Thursday, July 25, 2013

Confession #55 - A Piece of Me

You know, there's just not enough of me to go around.  Now I realize that sounds pretty narcissistic but everyone and everything in my life seems to need a piece of me.  Some goes to God, and some to my husband, daughter, and dog.  Some to my sister, mother and the rest of my family.  Some to my friends and some to my boss and coworkers, some to those whom I minister to, some to my neighbors, some to laundry and housecleaning and the list goes on and on.  I guess is a good thing I'm overweight because there'd be even less to go around.:)

Sisters I know I'm not alone here, I'm sure many of you feel the same way.  Normally I'm pretty willing to give up pieces of myself to whomever or whatever needs a chunk but there are times that I feel so utterly drained.  Consumed by exhaustion with no more pieces left to give and particularly nothing left for me.

Tonight is one of those times.  After a rather busy day at work all I longed to do was to plop down and rest.  Instead I came home to a business issue that needed my immediate attention. I had to log on the computer to research the matter but it was taking soooooo long to launch the Internet!  It took almost 10 minutes!  Then I got a rather frustrating call and after I got off the phone I ended up screaming at the top of my lungs out of sheer and utter frustration!  Can't anything be easy!  That's one of my go to sayings.  I know because I've heard my daughter repeat it when she's frustrated. LOL.

Even now, after I've put her to bed, she's called out for me several times to say that her butt itches. Seriously, every tiny little thing that she experiences requires a piece of me?  Then the phone rings, hubby says he's on the way home.  Great, but do I really need to stay on the phone with him for his entire hour long drive home?  I need a little me time....

I feel so incredibly guilty admitting this.  I love my family, and I don't want to miss out on any experience my daughter has, well I guess I can do without the itchy butt, LOL, but I'm just exhausted.  Life right now is a fast track and if I don't slow down and take some time for me, just me, I'm going to freaking collapse!

That said I'm reminded of God's word, "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28  Oh yes Lord, yes Lord, yes yes Lord, AMEN!  God doesn't want us to be over burned at all.  Last night in a conversation with a very good friend and mentor she reminded me of what BUSY stands for.  Being Under Satan's Yoke.  WOW!  I realized that's just it, I'm so busy handing out pieces of myself that I've allowed myself to become so weary and so burdened that I have nothing left to give, even to God.

This is not the life God has in mind for me.  He wants me to be productive, but not over-stressed and busy.  Busyness keeps us from focusing on Him and allows our emotions to get the better of us.

God for months and months has been telling me to clear off my plate.  But have I obeyed?  No.  I've avoided making difficult choices and in doing so I've been disobedient to God.  Today I'm praying that God will show me what to clear off my plate so I can return to normal and have some pieces left for Him and for me.  If your life looks similar to mine won't you pray with me?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you Lord that you have given me so much to fill my life.  But I know it is not your desire for me to be burned or weary. Give me a clear picture of what I should clean off so that I can find rest Dear Father and return my focus to you.  Help me to see clearly to whom and to what you want me to hand my pieces off to.  Give me your strength to get through the crazy days without getting emotional.  And let me erase Busy from my life and break Satan's yoke once and for all.  And precious Father, for my sisters-in-Christ who struggle with busyness of their own, please help them find the rest they need as well.  In Jesus' name I pray.  AMEN

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Confession #54 - Once Upon A Time,,,

I am so excited to announce that today is Confessions of a Dirty Christian Woman's one year anniversary!  It was a  year ago today I published my first blog post "Confession #1 - Why I'm Dirty".  And a year later God still sees fit to use this dirty creature to display is incredible beauty.  One of the ways God has used me is through submitting my testimony to Christian Women's Voice Magazine and it was published in the July/Aug edition!

I was so excited to get the magazine in the mail the other day and read my first officially published work!

This is my testimony:

As a child, like many women, I found myself wanting to re-write my story into a fairy-tale.  I found myself dreaming, wishing on stars, searching for Princes, and waiting around for my Fairy-Godmother to Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo me into a better, happier life… 

I was a very shy and quiet child.  A strong insecurity had a hold on me for a long time. At age eight I was molested by a family member and it took me ten years before I told anyone and when I did I was told that it was my own fault.

In my mid-late teens my mother made several attempts at suicide, happily unsuccessful ones, but with each new attempt my heart died more and more. I found myself trying to end my life a few times as well.  I suffered a nervous breakdown in my senior year in high school. Then a year later I was date raped, and then sexually assaulted in the work place.  This agony was a catalyst that sent me reeling into an over-eating addiction that I continue to struggle with today. 

Despite it all God was there every step of the way getting me back on track whenever I’d stumble or fall on my face. He sent Godly people to me all through my life reminding me that I was destined to be His. It took 27 years but once He captured my heart, well there was no going back. It was then that I stopped writing the story and gave God control over my life. When that happened, this retrospective of pain became a beautiful masterpiece. An amazing love story of Joanne and her Savior the Prince of Peace who has rescued her from the perils of evil and given her a promised “Happily ever after” ending; an eternity in heaven with Him.  He's taken this insecure, hopeless child and transformed her into a confident, strong, and loving Christian woman.  I have forgiven those who have wronged me and learned to show them the love of Christ.  The Bible reminds us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for seventeen years and five years ago we adopted our amazing daughter.  Additionally, God’s calling on my life to minister to the hearts of women has been an unbelievable new chapter in my book.

God knows your story too. Psalm 136:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” He knows each chapter and page, He knows how long your book is and He’s read the plot. Everyone’s book begins with “Once Upon a Time” with no guarantee of a happy ending, but when we make Jesus our Lord and savior that all changes.  Let Jesus Christ become the Prince of your real-life fairy-tale and re-write you’re story’s ending “And they lived happily ever after.”

So far this blog has been an amazing journey with God and I pray that you all have been as blessed by reading it as much as I've been by writing it.  Please take a moment to revisit one of your favorite posts and leave a comment or if it's your first time here search through the posts that speak to you and leave a comment.  I'd love to hear how God is working in your life through Confessions.  Many blessings to you all!

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord thank you for using this dirty creature to shine your beauty.  Father I pray that you would continue to use me to help your girls.  I pray for my sisters in Christ, some who have amazing journeys of their own to share, Father give them the courage to share their testimonies by telling others about what Jesus has done for them so that we may continue the cycle of healing and reconciliation to you Dear Lord.  In Jesus' name I pray. AMEN

BTW - You can allow God to use you to minister to women by sharing your testimony with Christian Woman's Voice magazine by emailing your story in 500 words or less to . 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Confession #53 - A Real Test of Faith (Part III) Test PASSED!

The mail… it can hold all your hopes and dreams.  It can be a source of despair and doom.  The contents of one single envelope can single-handedly change the course of one’s life.  It can even hold a miracle.

For a few weeks now I have been trusting God for a miracle.  In my blog posts, “A Real Test of Faith Part I and Part II” I wrote about how I've been trusting God for a miracle concerning a threat of being priced right out of my mortgage.  I wrote how I've decided to just leave it in God’s hands and vowed not to worry about it.  I reckoned what will be, will be.  And I did just that.

For the last few weeks I've given it little thought.  I gave it to God completely through prayer and trusted that God would work it for my good.   Worry no longer entered the equation because the peace of God reigned in my heart as I hung my faith on Him.

But you know, I think God works in really funny ways.  I think He sometimes chooses to shine His glory when I’m feeling my darkest.   I’ll explain.  These last few weeks have been quite busy for me, not to mention quite stressful.  I’ve been planning and executing an Awards Gala and I’ve run myself so ragged that I’ve caught a cold in the process.   Yesterday was a particularly depressing, dark, and stressful day, one that brought me to tears; that is until God showed up. 

After having been at work most of the day, followed by a meeting, I got home last night about 6:15.  My body was extremely achy my nose all stuffed up and I was anxious with anticipation of what might hit me when I walked through the door.  Instead my husband told me that there’s news.  With my eyes I asked, “Good news or bad news?”  “Take a look”, he said and handed me an envelope from our mortgage company.

While unfolding the letter a thousand thoughts ran through my mind.  But God delivered, because there it was in black and white nothing less than a MIRACLE!  Instead of my interest rate increasing, as their previously letter threatened, the rate decreased lowering my payment by almost $100 a month.  That may not seem like much, but to us that is fantastic!  And it really is a miracle.  God answered my prayer because I leaned on Him and I trusted His provision.

One of the names of God is Jehovah Jireh, The Lord our provider.  He truly does provide all our needs and many times our wants.  I’m so thankful to God for fulfilling His promises to me and granting me His protection and provision.

Once again ladies, I implore you to trust God.  I’ll say it again, TRUST GOD!  He will save you, protect you, deliver you and provide for you if you are willing to completely, and utterly rest your faith in Him.  That's not just lip service because I know firsthand that He does what He says He will do.  He’s a true, honest, and loving God!

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord thank you for once again coming to my rescue with a miracle and keeping us from being priced out of our mortgage.  I thank you God for all you amazing provisions and I vow to continue trusting you with all my needs.  And for my sisters-in- Christ who are sitting back waiting and trusting you for a miracle of their own, please deliver it soon, precious Father.   In Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN