Keepin' It Real, Mimi's Messages

Lean On Me Cuz It’s Lonely Up In Here

Ok, truth; how many of y’all just get stinkin’ lonely right now?

Let me see your hands!

Yep, and it’s one of those emotions that we hide, perhaps afraid if we admit it, there will be a landslide of others to follow. And well they may! But here’s the deal, once we admit that we are lonely, hopefully it will prompt us to reach out to others. And you can be guaranteed that there is a huge, immeasurable cloud of loneliness over the world right now. Isolation is not good for most of us. Perhaps introverts are faring better than those who love to be around people, but not being allowed to choose can take its toll on even those.

What can we do? Lean on each other!!

Loneliness is a room with a door that you open from the inside.

Admit that we need the voice, the face, of another person. No, we can’t leave our homes, but with all the ways to do face time with people, unless you have no phone or computer with a camera, you do have choices. Messaging, texting, old-fashioned email and calling are also choices and create that connection.

Now, because I have two teens in my home with me, you might think that I wouldn’t be lonely (but you do know that one can be lonely even when married or in a group of people, right?). And most of the time I am not, even though there are challenges. My son, who is mentally like a 5 year old, talks incessantly about Pokemon and what they do and who he has evolved into and who he caught–on and on continuously. Every 5 to 10 minutes all.day.long. Yeah, it gets a little tiring and challenging for my own mental health. (And makes writing, praying, and reading a bit tough, ha!) By the end of the day my ears are tired. If it would just warm up a bit here in Michigan we’d be outside more! My sweet daughter is usually holed up in her bedroom most of the day, only coming out if I make her do something or to get food, during which time we connect a bit. Our conversations are minimal because she has always struggled with communicating face-to-face and “doesn’t know what to talk about”. Thank goodness she likes to text! She is a true introvert. But, I do get a couple of hugs a day from them, and I treasure being with them. I am not alone. (By the way this is Day 33 that we have stayed at home. All three of us are at risk, so when they closed the schools on March 13, that was it for us.) 

What I long for is adult conversation. The kind where you talk about what you are thinking and look into each other’s eyes, and laugh at the funny stuff. And give hugs and eat together. Good thing I have to stay behind the door when the UPS guy comes by, or else I’d tackle him and say, “TALK to me!! Tell me anything! What is it like on the other side?”.  🙂 

So anyway, I found this video while chasing other rabbits, and thought it quite appropriate, especially since the participants are from all over the world, and this loneliness is worldwide. 

When my heart begins hurting with the loneliness I feel, I start jabbering to Jesus. He is with me. That’s what His name, Emmanuel, means: “God with us”. Yes, loneliness could take me down a dark hole, (shoot, even writing this is stirring those old feelings) but here’s what I do to stop it in its tracks. I say, “God my heart hurts right now. I miss having friends around me. I miss having someone to love me. I hate being alone. I need to talk to someone. But I know you are there. So will you please touch my heart? I want to be released of this hurt. And show me how to help someone else, so my mind is off of myself. Thank you for your love and faithfulness.” 

And then I get busy. I read (something fun to give my brain a rest), cook, walk outside, text or message someone, go sit with my son and see what he’s doing, (as if I didn’t already know! Ha!) 

I know that this time will pass, but loneliness is not something new for me. All of my immediate family is gone, and the rest live far away. I’ve had a lot of grief to deal with (loneliness, to me, is a kind of grief), even the loss of close friends when I retired. Perhaps that’s why I have tools to deal with it. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, and that sometimes it doesn’t take a while to ease. It does. But I’m so thankful and blessed that I have Emmanuel beside me, walking this crazy journey with me!

The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.

Mother Teresa

Reach out to others. Especially those you know are alone. My heart breaks for the ones in hospitals and nursing homes who can’t have family with them. And I pray that those who haven’t, in the past, been very attentive to their loved ones in nursing homes, or with their elders home alone, can now understand better the importance of contact with them. I know that when I was in my twenties I sure didn’t see the value of a visit with my grandmother, and I regret it now.  Let’s just say that the hardships of the past have given me more compassion. 

That’s all for now. Please be safe, stay home, find ways to reach out, and pray for others. And hey, please comment below so I know you are out there! 🙂

Much, much love. (I appreciate you!)

Passionista Mimi 

P.S. If you have ever wondered if God loves you, read my post “Does God Know Me?”

 

Supporting verses:

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 28:20 “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Inspiration

Grow In The Dark!

Your our first glance at this picture probably made your brain go, “Waaaat?”

Well, yes, it is quite the strange photo. But it does speak a thousand words…if you are like me and see stories in everything.

Here’s what I saw: like these crazy Allium bulbs–that were in bags in a dark place–we can grow in spite of the dark times around us.

These bulbs somehow “flipped a switch” that said it was time to grow. (Don’t you just love how the Creator did that?!) And grow they did. Imagine my surprise! (And chagrin, that I had not been a good Gardener Mama and planted them in the fall.)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands

in moments of comfort and convenience,

but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. 

Martin Luther King Jr.

So here’s the thing. Even though the COVID-19 virus that is ravaging our world is causing so much fear, stress, inconvenience, loss, grief, sorrow, and uncertainty, there are incredible things happening that demonstrate how adversity creates growth.

Creativity: some amazing displays of solutions in regards to social distancing . Examples are how loved ones are seeing their family members through windows, of how schools are doing online learning for the first time, teachers creating classes for their students, businesses working from home and holding Zoom meetings. The list goes on, this just names a few.

Empathy and compassion: people are going beyond their own convenience and needs to help others. Taking supplies and food to people, giving of their own items to help someone, and making meals for children, again, just a few.

Strength: oh my goodness, can I just say that our “essential workers” are super heroes?!! But so are you! The inner strength–the reserves you didn’t know you had–that you’ve had to draw from in order to endure is amazing!

Gratitude: all over the world people are showing their gratitude for the people who are working in the trenches, for what neighbors have done for them, for the ability to obtain supplies, and many other things. A couple of the ways that many are showing their gratitude is by painting signs and putting hearts in their windows. 

New self-awareness: I don’t know about you, but this whole pandemic has a tendency to bring out the uglies in me! I’m not happy about it, but it sure does put me on my knees before the One who can change me. It’s only Jesus in me that will help me change. But also, I have had time to spend in prayer and seeking Him that I haven’t had before. I am always driven by the need to “do”, but now I can just “be” without any feeling of guilt. It’s a beautiful thing and I will miss that. Maybe I can hang on to it.

Closeness to God: this whole pandemic has proven how easily things can get out of our control, and has brought a fresh realization that our only help and strength is from the Lord.

These are just briefly some of the ways I’ve observed how people are growing and rising to the occasion, doing things they never have before, looking outside of themselves, and learning to endure.

Some of us are being tested for the first time in our lives. And we don’t like it one bit, thank you very much! However, testing does produce strength. Just ask someone who has had to endure hardship.

And we do have these promises from God’s Word:

“Suffering produces endurance (fortitude, strength), and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I pray that you will be able to grow during these dark times.

Be like Allium…GROW in the DARK!!

Love and hugs,

Passionista

If you’d like to read about my own growth during hard times you can check out here and here. And to read what I wrote about strength read this.

 

 

 

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real

Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Roses

So here’s the deal.

It’s NOT always sparkle and shine in my life.

There are days like this week when I am burdened for a precious friend and feel helpless in the situation. When I am a bit tired of working, parenting alone, being this age with kids, being indoors, wanting something fun, loneliness, just the keeping on keeping on.

And there are some days when the only prayer I can form is, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

That is the real truth, folks. I get in those places too.

I thought maybe you should know.

I never want you to feel as if I downplay your pain. Or suggest that your difficult situation can just go away “poof”.

But I post the positive things I do because SOMEONE needs to read them.

And in my inner spirit those things are ME. They are what I do to keep doing.

I smile, I pray, I spend time being thankful, I reach out to others, I help others if at all possible….

All these things help to center me and bring the “yuck” back into perspective.

I do know that when we fill our brains with positive thoughts,

we attract more positive energy to ourselves.

And that is what being thankful is about.

That is what “speaking to the mountain” (see previous post) is about.

We actually DO have a choice in how we spend our focus/energy.

And when I’m in a funk, I choose to spend mine by rejoicing in all the good I see around me.

Being thankful for the many, many good things in my life.

And realizing that these funks don’t last forever.

Two things I know–God is always faithful, and the sun will eventually shine!

 

This is re-posted from three years ago! Really applies to today. 

Be well, safe, and blessed in these crazy time!

Much love and big hugs, 

Passionista

Inspiration

God Please Do It Again!

Our world cries out for God’s touch! Now is the time to storm the gates of heaven,

worship our God, and petition His throne for a mighty move on the earth.

This song helps me do that. 

God please do it again.

I’m praying for our nation and the world. Won’t you sing with me?

Click on this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOBIPb-6PTc 

 

Do It Again Elevation Worship

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet.

I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed.

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.

I’ll see You do it again
Oh-oh

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet.

And You never failed me yet
I never will forget
You never failed me yet
And I never will forget

Thank you,

Much love and prayers,

Mimi

Inspiration

Relinquish

 

 

I wrote this during a time of excruciating difficulty. 

I feel that someone needs it, as well as I , right now. 

Because I’ve been a control-freakish-type person,

relinquishing has been really hard for me. 

But, I do know that Jesus is the One I turn to. 

Hope this helps you today. 

Hugs and love,

Mimi

Mimi's Messages, Words To Help

Yes, My Dear, Your Opinion Does Matter

 

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”  PT Barnum

Humans are inclined to want everyone to be the same. Why are we uncomfortable with people who are “out there” or who don’t fit into a box very easily? Why is it that those people are often the ones under criticism?

We think, “If they would just be less bossy. Less brash. Less weird. And for goodness sake, quit spouting their opinion about EVERYthing!” Right?

It seems that everyone has an opinion these days and many are not afraid to share theirs on social media. Some even get a bit angry when others don’t support them.

In real life, are you able to share your opinion without getting shot down? I’m not talking about your publicized opinions, because social media is a relatively “safe” place to state yours, hiding behind disconnected print.

I want you to consider your partnerships, relationships, and work places.

For me, during my marriage I heard things like, “Why do you even ask my opinion? You are going to do whatever you want anyway.” And I usually ended up “paying” for having an opinion different from my husband’s. Let me tell you, this led to feeling as if I was stupid, and didn’t amount to much in our marriage (come to find out I was very wrong about the first and quite right about the latter). It’s not a very good way to flourish. When we state our opinions—which results in others becoming angry—we have a tendency to stop expressing what we feel, especially if our nature is to avoid conflict.

To many of us, being able to even have an opinion is difficult. For me, because I was not allowed to discuss or argue with my parents (or teachers), I suppressed what I wanted. As an adult, if someone asked me how I felt about something, I would frantically fumble around inside my brain realizing that I couldn’t get in touch with how I felt. I truly didn’t know. “Going with the flow” kind of does that. Yielding my own voice, ideas, and feelings about things had become a deeply entrenched way of life.

Do we allow our children to have a different opinion than we do? I really try to ask mine to tell me their side of an issue. Of course, I’m still the parent, and must do what I feel is safe and profitable for my children. But if there is wiggle room, perhaps we need to allow our youngest members of society to state their case, and learn how to do so without it becoming a fighting match. Sometimes compromise is possible, and when a child (or anyone, really) feels like their voice is heard, it gives them confidence.

And dear one, you need to use your voice. You have every right to how you feel. You are worthy and capable, and the world needs your light. The world wants to experience your heart and what you are passionate about. You have a beautiful brain, so use it. If you don’t know how you feel, begin investigating facts. Read. Study. And form your own opinion about matters that matter.

In personal relationships, help the other person to understand how you feel by saying things like, “When you react with anger as I give you my opinion, it makes me feel as if I don’t matter and that you are trying to bully me into agreeing with you and submitting to your opinion at the cost of who I am.” Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it’s true, isn’t it?

In the work place, when your boss or another employee belittles your opinion on work issues, perhaps you can say (in addition to the above comment), “I’ve been hired here because I am capable. I have an interest in this job. My opinion matters as much as anyone else’s. I’d like for you to listen to what I have to say without becoming angry or acting like I am stupid.”

Wow, how empowering! Scary? You bet it is! Does it take practice? Yes. Stepping out of our comfort zone is always risky. But would you rather go through your life, remain in a relationship, or be stuck in a job where you feel belittled or stupid? Now I don’t want to give you false hope, because there are a lot of difficult people in our world, and you may be working with some or in relationships with some. Voicing your opinion may bring you physical danger or repercussions. You will need to be smart about it.

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.

But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.

Melinda Gates

Your voice really IS important, and being able to speak what you think and feel is empowering. Test it out and see if perhaps your words can make a difference in your life. Best case would be the other person doesn’t know that their words and actions make you feel inferior. And maybe there can be a compromise. We all need respect, but you must respect yourself first. So speak up!

Cheers to you! I am rooting for ya, and I want you to know that I believe you are smart, fabulous, and have a lot to offer our world!

Here are some great articles for you:

Raising Our Daughters to Speak Up and Why Women Should Reclaim Their Power

 

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real

With ALL My Heart?

I say I love and follow Jesus with all of my heart. But the true story is that I can only love with the part that’s been healed from its wounding. Feeling abandoned and rejected, looking for love in all the wrong places because of my abuse (can I get an amen?), not loving myself and who I am—these things kept me from fully loving God (and others) and I needed to be healed and my heart restored. And let me tell you—that’s been a process! And not a lot of fun. But being able to live freely as who I am, without the lies haunting me, has been worth it.

Satan—the enemy of our souls whose only intent is to kill, steal, and destroy those whom God created—begins his diabolical wounding of us from birth and never stops until our death. He uses other people, life circumstances, and even natural disasters, to plant seeds of bitterness and despair in our hearts, often crippling our ability to love God wholeheartedly.

For example, if someone you love has fought a disease and you prayed for and believed in their healing but still that person dies, what do you do? Satan wants you to be so angry at God that you turn away from Him and live your life in bitterness and despair. God wants you to turn to Him, lean on Him so He can help you with your pain, can carry you, walk with you, and begin to heal the wounding caused by grief and loss.

God gave us the Holy Spirit, and He gives us the power to overcome in these situations. He helps our brain wrap around the loss and deal with the lack of answers. He helps us see that disease does not come from God’s hand, and that He is not punishing you or your loved one. And most of all He can give us peace, even in the midst of our loss. And a promise. I’m so thankful that I can rest on the promise of seeing my family (every member of my original family, except me, has died) in heaven, a place prepared for those who love God.

So what about the wounding that happens during our lifetime, even as children? When I began to understand that I’d been abused as a young child, which led to behaviors that wounded me even more, I had a choice. I could have been mad that God “let” those things happen. Or I could turn to Him as the Healer of those wounds—the only way I could spend the rest of my life wholly restored.

God’s desire and design is to heal those broken places

and heart issues in us.

As I drew closer to Him and spent time getting to know Him, He revealed to me the areas in my heart that needed healing, that had caused me to build walls around my heart.

As we go deeper with Him, He goes deeper into our hearts to reveal and heal. It takes time and I’ll never say it is easy (think surgery). It takes relinquishing. It takes us giving Him permission.

God wants to heal and renew us. He knew that the enemy of our souls would seek to destroy us and keep us from a relationship with Him. He made a way for us to live healed! Jesus came that we may have life in fullness, but that takes being restored to the glory God created for us.

John Eldredge says it this way,

“Your deepest convictions—the ones that really shape your life—are somewhere in the depths of your heart.

As God restores more of your story and broken heart, you will be able to live in the fullness of God’s promise,

the promise of a life set free” 

Excerpt from Restoration Year: A 365 Day Devotional.

Write this down:

As I am healed and the walls are removed, the larger my faith, trust, and capacity to love God become.

 

Supporting scriptures:

The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature. The old has passed away, new things have come2 Cor. 5:17

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

I will never say that healing from trauma and hurtful experiences is easy, but I will say that healing is worth it. And Jesus is waiting to walk you through it. Just call on Him, He is near.

And I’ll be praying for your blessings, healing, and a life of fullness! Let me know how it goes.

Passionista Mimi

 

 

 

 

Keepin' It Real

Without Jesus It’s All Downhill

Without Christ in me I can do nothing. Well I can do things but if I want what I do to be effective and worthwhile, I need to be guided by his Holy Spirit—Him living in me.

I’m a pretty independent sort. Even as a preschooler I would take care of myself without “bothering” my parents in the night when I’d get sick or have an accident. Unfortunately this (afraid of being a problem) began while I was still in the womb (but that’s for another time). So I was programmed since birth to “do it myself” and have striven all my life to get it right.

It is so refreshing to know that I don’t have to live (and feel) like this as one of God’s children. Did you know we were created to be dependent? Yes, you really did read that correctly! We were meant to depend on God and have union with Him. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, you will bear much fruit. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” John 15:5

God takes responsibility for telling me what direction my life should take. Through His Holy Spirit, He is the one who speaks to my heart to assure me of steps, actions, words. To those who aren’t followers of Jesus, it most likely seems like a cop-out, a lazy way to live–taking no responsibility. Of course, that’s not the way it is. I do have a huge responsibility. I must stay in tune with my heavenly father, asking for guidance, giving permission for Him to change and direct my life.

I must then choose to follow. Yep, very independent me. Give over the reins. Trust.  (Ugh, that word).

Ask for help,

choose,

give over,

trust.

All I can say is that God has proven He is faithful during the many years of my life and experiences. By now these things are not as difficult to do. Don’t get me wrong, my independent spirit stands up a LOT! I am no wimp. In fact, I’m a Warrior Woman, with a strong personality! (Which I now know is not a curse and that God can handle me.)

When my heart is right, full of love, and seeking Him, He will accomplish His desire through me. And there is no other way I want to live.

And by the way, even Jesus said that He couldn’t do anything without God telling him to. 

“I tell you this, even the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what he sees His Father doing.” John 5:19

“I (Jesus) did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.” John 12:49

Jesus chose humanity and received His power from God. We can live as He did. 

 

How about you? Do you struggle with this concept? Or do you understand it and try to live wholly connected to God? I’d love to know!

Big hugs and love, 

Passionista Mimi

 

Keepin' It Real

Doubt is Unbelief

Stop doubting and believe! John 20:27

Jesus’ disciples had just been through the worst time of their lives. Jesus, their  teacher and friend, had been killed and placed in a tomb. Three days later when some of the disciples told Thomas they had seen Jesus as the risen Lord, Thomas told them he had to see it to believe it. He wanted proof that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. Jesus, being, well, Jesus, and loving Thomas deeply, appeared again to the disciples when Thomas was present. When Jesus showed Thomas the scars from his crucifixion, Thomas immediately believed that He was the Lord and had returned from the dead.

Are we like Thomas? Do we have to be shown something that is written in God’s word (for example His faithfulness or His promises) to believe it’s true? But what happens to us when we haven’t seen yet? What happens when we are still struggling and God hasn’t provided a solution? Do we begin to doubt if He will? Do we doubt His love for us and His faithfulness? Or even if He can provide what we need?

We are a society of gratification—the quicker the better! But God is not interested in our societal expectations. He loves us and wants us to grow in Him. He knows that adversity can bring us closer to Him, to His heart of love, to closer communion with Him. Even if that communion consists only of, “Oh God! Oh God!” (The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows the cry of our hearts.)

How can our faith grow if it is never tested? It’s often through these hard times of testing that God is able to prove His unfailing love and attention to our needs. Don’t you know that Thomas was at the end of any faith he might have had in his dear friend, Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah. That “Messiah” had been killed, and in the worst, most agonizing and humiliating way possible. Thomas was in deep, deep grief, and perhaps feeling a bit of anger too. “This is not how it was supposed to go. Where is the kingdom, the reign, the wonderful life I thought Jesus was talking about? I saw him die. You say he’s risen, but buddy, I gotta see it to believe it. I believed once and now I’m paying for it.”

You gotta love Thomas. He said what a lot of us think, really. Jesus commended those who believed without seeing him first (verse 29). But we can ask God if He will prove to us that He exists and give us the faith we need to believe in Him. 

By now in my life, I have firm convictions and believe in God—period. During some intensely difficult times I began seeing items in stores with the word “believe” on them. I picked up a few and it became my “word” for the season. I embraced this word, not because I lacked belief in God’s ability to take care of my problems, but because I chose to believe He would. Those words were affirmations of what my heart chose and reminders for my brain. Around the house whenever I’d see one, I’d breathe the prayer, “Oh yes, God, I believe You will provide.” 

I grew up in an environment of belief. (Many times, my parents had to believe for food on the dinner table that night. And God, being the faithful one He is, provided for our family of five.) I’m very thankful for the foundation that belief provided me. AND the gift of faith that God has given me. Did you know that you can ask God for the very thing He requires from us? That blows my mind. It’s like He says, “Child, I want you to give me your faith, lots of faith. I want you to fill this big box with your faith in me. But first, let me give you a warehouse full of faith so you can give me a box full of it back.”

I know this is very elementary, and probably not exactly scripturally accurate, but faith is a gift from God. And the more we are in difficult situations where our faith in God is tested, the more we choose to believe in His ability and desire to help us, the stronger our faith becomes. Because He will always come through for us.

Lest you think that I’ve had an easy life so it’s easy to talk about God’s faithfulness, I’ll share some of the most dramatic ways God has proven His faithfulness. (Believe me, there’s more!)

Shortly after marriage when our total income for the year was minimal to say the least, the refrigerator broke, my husband’s contact (which was necessary for him to see since he was legally blind) tore, and our car was stolen and joy-ridden until it was totaled (two cars were necessary because I drove 45 minutes one way to work). We had no money in reserve and no way of getting any. But, God came through and provided not only a car, but for our financial needs as well.

When my husband was attacked and chemicals thrown in his face and eyes, not once but twice, God came through and healed his eyes.

When I was left totally alone, betrayed by most of those I’d been closest to, God came through and not only healed my heart toward them, but as a result of that emotionally bereft time, came into my grief with more and more of Himself. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything because He drew me even closer to Him than I’d have ever known. I didn’t much care for the excruciating barrenness and alone-ness at the time, but I say now that the experience was worth knowing deeply, and personally, of God’s faithfulness and love in a way I’d never experienced before.

When I went through another devastating time–this one ended in divorce, God came through and provided a place of safety for my children and me to stay. He provided for all of our physical needs, and also healed my broken heart, helping me to parent my two very hurt and confused seven-year-olds. He knitted us together in a stronger bond, making a sweet, loving family from the three of us. My children were content, even in the midst of their grief.

After a period of years during which I was stripped of all my “identities”—wife, daughter, sister, teacher, pastor’s wife, worship leader, home owner, person with good credit—through the deaths of my family members, my divorce, my retirement, and bankruptcy, I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t have a clue “who” I was anymore, had lost most of my support system, was adrift in emotions, and felt weighed down. Over a period of about two years God and I did a lot of work on me. He came through with direction, provision, and so much love to flood my grieving heart. He set me on a new path that brings fulfillment and allows me freedom to be the person He created me to be.

I have many experiences of my own to prove God’s faithfulness and love to me. I know He has our best interests in mind. Do I ever get willful and try to do things my own way? Of course I do. But I’m better at relinquishing the reins these days.

I choose to believe. I choose to seek Him. There is no room for doubt in my life because to doubt God means that I’m believing the lie that God is not able. And I have learned and know, deeply in my “knower” that:

And you can know it too. Carry this verse with you, say it throughout the day and ask God to help you believe it. In a culture that glorifies the self-made person, it’s reassuring to know that it is GOD in us that is carrying out His purpose and satisfying the desires of our heart—way more than we could imagine.

Be blessed beyond measure, my friends, and thank you for stopping by. 

Love and big hugs, 

Passionista Mimi

 

Keepin' It Real

Too Exhausted For Goals!

January. Ugh. People are like, “Oh I love the beginning of a new year! I’m setting my intentions. I’m writing my goals. I’m picking a new theme or word of the year”. And I’m like, “Nope, just let me crawl back into bed.”  

In Michigan where I live it’s one of the grayest, dreariest months of the year. Holidays and fun are over. Now it’s just the tasks of every day in front of me. Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I’m very blessed and I’m so full of gratitude. To be honest, though, by January I’m usually pretty tired.

I make a trip to Kentucky every Thanksgiving (eight hours on the busiest travel day of the year—and this year I was battling 40-60 mph winds!).  And then for Christmas I drive eleven hours to Missouri. I take these trips willingly and with joy because I am visiting my closest family members (the rest are even further away) and I love being with them. But I am the only driver so it is a bit exhausting for me.

The months of November and December are full of activities, of course. By the time January comes around, every bone in my body hurts. Did I mention that I’ve lived a few decades? (Ha!) But again, I’m so very grateful I’m able to do these things.

Back to wanting to crawl into bed. Honestly, it’s the best thing for me. After my son is on the bus and my daughter is dropped off, because I work from home I’m able to take a few days in the beginning of January to replenish. For me that means going back to bed or taking several hours to sit and read so my body and mind relax, or just puttering around the house with my plants or cleaning a bit. I try to keep my calendar as empty as possible, giving myself time to rejuvenate.

I spend time in prayer, seeking. My most earnest desire is that others see Jesus in me. So I seek direction on what that looks like. I want to be used of God. Effectively. But I know my ideas are not usually His so I need to hear His voice. I order to do that, I need to be still, and quiet.

Lately, in blogs across the internet-o-sphere, there is much talk about self-care. Taking care of myself has been a work-in-process through the years, and I’ve only begun to give myself permission to sleep when needed and read when I can without feeling guilty. Isn’t that wild? I’ve been a serious go-getter for most of my sixty-seven years, and “deserve” to take breaks now and then. But that old mindset of “I need to be doing something” wants to re-surface constantly. I am a warrior woman, and I’ve done battle with that lie, but it dies hard.

In January I am exhausted enough to put that lie, and myself, to rest. And that is I what I do.

Does this resonate with any of you? Are you like me and kind of detest the “let’s set goals” emphasis in January? Are you also too exhausted for the mental and emotional work that it actually takes? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know I’m not alone in this, or if you have any suggestions for me. This year, if I feel the need to set goals, I think I’ll do it in October! 🙂 

Here’s to a fruitful and satisfying 2020!

Big love and sparkle hugs,

Passionista Mimi