Liebster Award!

Liebster

I’d like to say a big “THANK YOU” TO  lostgirl17site (hopefully I did the links right – I’m still new at this!) https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/73413001 for nominating me for the Liebster award! I am beyond grateful for the nomination. I love reading her blog because she captures emotions incredibly well.  Her raw honesty reminds me of my teenage self, except that she is much stronger than I was then.

My favorite blogger is beautybeyondbones.com (https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/36990166)

Her writing is so incredibly open and honest, it makes me feel like I’m talking with a friend. Her story is an “out of the ashes” one.  Though I have not personally experienced anorexia, I love the fact that she is a role model to those who have.  To everyone else, she is an amazing writer who relates on so many levels the experiences she is going through.  Her perspective is ever-changing, and she’s full of introspection, a trait that I believe all good communicators possess.

Questions from Lostgirl17site.

1) why did you start blogging?  The “official” reason I started my blog in October because I’m in the process of publishing my first book and the publisher recommended I begin blogging to develop an online presence to connect with readers.  The reality is, however, that I’ve been “blogging” on a small scale through email with a small group of people supporting me on a life journey to a healthier life.  Through a weekly newsletter, I “blogged” on a variety of topics and was told I should do it more often.   As I started blogging on WordPress, I was impressed by the sense of community and encouragement that everyone provides to everyone else – what a wonderful way to foster creativity!

2) last time you cried? why?   Over the weekend.   Over the past month or so, various people with whom I am acquainted (some closer than others) have been impacted by very sudden and unexpected loss of lives of people close to them.  Over this past weekend, in our community, a 12-year-old girl in our middle school collapsed of a cardiac arrest at our school’s last home football game of the season. She is currently in a coma at Children’s Hospital.  My heart is devastated for her family.

3) why do you write? Or what made you start writing? I actually started writing many years ago as a means to communicate my sadness.  I thought no one else would understand me, so I wrote to myself and shared with no one. I recently discovered my early journals, and realized that there are many bloggers who are going through what I went through – some have emerged stronger and are sharing their victory stories with others, and others are still reaching out through their passionate words. I continue to write to share with those who have not yet discovered that there IS hope; they CAN emerge stronger than they ever thought they were.

4) who is the most important person in your life? Jesus is the most important person in my life. I hit a point in my life where I knew I was nothing without Him.  In addition to Jesus, my husband, three children, mother, and many other friends and family are incredibly important to me.

5) what are your views on body shaming? Body shaming, or, quite honestly any other type of shaming of another human being is cruel and heartless.  Very often, however, I find that hurting people hurt people. I dare say that those who engage in berating other human beings are, in some way, trying to feel better about themselves, and believe that, by putting someone else down, they are in some way elevating themselves.  I wish, for all the world, that I could heal the hurt caused by someone else in this way.  In the same way, I wish that, for the offender, that I could remove the hurt and shame in their life that caused them to lash out to hurt someone else.  I believe that we are, indeed, created in God’s image, and, as such, should never participate in putting others down for any reason.

6) if you could have one superpower what would it be? My superpower would be teleporting so I could travel all over this beautiful earth.

7) what qualities do you look for in your life partner?  Compassion and understanding, quiet strength, and, above all else, someone who “gets” me.

8) what is love to you? Have you ever been in love? Love is an idyllic state – true love is not a feeling, but a deep commitment we have for one another that transcends superficial infatuation.  True love is hard to find, but if you’re lucky enough to find it, never let it go. John 15:!3 “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

9) whats your favorite song? Why? Don’t Stop Believing (Journey) – fun to play, fun to sing, crowds love it

Q10) your favorite blogger? Why? There are so many to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one. If I had to pick just one, I would probably say beautybeyondbones.com because of her raw honesty as she, too, journeys through life.

Ten Random Facts about me:

  1. I started playing the piano at the age of 4
  2. I once turned down an opportunity to play keyboards in a band on a cruise ship.
  3. I have a degree in electrical engineering, though music is my passion
  4. I married my high school sweetheart, and we are still together. I’ve been with him longer than I’ve been without him.
  5. I am an introvert, though no one seems to believe me.
  6. I love scary movies.
  7. My biggest desire is to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
  8. I can laugh at myself, which is good because I embarrass myself regularly.
  9. I still have my original teddy bear. His name is “Teddy”
  10. I love roller coasters and thrill rides.

Nominations:

  1. Running to win https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72284409  
  2. Thethoughtfulbrain https://thethoughtfulbrainblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/thoughtful/
  3. Makafui’s Journal: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/136926569
  4. Following my Bliss to Blessings and Beyond https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/53362591
  5. Walks in Glory https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/50411718

. So, my fellow bloggers, Here are the rules for accepting the Liebster award:

  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you, links their blog. Include award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate 10 others and share your post with them so they see it.

MY QUESTIONS ARE:

1) What is your purpose in writing

2) Who is your biggest inspiration?

3) What breaks your heart?

4) What would you consider your defining moment in life?

5) If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

6) Name one trait that you believe is important in a significant other

7) Where do you turn when you feel helpless?

8) Have you ever had someone pray for you? If so, for what?   If not, what would you want to be prayed for?

Q9) What are your future writing plans?

Q10) Your favorite blogger? Why?

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Metamorphosis 

In the quietness of this morning, as I reflect on God’s mercy, I’m filled with Gratitude that He loves me enough not to leave me where He found me.  You see, somewhere along the way, I realized that I didn’t like who I had become. I knew that.  I knew I wanted to change, to become something new, but I didn’t know how to start.

I was reminded of a butterfly, that emerges a beautiful creature from a cuccoon.  They start a creepy caterpillar 🐛 rather disgusting to look at.

In their initial state, they seemingly bring no value.   Their cocoon state is even uglier

But when they emerge from their cocoon, they are a beautiful new creature, with new abilities and a brand new outlook on life.

God is so cool that way!  He takes what is seemingly of no value, and breathes new life into it, shaping it into what He intended all along.

If you are feeling like an ugly caterpillar today, the good news is that you do not have to stay where you are.  If you are willing, He will take and shape you into a beautiful new creature with a new outlook on life!

For me, the first step was to acknowledge that I wasn’t who I wanted to be.   I found role models who exhibited traits I admired and began to emulate.   I Asked God to begin shaping me into who He wants me to be and began to listen for His voice. Spending time in His Word helped to fill me with new perspectives, and slowly I began to emerge from my cocoon of self doubt into a new creature.  I know that the metamorphosis is not complete but will continue to evolve as I allow Him to continue to shape me in His image.  For that, I am eternally grateful to the One who allows me to change.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright Journey-For-Life. 2017. All rights reserved. 

New International Version Philippians 1:6

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

Surreal – reflections on 9/11

via Daily Prompt: Surreal

I remember it well – the phone call I received from my mother on the morning of September 11, 2001.   At first, the conversation was like any other when we wanted to share news with one another.  “You aren’t going to believe this,” she started.  “A plane just hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center.”   Both she and I assumed it to have been a small piper plane whose pilot made a terrible error. In the next few seconds, she began her now-famous, “Oh my stars, oh my stars!” She left me hanging for a few moments while she was digesting what was happening before her eyes.   “What???” I exclaimed, wondering what could possibly have happened.   “There’s another one!”  I learned later that my mother had poured her morning coffee and turned the news on to start her day, and heard the “big news” of the day.  It has just occurred minutes before, but already the Today Show was reporting on it… and, quite literally, while she and I were on the phone the second plane hit the tower, and the whole nation became aware that we were under attack.    Stunned and somewhat in disbelief, I looked around my office quad to see if anyone else had received a phone call from home or was aware what was happening.  No one was.   For a few moments, it seemed I was the only one in my office who understood the gravity of what was happening.  Slowly, other people in my office received phone calls from loved ones, telling them to turn on the news, and began comparing notes on the details we knew.

We gathered in a conference room equipped with a television to understand the situation.  Overwhelmed by the sight of what was happening before my eyes, I felt as if i were watching the scene from behind a movie screen.  I somehow felt disconnected.  It was all so surreal that I thought it couldn’t possibly be happening.   Yet there i was, along with the rest of our beloved nation, in the midst of unprecedented chaos.

Over the next few hours and days, we saw horrible visions of people jumping out of windows to their certain death.  In the first few days and weeks after the attack, our nation turned to God for answers.   Churches left their doors open just so that people could come in and pray. Companies changed their advertising signs to ask for prayer. For a moment, it seemed as if our country was coming together as one, both to console each other as well as form a unified message to our enemies that we would not be broken. For a moment, we put aside our differences, our political views, our party affiliations, our religious opinions, and came together as One Nation Under God to humbly ask for help and healing.

As time wore on, we evolved into the “new norm.”   Although wars continue to be fought, and citizens continue to lose their lives for the cause, it seemed complacency replaced compassion. Slowly we returned to focus on our differences, our political views, our party affiliations, our religious opinions, divided for our own agendas. For all practices, it seems as if the world goes on….until I visited the Ground Zero memorial during a mission’s trip to New York City this past summer. As I walked down the road toward the memorial, I was overwhelmed by a flood of emotions, remembering the pictures I had seen from the day that brought such a significant change in our nations’ history.   Vivid images resurfaced from deep in my memory of people running down the streets of New York covered in ashes from the devastation that once was a symbol of strength in our country. While I thought the original experience sixteen years ago was surreal, I underestimated the emotions of being in the presence of the place in the midst of the people who had personally experienced unthinkable evil. Solemnly, my fingers traced the names on the wall, recognizing families who lost multiple people simultaneously.   Though I knew none of the victims personally, I felt, in a strange way, that we were connected.

IMG_0407

In fact, we are connected, one with another. As co-members of humanity, we are sewn together with a thread that connects our souls to one another. Indeed, we emerged from the ashes of that horrible morning, however we are splintered. With all the compassion of the world, I long for a time when, without tragedy, we would recognize the connection we have to one another and be able to set aside our differences in favor of loving support and encouragement to one another.

Identity Crisis

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/27030/posts/1640020686

Who is the person behind the mask?

The reticent smile shadowed by fake happiness.

The person you want me to see, not the person you really are

Beauty and success on the outside, emptiness and bitterness inside

You wear the mask well, but I can tell, because I, too, cover my ugliness

Afraid of what they’d think if they saw your scars, You paint a smile and play the part

You think you know, but you’re not fooling me, it’s easy to tell because I can see

We’re all hiding behind the mask that covers our vulnerabilities

But the One who made us knows what made you you and made me me

We can’t hide forever

God’s Voice Amidst the Noise

Over the past few weeks, as I’m working through the process of publishing my first book (which, by the way, I’m hoping to be released by Christmas time), I find myself asking “how do I hear God’s voice above all the other voices telling me what to do?” One friend sent me a link to a series by Andy Womack, which I thought was fantastic.   However, what happened yesterday was unmistakably the hand of God. We had a guest speaker in our Church today, and guess what his message was about?   You guessed it!  HOW TO HEAR GOD’s VOICE.

His message was simple yet deep. I want to share some highlights.  These are not my words, but words that moved me deeply that I want to pass on so others may be moved as well

1. confess your sins.   The sin we have in our lives becomes a barrier between us and God.

2 pursue intimacy with God    You can’t hear his voice if you don’t spend time with him.

3 practice hearing Him.  If you think you might have heard something through a feeling or an impression, write it down and check it against scripture.  He will never be inconsistent.

4. Obey Him.  When you hear his unmistakable voice obey Him.

As I thought about his words I recalled one time in particular, sitting on a bench watching my daughter play at the playground.  A woman was talking on her cell phone, visibly shaken and upset, talking to what seemed to be a friend about her husband.   I wasn’t particularly listening to the conversation, but i could tell by the way the woman acted that she was terribly upset.   I felt this “voice” inside me say something to the effect of, “tell her about me”.    I remember thinking that it was awkward; that she would think I had been eavesdropping and think I was crazy.  So I did nothing but sat there for a moment thinking about it.   Just then her phone rang again and she answered and walked away.  I had missed the opportunity because I didn’t seize the moment and I didn’t obey Gods voice.    I vowed never again to knowingly miss an opportunity to share the gospel, no matter how “strange” the opportunity seems.   

Practice listening.  Just like anything else, practice makes perfect.  I pray you hear His voice today.  

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2017 – Journey For Life.  All Rights Reserved

Out of the ashes

She slowly emerges, not fully sure that she’s made it.  She looked around and realizes that she’s still alive.   At first it surprises her, but then she begins to accept it.   Trembling, she stumbles to get her feet underneath her and take her first steps.  It’s awkward, like a baby deer, but after the first step it two, the exhilaration of survival kicks in and she builds momentum. With every step a new confidence emerges as she sheds the old self.   “I am no longer a victim”, she thinks to herself.   “I am a victor”.    Grateful to those who believed in her when she couldn’t believe in herself, and grateful to her God, who gave her purpose, she now accelerates toward the win, confident that she is fulfilling His (and her) purpose in life.    She is victorious.