhood and enjoy festivities. Meals and family, gifts and giving- so many special times around the season!

We are quite traditional in our likes in Christmas music. Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra are definitely on our play-list. As for movies, my kids have played a roll. Watching “The Grinch” with Jim Carry is our Christmas Eve tradition. But, personally, I enjoy “The Christmas Carol” with George C. Scott. It is laten with memories of watching it every year when I was younger. My dad always aiding in the voices and phrases that we all had memorized from years of viewing. Now Hubby and I do the same with our kids. And, last but certainly NOT least “Elf” with Will Ferrel. This is my ALL time favorite movie! I enjoy laughing most of all, so this is a movie I can watch over and over, and I know every line.

a5c4e6a4-ebb4-4f23-adeb-9b79d5846242Another tradition is baking. It is a favorite that I carry with me from my childhood. My mom was not one to work with us as kids in the kitchen that often. However, during the holidays she would let us help with the cookie baking. We each were allowed to choose one favorite recipe to do ourselves. So, as I had children of my own this was passed down to them. Since they were old enough to walk I would put them on a chair at the counter to help roll out cookie dough. Now at 13 and 15, they can nearly do it all on their own. And they still ask to do it every year! Made from scratch sugar cookies is treat of choice. Decorating has improved over the years and is my favorite part!

 

img_4515Finally, we cannot forget the “Reason for the Season” and why we celebrate. Our Christian faith is very important to us. And it is based on Jesus coming as a baby, living among men, dying and rising again- all for the love of the human race. So, we are sure to spend moments pondering this throughout the month, leading to Christmas. On the morning of Christmas we read the verses from scripture that lay out what transpired that day, before we have our gifts.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1: 21

These are what I think of, as Christmas and the holiday season. What about you?

The Daily Post: Photo Challenge

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Life In Song

My life is a soundtrack filled with an eclectic mixture. My playlists hold songs from- Pink, One Republic, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Nickelback, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Imagine Dragons, Taylor Swift, Adele and many more. This does not even cover the 80’s, 90’s and oh, the Christian rock groups that I enjoy! I just went to see Switchfoot, live, last week.

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Music is truly the background noise of my life. Songs have helped me through many times of depression and struggles. And really, I wasn’t sure that I could pick just one tune that has meaning for me. However, I will share a song that has many memories for me, although bitter sweet, from my childhood. Not one from a mixed tape, recorded in secret off the radio (yes children of the 80’s & 90’s era, you know what I’m talking about). No, this was sung along with a piano, in the pews of church on Sunday mornings.

I have shared in the past that I grew up in a faith based home, my father was a minister for many years. I was raised under very strict and highly conservative rules. From not being allowed to go to the movies or proms, and most definitely no “secular” music. (No, I didn’t know Kevin Bacon or Foot Loose.) I grew up listening to many hymns sung by Sandy Patty and Christy Lane. I chuckle now, but then, I really knew no different.

The song that has many memories for me is “The Old Rugged Cross” George Bennard, 1913. When I was young, my dad would play his guitar and we would sing it together at church in front of everyone. I always thought I was special getting to sing up in front of a crowd. (Simon Cowell eat your heart out!) Later, I would sing it with my sister for my Mother-in-Law’s funeral, as it was also one of her favorite songs. The lyrics hold a message of hope, even in sadness, for those of the Christian faith. And, although I haven’t sung a hymn in quite some time, it always amazes me that the words are not forgotten. They are buried deep in my soul, and are a part of who I am.

Brad Paisley does a great job singing, The Old Rugged Cross, if you would like to listen.

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Discover Challenge: Song

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Difficulty With Trust

I have been failed by people over the years which has led to my difficulty with trust. I have seen so much hypocrisy and felt the sting of immense betrayal. As a friend I believe in being committed and loyal. Why are these such hard characteristics to find in many these days? But there is One that will never leave me or turn on me.

I can say with all honesty, my trust and faith in the Lord has not wavered. I believe that He is always there for me. Even when the journey has been difficult, scary and at times unbearable. I know that I am always able to rely on my faith- a source of strength, comfort and healing for me. And yes, through these trials, I have grown, learned and even soared!

 

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Authentically Me

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ~Brené Brown

authenticity

One of the hardest realizations that I have had in life was when I figured out I was fake. That I was living a lie for many that I knew, just to play the game that so many do. I was lost somewhere between reality and make-believe. Rarely showing my true face to thee outside world or even myself. Caught up in beliefs that I was fed and never questioning, never searching for my own convictions. I lived this way all through my 20’s, up until a few years ago, 14 years in total.

When you are inside the box you can’t see thee entire picture. You are “fitting in” and “going with the flow”! When a certain way is all you’ve know since childhood, once you come into adulthood, why would it be any different. It was not until people turned on us and we were faced with few options that we finally left this life we’d known. Those who had betrayed and hurt us deeply, showed the hypocrisy of who they really are. The conflict was just too hard on our family. (You can read more about that here: My Journey In Faith)

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“A lot of the conflict you have in your life exists simply because you’re not living in alignment; you’re not be being true to yourself…Live authentically. Why would you continue to compromise something that’s beautiful to create something that is fake?” ~Steve Maraboli

Through this difficult and sad journey I found a great gift. Among the moments of despair and feelings of utter loss, I figured out who I really am. So many “ah ha” moments that brought perspective to me. In a way it was as if a veil was lifted and I could look at myself and the world through different eyes. At first it was scary, like feeling lost. But, I soon learned that I was changing. I was shedding the pretender, the loathsome person I had been. I was gaining strength and knowledge about who I truly am and what I am capable of, outside of those that held me back.

My take away and also my advice for others is this- always be true to yourself. Even if it goes against the grain and forces you to break ties with people you’ve known or a way of life you’ve always walked. Question more and follow less. Don’t make choices based on what has always been, but on your own convictions, faith and what is right for you. Most of all live unapologetically you!

What it means to be authentic:
– to be more concerned with truth than opinions
– to be sincere and not pretend
– to be free from hypocrisy: “walk your talk”
– to know who you are and to be that person
– to not fear others seeing your vulnerabilities
– being confident to walk away from situations where you can’t be yourself
– being awake to your own feelings
– being free from others’ opinions of you
– accepting and loving yourself”
~Sue Fitzmaurice

Daily Prompt: Original

Discover Challenge: Radical Authenticity

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My Journey In Faith

faith

I grew up in a very devout faith based home. My father was a minister in a Baptist church for many years during my childhood. I spent a lot of time serving and learning ministries. My husband and I met through church and spent our first 14 years together serving in church…A LOT! We raised our kids in church for 13 of those years. However, much has changed in the last three years.

“Be a good witness by the way you live. The way we live is often more convincing than the words we say.”~Billy Graham

After marrying and moving we found a little church in a quaint Vermont suburb. As a newly married and very young couple we found it to be perfect, with many other young couples as members. Their beliefs were the same as ours and we made quick friends of the core group of families, as well as the Pastor. A friendly bunch, we were always serving together and outside of church we were getting together at each other’s houses. We had pregnancies together, spent holidays together, did birthday parties and babysat for one another. It was as though we were extensions of one another’s families.

For over 14 years life was blissfully happy, in fact we had all but ostracized ourselves from our actual family. Church and church “family” was our life. My husband and I held over six positions within the church by this time- deacon, accountant, computer and sound system laymen, adult Sunday school teacher, head usher, choir and more. We were in church all of Sunday, every Wednesday night and any extra days in between that we were needed.church 

Then, in an instant this life that we thought we were sure of and knew was gone. Families that we held close bonds with, we thought unbreakable, turned on us. The deceit, the bitterness, the hypocrisy, the lack of forgiveness and more all came to light. We were shunned for one family’s, one person’s words. The people we considered to be our closest friends…NO, family, had turned on us, ostracized us. The devastation was nearly insurmountable. People took sides, the Pastor was of no help and in the end we were left with only the option of leaving. Quietly, as if thieves in the night, we left. We did not get to tell our story, in fact we had not told anyone what happened, only “the others” were sharing their lies. But, we needed to leave with our dignity and our testimony, we would not be pulled down to throwing stones at glass houses.

“The lukewarm Christian can accomplish nothing with a whole life in which to do it. If you have lived for sin and self . . . your witness will have [a] telling effect on all who have known you.” ~Billy Graham

So, why do I share all of this? Well, I tell you my story after living through the hypocrisy and seeing the lowest of Christian behavior, because I have learned so much! About myself, about my faith and about what people will believe. I was pulled in, I was brought down to a level that was not okay- my witness was blemished. People could believe the lies because like these that we chose to be close to, I had become a haughty Christian! I spoke about people behind their backs with these “friends”, believed I was better than others and bought in to all that I was being served. Yet, when things went sideways, no one was there for us- even the Pastor did not practice what he preached. 

Here I am over three years later. Not in contact with one person from that past life. Fourteen years wiped away as if it never happened. My children lost all friends and perhaps for a while faith in having friendships. I have worked through many of my own demons, as has my husband. Learning to rebuild trust and faith, learning to forgive even though no forgiveness was ever asked for. Believing that this is not what God and faith are about, man is flawed not God. I’ve really come to a place where I know what I believe outside of church. I have not ever lost my faith in God, only my faith in people- because they will let you down! And most of all, coming to the realization that I can be a witness anywhere, even here on this blog. God is not to be put in a box (or a church for that matter) like so many would like to do. His love and who He is can be witnessed anywhere as long as I am willing to be a testimony for Him. “The greatest way to witness is through the life you live. Let the radiance of your Christian life be such that it will make [others] ask questions about your [faith].”~Billy Graham

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Other offerings by this Author:To Be or Not To Be, SorryThe Spirit of Love

via Daily Prompt: Witness

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DailyPost Discover Challenge: Open Minded

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