Everyday3

What I've learned about life after 46 years

Heart-Check August 27, 2013

Filed under: Appreciation,Christianity,Faith,family,God,kindness,Sincerity — mimirogers3 @ 4:33 am

Now that I’m 50, I should know what my purpose is in this life, right?  So much time wondering, praying, hoping, and I still haven’t heard God’s thundering voice telling me, “Diane, here is what I want you to do and here is how I want you to do it…” 

God sent me two clear messages recently.  The crux of both messages was that my heart must be sincere in every action I take.  The first message came when I was reading my Jesus Calling devotional one morning.  The night before while I was saying my prayers I wondered, “Does God want me to say my prayers out loud or is it alright that I say them in my head?”  The next morning’s devotion answered my question.  It said if I pray with a sincere heart, God will hear me whether I” pray silently or shout it out loud.”  I had to read it twice because I couldn’t believe God’s answer came so plainly.

A few days later I received the second message from God by way of an email from Dusty, a special pal I met online.  For the past several months I’ve been praying about what my purpose is in this life.  What does God have planned for me?  How do I know what he wants me to do?  I sent an email to Dusty asking her to pray for me about it and here is her response;

“You’ll be in my prayers girl…..and for what it’s worth?   This is what I’ve learned…

I used to stress too, about where God wanted me and what He wanted me to do

and what was His will for me in my life…..then one day, I heard His answer as

plain as day:    He said He would love me no matter what I decided to do or where

….as long as my heart was sincere in wanting to do HIS work….then anyplace, any

decision would please Him and He would bless what I chose to do!   We will keep

you in prayer!   Remember that God is in control and don’t sweat the small stuff!!
Love you!! 

Again, a clear message from Heaven!  Thank you, Miss Dusty!  Now comes the test…  Is my heart sincere?  I’m writing to tell you about my heart-checks to see just how sincere my heart is in my everyday life.

The first area I thought about was my marriage.  Wow.  There’s an eye opener.  My husband is my partner in life.  He is my best friend in good and bad times.  He has been my biggest fan.  If that’s so, why am I so impatient with him?  Why am I defensive and sure he’s attacking me all the time?  Why do I harbor past hurts?  God’s wish for my marriage is that it is a place of safety and peace.  If my heart is sincere in wanting to create harmony with my husband, I have to work at it.  I have to submit.  There, I said it.  Why is that such a hard thing for wives to accept?  My husband is the leader of our family.  He is our protector.  He is our provider.  I am in a very safe place in my life because of the plans and decisions he has made for us over the last 25-plus years.  I think I can trust in and submit to that, with a sincere and loving heart.

Next, I did a heart check on my relationship with my stepchildren and grandchildren.  Is it with a sincere heart when I offer to help with the kids… make dinner… stop by after work…?  Are my intensions to gain acceptance or praise?  God’s wish in this area is that I accept my position in the family as step-mother with grace and loving kindness.  Accepting my role with a sincere heart means not putting demands on the kids to treat me in a certain way.  It also means when I buy surprises for them and when I call to check on the kids or other acts of kindness I am doing so with a sincere heart of love and not to gain favor.  Thinking about this deeply, I realized I always start with a sincere heart then the enemy sneaks into my thoughts and says, “This is such a nice thing you’re doing, they’re probably going to think you’re really cool,” or “Why do you do these things, you’re never going to gain the place in their hearts where you want to be…”  I always have to go back to my original intention and get that devil out of my head!!  My silent prayer with each kind deed is, “God, please keep my intentions pure and the enemy’s voice from tainting my thoughts.”  Someday it will be automatic “not” to think negatively about my good deeds.

The place I spend the most time beside home is work.  This is a big time heart-sincerity check for me.  It’s so easy to get caught up in so many negative things at work.  Heart check questions; How am I treating my boss and co-workers?  What kind of attitude am I showing my clients?  A sincere heart is not one of complaining or gossiping.  Nor is a sincere heart one of impatience and rudeness.  I must remember, two years ago when I needed a job so desperately and the one I am at now just fell into my lap.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  I thanked God for the answered prayers.  But before long, I was mired down by complaining, gossiping, undermining my boss and being rude and short with clients.  The attitude I was displaying was one of ingratitude, entitlement and selfishness.  Sowing that kind of negativity will only reap anger and hostility from others.  My heart ached for a change.  Now when I feel the attitude of the enemy coming over me, I remind myself that my heart wants to be kind and show grace.  A Christ-like attitude is my goal.  If I stumble, I recover much quicker now and those around me suffer a lot less too.  Amen for that!

As my relationship with God grows, so does my thirst for knowledge and understanding.  The Word of God is my first reference point.  He speaks to me as I read and study.  He speaks to me when I’m listening to sermons on the radio and at church.  He speaks to me via fellow Christians.  My job is to be still and listen for His promptings.  He is sincere even though I may not hear a thundering voice when he sends me a message.  Through His word and through my good friend, He told me to do a sincerity heart-check and doing so has bless me and those around me.  Thank you, Lord!  I learned a lot.

 

The Word of God – The most effective therapist yet! February 26, 2013

Filed under: Christianity,Faith,Jesus Christ — mimirogers3 @ 3:32 pm
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Over the last six or so years I’ve been through lots of therapy for depression.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) seems to work the best for me.  In a nutshell, it helps you learn how to reframe negative thoughts that you’ve lived by your whole life.  In the past three or so years I’ve been growing closer and closer to Jesus Christ and part of developing that relationship has been through reading my bible regularly.  It’s amazing how much of what I’ve learned through CBT is covered in the bible.  The more I thought about it, I realize everyone’s trying to figure out how to deal with stress, anxiety, insecurity, depression, grief, shame, jealousy, guilt… and it’s all right there in the Word of God.  I’m even thinking about writing a book about it!

Here are some examples.  Matthew 6:34 tells us not to worry.  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  And so does Matthew 6:27 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  And when I went through a particularly miserable time of guilt and shame, if I had just known there are so many scriptures I could have read to comfort me.  Like Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set youfree from the law of sin and death.”  This scripture is a great comfort to me.  It reassured me I am forgiven and shall be free of guilt and shame.

From simple life lessons like not judging others (Luke 6:37) to something as complex as severe depression (Psalm 34:18 & 46:1) there are stories, sermons and parables throughout the entire bible to help make sense of it all.  The parallels of the bible’s teachings to those of Cognitive Therapy are unmistakable.  God knew what he was doing when he gave us His Word to guide us through this life.  If we would just use it and trust it we would could avoid a lot of pitfalls we experience.

Please don’t think I’m taking the issue of depression lightly.  I strongly support psychotherapy.  The time I spent with my therapist is invaluable to my recovery from depression.  Combining what I’ve learned through therapy with the teachings of the Holy Bible has made a huge impact on my life.  My therapy validates what’s been in the bible for all time and the bible validates everything I learned in therapy.  So many people are searching…  Searching for hope… Searching for acceptance…  Searching for love…  Searching for peace.  It’s all there in the bible.  I pray if you are searching, you take time to read the bible and see all it has to offer.  Seek counsel from others too.  But if you just give the bible a try, I know you’ll be astounded by what you find inside.

 

Revealing my big secret… October 28, 2012

When I started this blog I wanted to be an outlet for me.  Writing has always been a stress reliever.  It is also my way of supporting those who suffer with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, addiction, etc.  Sometimes all a person needs is to know is they are not alone or crazy!  I’ve been there.  Realizing others experience similar feelings & symptoms gave me validation.  It was a little glimmer of light at the end of a dark, dark tunnel.

A big part of what brings on depression for me is pretending everything is “fine” when I really feel like crap.  Agreeing when I really don’t.  Saying “yes” when I really want to say “no.”  Over 40 years of that took its toll in October of 2006 when I suffered a breakdown, or medically speaking, a major depressive episode.  A combination of suppressed feelings, not setting personal boundaries, guilt and shame plus a family history of depression set the perfect stage for depression in my life.

Now comes the big secret.  I had an abortion when I was 21 yeas old.  I recently decided to tell my brothers and sisters.  It’s hard to believe I’ve kept this secret for nearly 30 years.  As I suspected, they all love me just the same as they did before I told them.  Many of my nieces and nephews know now.  My heart aches thinking they might be disappointed in me.  After all, I was the perfect child.  I have an image to keep up.

God forgave me the moment I asked His forgiveness.  All the years I tortured myself with guilt and shame, I was dishonoring Him.  Jesus Chris suffered and died on a cross for my salvation.  Would I change my decision if I had the opportunity.  You bet I would.  I would give up everything I have in my life right now if I would take back that one awful decision of ending my pregnancy.  More work is needed to complete my healing process.

I am writing this particular post to help anyone who has a secret they think will destroy them if it is revealed.  I’m not saying you have to reveal it.  I’m saying you have to move on from that secret!  It does not define you.  Just like your mental affliction or addiction does not define you.  It is a part of you, yes.  But it is not the ONLY part of you.  Find hope and meaning in other areas of your life.

Revealing my secret has given me a sense of peace.  I’m looking forward to learning more about what the bible teaches about forgiveness.  My hope and prayer is that this story helps just one person in some small way.  My blessings are many.  I want to pass them on to anyone who will listen.

 

Spending Time with God… March 29, 2012

Filed under: Christianity,Faith,Goals,God,Jesus Christ — mimirogers3 @ 5:01 pm
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It’s been a while since my last post.  Not really sure why.  Life has been happening so fast.  I’m in some sort of transition state in my heart and soul and God is dealing with me and I’m trying to listen and understand.  It’s hard to figure out what I’m supposed to do and what I’m supposed to leave up to him.  I’ve accepted that he’s not going to shout in my ear, “Hey, Diane.  I think it’s time to go back to college,” or “Miss Diane.  Go out and tell your story to everyone you can and I promise they’ll love and accept you and not judge you.”  This idea of “let go, and let God” is really hard to grasp.  (I really was waiting to hear Him shout out to me…)

So, I’ve finally figured out my part is to pray and read the bible.  Then pray and read the bible some more.  God will give me the wisdom to see what he has planned for me.  He will put me on the right path.  I truly believe I am right where he planned for me to be when he was creating me in my mom’s womb.

Finally I am in a bible study of Godly women who have the same goal in mind as I do… to know God, be more like Christ, and fulfill God’s calling in their lives.  I am growing to love these women so much.  God blessed me with these women because I was praying about it and reading my bible and learned how much God loves his children to fellowship together.  Wow!  That’s deep, to me.  I’m now almost 50, have been saved since I was about 13 and I’m just now realizing I have to pray, read the Word, spend time with God and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me.

I’ve learned through my depression, recovery, and the devil’s attempt at relapse that this life is not easy but it is doable.  As long as I don’t let the bad stuff “define me or take over me” I will get past them.  And once I do, I will be that much stronger for the next challenge that comes my way.  Take that, satan!!!

The subject of our winter bible study has been “Finish Strong.”  And our memory verse last week was Acts 20:24 – “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the good Lord Jesus has given to me.  The task of testifying to the gospel of God’s Grace.”  That is Paul speaking.  He helps me realize the magnitude of God sending his one and only Son to come to earth and die on a cross to wash MY sins away completely.  Thank you God.  I praise you for loving me.

So, I’ll keep praying and reading God’s word.  I’ll keep working toward being more like Christ.  The answers and direction will come.  I know they will, in His time.

 

What I Know for Sure… August 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — mimirogers3 @ 8:37 pm
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Giving the present...

I know. Not very original. I stole the title from Oprah’s magazine. It’s an awesome concept so I thought I’d blog about it. What I know for sure is I have soooooo much to be grateful for in this life.  I read a really great quote about gratitude. It want something like this… “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” I love that. So simple but so true. Here is a list of some of the things I am grateful for…
God, my family, friends, friends who are family, dogs, sunshine, my health, my curly hair, the things my mom taught me, sisters, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers, my husband, grandchildren, chocolate, missing things I’ve lost, love, bounce sheets in the dryer, when a headache goes away, naps, getting the punchline of a joke right, knowing when the Holy Spirit is with me, “God” winks, reading till I fall asleep, baby animals, baby people too, Cameron’s creativity, Asher’s laughter, Cole’s singing, making breakfast in Glamis, my succulents, Ryan’s wisdom, when I feel confident, knowing I’ve done the right thing, being forgiven, sunsets at the Fish Market, unique heart-shaped leaves, losing myself in laughter, when I am able to truly meditate, making someone smile, watching Jen teach Cole new things and seeing her eyes light up when she does, butterflies reminding me of my mom, cracking my husband up, Andrea rediscovering her “family”, long conversations where me and the other person learn from one another, sharing my story so I might help someone else, David’s grilled chillies, and did I say chocolate?

This list doesn’t begin to touch the surface. I know some of the things are silly, but they’re “my silly things.” Are there things you’re grateful for that maybe you’ve just forgotten how much they mean to you? Look around you right now. What’s there that makes you go, “awww…” or “wow…” or just plain makes you happy, or content, or relaxed? We take the things and people around us for granted every single day. Take a moment and take them in.

It’s a concept called “mindfulness.” Being present in the moment. I’m still practicing it. Everyday there are reminders… a song, a smell, a favorite food. If you think about it, you’ll realize there really is an endless list of things to be grateful for in life.

Give it a try… You’ll be grateful you did!

 

Where’s my thought…? March 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — mimirogers3 @ 6:40 pm
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Where’s my thought?
Far from where it began.
No roots to keep in on target.
Moving rapidly into negativity.
It started as a fun idea.
Moved to doubt.
Back to possibility.
Hey, where’s my thought?
Bring it back to its purity.
The idea was to try out a new skill.
Maybe write a poem…
I can’t write a poem.
Well, just maybe I can.
Guess what…?

 

Standing up to my random negative thoughts June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mimirogers3 @ 7:46 pm
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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I get a little email daily called “Quote Action of the Day.”  It’s a little tidbit that I look forward to reading every morning.  I’m always so anxious to see what new wisdom I can glean from my Blackberry each morning.  I began this post with the quote above.  I had to read it a few times to get the meaning.  And I still think it’s deeper than I can even grasp.  But the first thing Gandhi mentions is “What you think…”   I learned through a lot of therapy that it’s difficult to change the way our minds “automatically” think after years and years of conditioning.  It can be done, but it is hard.  And it is oh so easy to slip back into old patterns.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself.  I’ve been allowing myself to wallow in my distorted thoughts about how others feel about me.  This only leads to depression, anger, anxiety, etc., etc.  To remind myself how much I’m loved, I look at pictures, read cards, emails and letters from friends and family.  My negative thoughts run so deep that I’m still doubting the truth of my last statement, am I really loved??  Unless a lot of people I know are great actors and actresses, I am indeed loved.  I hate that I doubt myself like that.

Insecurity runs rampant in my family.  I think we’d all have differing reasons as to why that is so.  But it is.  I’m the baby of seven kids.  The “spoiled rotten” one.  We all have different memories of growing up.  Different memories of our parents.  I’m not going to try to analyze it, but I just wish each of us seven “kids” was able try new things without doubting our abilities.  I would be so happy if none of us worried about whether we sounded dumb to someone.  It would be incredible if not one negative thought came into our minds when we walk into a crowded room.
I am not positive all seven of us are insecure, but I know at least a few of us are and it makes me so sad.  I’ll say a little prayer that God might help each of us to stand up to our negative thoughts and conquer our biggest insecurities.

 

 
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