Sometimes you just gotta believe.

That you’re worth it.

That you’re loved.

And deserve love (so allow it, will ya?)

That everything happens for a reason, and God works in mysterious ways sometimes, but he’s *always* working.

That when shit happens, there’s usually a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s a gleaming one.

That you deserve happiness.

That there is joy in giving. So give. Your time. Your love. Your life.

That believing in yourself leads to greatness.

That confidence is learned, but you gotta unlock it yourself, nobody else can.

That sometimes short-term pain is worth long term gain.

That chocolate is a virtue, and so is wine. Often.

That friendships are two-way, filled with respect, communication and love. And if they’re not, they’re not friends.

Believing.

It’s powerful. Believe in something. Just believe.

~~

My post tonight…stream of conscious. I have about four topics in my brain, all swirling around but they’re aren’t coming, so instead, you get this. Believe. Writing it down is powerful.

Advertisements

As I start to fully understand the magnitude of my sister Jen’s infection (very serious staph infection), I am blown away by the support by family and friends, and God’s blessings and strength.

I felt almost smacked upside the head with the reality of how sick she has been, after speaking with my mom today, and at first, it was all I could do not to panic and cry (well, I did cry, but how could I not? I love my sisters fiercely, and to know that one of them is going through some serious pain is hard for me to grasp) and lose my faith. But then, when my mom told me she felt God tell her – in not so many words – that she will pull through and she will improve, that gave me the thread of strength I needed to return to faith not so much for me, but for Jen.

And it reminds me of a quote I tucked away that I thought would be very fitting this evening, as I try to keep my faith strong, my prayers loud, and my support (from afar) as strong as I can:

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown…Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”

Jen has the strength to fly – and we need to continue to band together to give her the strength she needs – for her, us, and Isabel.  I will do whatever she possibly needs for support and help when she is out of the hospital…and I hope to be able to see her before flying to Sonoma on Thursday evening. I offered to stay and not go on the trip, but she wants us to go and have fun, enjoy it for her, and bring back a bottle of wine in Isabel’s birth year to stow away for her 21st birthday. I love that and I want to do it as the tiniest of tokens.

The good news is that she seems to have turned the corner she needs to and keep showing improvement to kick this nasty infection and begin her road to recovery and get back to what she wants so much, to continue being the adoring, strong, rock-solid loving, tender, devoted mom to her child.

…sometimes all you need is family, and a lot of faith.

Jen, you have it. We’re here. God is watching. We’re praying. We love you. We love Isabel. You got this. I know it. I love you so much.

But I am tested.

I’m really tested right now…to choose trust and faith and stay in trust and faith…that God is working “behind the scenes” to answer my prayers. My prayers for Nala.

I had to take her back to the vet today, as last night, she started to get very lethargic last night, and very much not herself, the kitty that got her personality back in the last week from the medication she was on. The medication ran out last night and it was clearly why she wasn’t herself, but I became very anxious, scared, and worried in an instant, and suddenly my faith and trust had completely vanished.

As Pete actually told me today, I need to control my anxiety and worry, because I can’t control this, I can just support her, help her and make her feel better as best I can.

And I know that.

But I just want to solve it. And I can’t. And that kills me. Breaks my heart. I love my cats fiercely. We’ve been through so much together, and it’s just totally jarring.

But I know I need to keep my faith and trust strong, continue my prayers and stay calm and just do what I can do to help her and love her. She’s on another round of medication, for a possible upper respiratory infection, or virus (she’s got a bit of the sniffles and runny nose), or any other infection she may have, plus a steroid that should also help, and an amino acid that can help counteract viruses and illness as well.

Being on my own, it’s going to be tough to give her the pills and make sure she’s getting what she needs because I am 1) not good at giving her pills and 2) without an extra set of hands, that becomes increasingly difficult. But, I have my mom and sister to help me, thankfully, and Pete has offered as well, so I am going to be as strong as I can, and trust that God has a plan. I may be tested, but I need to keep my faith strong.

Easier said than done…but I know I need to.

~~~

Today, shake off the temptation to get discouraged during the waiting process. Shake off offense, shake off discouragement. Remember, all it takes is one touch of God’s favor to take you years ahead. Keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping because the answer is on its way the moment we pray!

Image removed by sender.

Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing me the moment I pray. Today I choose to trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf no matter what I see in the natural. I will praise You today and always because You are faithful. I love You and bless You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Every Sunday or Monday night, I watch the week’s Joel Osteen sermon on TBN, and it helps set the tone for the week, keep me positive and help me think clearer and more focused. Sometimes you just need a little extra positivity boost, and sometimes it just feel refreshing to hear the things you try to live on a daily basis.

This week’s sermon falls into both categories for me, as it was all about letting go of the past and expecting MORE than the status quo for our lives. A few snippets I jotted down will follow, with my thoughts, and here is an excerpt of the sermon itself as well:

Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all we can imagine.” When you live a life that honors God by obeying His Word and you are a person of excellence and integrity, then the Scripture says that God’s blessings will chase you down and overtake you. You won’t be able to outrun the good things of God. God doesn’t want you to have an average life with average relationships, just barely getting by. No, God desires that in all things you prosper in Him. He wants to amaze you with His goodness. He wants to mend broken relationships, bring healing, and do the impossible in your life. But too often, we let our past set the tone for our future and we’re not really expecting anything different. God wants us to shake off the old and embrace the new thing He wants to do in our lives now, expect His far and beyond favor now.

It feel so encouraging to read this passage because it makes me feel so much better about my life, about where this decade will take me, knowing I have God in my corner, and knowing He will bless me with the good, that it will happen for me, I just need to keep that faith alive and know it will happen. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month, but when it is MEANT to happen.

He also goes on to say that we shouldn’t drag around the baggage from the past and expect God’s goodness in the future, which is absolutely true. While the last decade has bearing on the next, it shouldn’t dictate it…no matter how tough 2009 was, this is a new decade and things have shifted for the better. Going into each day thinking: This difficulty isn’t going to stop me, it’s meant to bring me down, but God’s going to use it to lift me up. – that is such a powerful message for me!

He also goes on to say:

Too often we allow our circumstances to set the tone. All that does is set us up for more of the same. Don’t ever name your future by your present concerns and circumstances. Don’t go into 2010 thinking already that it will be a hard year, that you won’t get any breaks. Name your future blessed, prosperous, successful, talented, wise. You may feel like you are stuck in a rut and you won’t rise any higher…don’t speak of that. Name your future, see that God’s face is shining down on your. Your greatest victories aren’t behind you, they are still ahead of you. When you think of your future, think of that enthusiasm. Think that something good is going to happen to you. Be confident.

Don’t let the past set the tone for our future…shake that off, it’s time to arise, it’s a new day, put on a new attitude. Don’t come into the new decade down in the dumps, discouraged, no dreams, no goals, no enthusiasm, make up your mind to shine this year and be your very best. The glory of the Lord is on you.

I’ve been so up and down during the last week or so, feeling a little ho-hum about my life right now, only because it feels a bit at a standstill, but hearing Joel’s words gave me the hope and optimism back that I was starting to lose. I’ve worked hard to stay positive, while still being realistic over the last year, and in feeling like I was backsliding away from that was frustrating me, because I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want to be down or pessimistic, I want to be happy. That’s me and I’m going to strive to bring that back, and try to remember these words when I start getting down.

And I think these words are again universal, to anyone who gets stuck in a negativity rut. And ya know what? It’s just not worth it to be negative and down. It doesn’t accomplish anything, so why not just try and make the best of what you’ve been handed?

Tomorrow is it – our would-be three year wedding anniversary, and I’m actually relieved it’s almost here…somewhat because I’ve  dreaded the day itself a bit, just based on what it used to signify, but I’m feeling pretty good going into it, so hopefully tomorrow is just another day and it doesn’t weigh on me too much (I’ve already spent too much time thinking about it, I think…see, I’m trying to do better at FEELING my emotions!).

Anyway, I heard from my lawyer today, and my divorce judgement paperwork is in. What does that mean? I can officially change my name!! How exciting is that?! I’ve changed it unofficially at work, professionally, and personally, but all of the legal documents have yet to be changed, for obvious reasons, and am looking forward to making it officially uh, official. It just felt so fitting to get that news today, on the “would-be anniversary eve.” I think God truly works in mysterious ways…even small things like this (small to some, big to others!).

…and look forward to my post tomorrow looking back on things, and feeling a sense of calm and peace with everything. Hope you like it.

 With a week of ups and downs, the capper just had to be this – I got my divorce date today and almost laughed then almost cried – it’s on September 11th. That date seems almost “sacred” just because of the 9/11 tragedy, but I almost laughed because it’s sort of ironic that this is the date of my divorce. And wow, it’s really sinking in…in about three weeks, I’ll be divorced. Officially. Over. 10 years of my life, done.

So, as I sit and reflect on that, and really let that sink in, I think about the close-to-a-year’s worth of “the situation” and how different my life feels now and how different I personally feel. So, my quote for today’s quote Friday is one I’ve tucked away for awhile, but it’s so fitting:

 “Who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but what we’re capable of when we least expect it”

What I have gone through, and what I’ve shown I’m capable of has downright shocked me. And I think it shocked Pete too. The first few months of this ordeal were heart-wrenching. I’ve never cried so much, so hard, or so deeply in my life. I’ve never felt as though my heart physically ached to the point of my chest feeling as though it would explode. I’ve never felt like running away and hiding more than during those months. And I never wanted to hold on for dear life to the life, the love, and the home I’d built with Pete. I thought I could never, ever capture anything closely resembling it.

…and then, I started to see things more clearly, I didn’t cry as much on a daily basis, I started feeling slowly stronger, the sparkle that had left my eyes (the pictures from the holidays say it all – my eyes look dead, sad, and empty) started to come back, and forgiveness started to creep in. I stumbled up an inspiring statement today, and thought it fit so well with this post, and this quote:

“Whenever the world seems to get the best of me, whenever I feel it closing in on me, I go to a quiet place that lies somewhere in my soul. I do not reason, analyze or think. Those will come later. I simply go. And as a frightened child finds comfort and strength in a loving parent, I find my God and a band of loving Invisibles. From this place of power, I garner strength to stand firm in the face of fire, to be calm in the midst of thunder. When I emerge from this sanctuary, the world has not changed but I have. And in my changing a whole new world is born.”

This is exactly how I am feeling now. Through a combination of soul-searching, massive family and friend support, and a renewed connection with God, I feel I am finally staring confidently at the road ahead, I am born again with new vigor, strength, happiness and an undying level of hope I have never felt before – that no matter what life throws at me, I can take it, I’m capable of taking it, and forging ahead. I feel as though nothing can shake me – certainly not to that level – and I am looking forward to this next phase of my life.