Saturday, August 20, 2011

Are you Beautiful?

Have you ever googled  the work Beauty?  What do you find? Do you know that only 2 percent of women would describe themselves as beautiful? Are you in that small sampling? After hearing the lies we have all been told regarding the narrow definition of beauty, I would like to redefining beauty. Only then can we know we are beautiful as well as pass along a healthy definition to our future generations.

What exactly is beauty?  Can beauty be achieved through attitude, spirit, and other attributes that have nothing to do with physical appearances?  Can a woman can be beautiful at any age.  Do all woman have something about her that is beautiful?   Most women would answer yes to all of the questions above they also believe that physical attractiveness is about how one looks, whereas beauty includes much more of who a person is.

Women rate happiness, confidence, dignity, and humor as powerful components of beauty, along with the more traditional attributes of physical appearance, body weight and shape, and even a sense of style. 

Now, stop for a minute and think about it. When you hear (or say) the phrase, "She is beautiful," is it made in reference to what is on the outside or the inside? Beauty is defined by God and God alone. He sets the standard for beauty and gives us clues throughout Scripture as to what defines a beautiful woman.

Unfortunately, the definition of beauty given by most women usually fails to recognize the key component that determines a woman's happiness, confidence, dignity, and humor. That key component, of course, is faith. Just as the Proverbs 31 passage concludes, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (Prov. 31:30). Faith in a loving and forgiving God will be the root of any and all manifestations of beauty. Physical beauty will fade over time, but true beauty (virtue) is timeless.

You are created in the image of God, and God doesn't make junk! Like a snowflake, every person is unique. No two are the same. God sees you as a masterpiece; and when you look in the mirror, He wants you to know it! Each morning i say to to the Lord Psalm 139:14, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well ."  It helps me to remind me that i am Gods unique and purposely made creation.

Do not consider his appearance or his height, 
for I have rejected him. 
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. 
Man looks at the outward appearance, 
but the LORD looks at the heart. 
1 Samuel 16:7

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, 
such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God's sight. 
1 Peter 3:3-4

Physical exercise has some value, 
but spiritual exercise is much more important,
for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.
1 Timothy 4:8 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Answered Prayers

Almost three years ago, I started a new job as a care coordinator.  It was an office job that made me part a team.  The team was made up of seven ladies (myself included) all come from different walks of life.  Am was  a divorcee, working an office job as well as being a bartender at night both to meet ends meet to take care of her two children.  Ka had just recently graduated from college working her first "real job."  Ke was still a student and working full time one day dreaming of becoming a police officer.  Kr was married and working her 9-5 shift and always seeming to hurt herself someway or another.  Di, a single parent to two boys who she loved more than life itself.  Even though she was a mother, a hard worker, and a really good friend, she was still voted "Freek-A-Leek" by the team!  And then there was Sarah.

Sarah was different than anyone i had ever met.  She and I didn't really have a lot in common.  She moved here from Utah, I had lived in Anchorage my whole life.  She was stead fast in her faith, I knew there was a God but never really called upon him more than the one time i really needed him.  She was confident, even though i always pretended to be I was so very far from it.  She never said a curse word, the F word slipped out of my mouth like drool after you visit the dentist. She was a virgin about to marry her life time friend and new found love, I had just broken up with by boyfriend and sleeping around once again.  She was happy, and I was struggling to find who i was so that I could get there one day.

A few months went by working closely together, and I could see that Sarah truly had some kind of secret to happiness.  She was always positive, forgiving, honest, loyal, and resilient.  We begin to forge a friendship, a friendship that would change my life forever.

A few people had quit, and Sarah had moved into my office.  Now we were two differant people, she was married, and I was newly pregnant.  We began sharing stories of life, family, love, and so much more.  After hearing more about Sarah's life, I knew quickly that i needed to change mine.  I wanted to be able to give my son a good foundation, good morals and values, and I wanted him to be happy.  

I began to ask her questions about her church, she was LDS (Latter Day Saint).  Little by little I learned about Sarah and the way her faith shaped the woman she had become.  One afternoon, I was having a really bad day; thoughts of being single and raising a baby all on my own.  It was quite over whelming.  I Broke down and cried on Sarah's shoulder, she just listened and was there for me.  She told me about the laying of hands and that her Husband held the Priest Hood and would be more than willing to say a blessing over me.  I told her I would think about it.  A few days went by and Sarah hadn't said anything about it again, but i knew that i could use a blessing.  I asked her if she had a night open that I could come over.  Sure enough the next night, I was over at Sarah's house eating dinner, listening to her share the book of Mormon with me, and I also received my first blessing.

I put my hands on my growing belly as Jed placed his hands upon my head.  As he said the blessing (a prayer of health, healing, and happiness) tears fell down my face.  I felt deep inside a sense of peace.  An overwhelming peace.  I went home that night with my own copy of The Book of Mormon and couldn't wait to discover what would be the beginning to my new life.

Over the next year, I read and read this great book!  I learned more about life, love, and happiness.  I started going to church, received the lessons, grew spiritually and challenged myself to become someone i never thought possible.  I was baptized!  I was forgiven!  I was at peace!  I was happy!

The day of my baptism, I gave my testimony and Sarah gave hers too! Tears filled the relief society room.  She had been praying for for a friend, I had been praying for a miracle.  That evening both of our prayers were answered!

For by grace are you saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God 
~Ephesians 2:8

Sunday, August 14, 2011

From Beauty to Broken and Back Again

Today Jariah and I went walking on one of our favorite beaches here in Kodiak, Mission Beach.  If your from the island you know you have to wait for the tide to go out so there will be sand to walk on as well as be able to see the rocks so that you can find little treasures.  We make it down the little hill and to the rocks, as the rocks meet the sand you can find neatest things; drift wood, smooth weird shaped rocks, and my favorite sea glass.

Sea glass is a timeless treasure.  The journey a piece takes may have begun decades or centuries before it was found.  Sea glass starts out as refuse glass that was broken then discarded into the sea, only to find its seeming resting ground in the ocean or upon the shoreline. Yet the piece is awakened as powerful elements of sand, tide, water and weather buffet the shard over time and terrain.  It is transformed during the voyage; sanded, smoothed, hydrated & finally renewed into a gem. After a lifetime of tumbling, the colorful jewel washes up on the shore and waits to be discovered.  

After finding my first pieces of sea glass it really had me thinking about how the life of sea glass compares to ones life after sin.  First we are all born beautiful and pleasing to the world,  a Japanese glass float.  How
amazing! At an early age, you learn about God and who he is or you don't, the floats are put on boats some stay attached to the boats, and some fall off and into the depths of the oceans and seas.  Without the Lord in your life or knowledge of, and you chose to sin, you are broken apart to little pieces.  Your once beautiful life broken to pieces from sin.  You are washed away in waves, beaten against rocks, rubbed on by the rough sand (the trials in your life).  As you learn your lessons and grow closer to our savior, you make it closer to the shore.  Little by little, struggle by struggle, win by win.  One day you finally have the AH HA moment in your life where you realize without GOD you wouldn't be here, without God your sins would have never been forgiven (lost at sea forever), with God all things are possible!  When you finally make it out, you realize that you have your beauty back, your sins forgiven, a NEW you! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Compassion is an Action!

"OMG. I hate my job and morbidly obese people who call themselves "handicapped"... bitch your just fat and lazy, not disabled. Thank you war vets who lost legs and such fighting for our freedom. They deserve special treatment, not you fatty bitch."

I woke up this morning, next to my amazing little boy this am.  We looked out the window at all the fog surrounding the island.  We snuggled a little more, then I got up out of bed to go weigh myself.  I've been really working on my weight, not to look better for anyone, but to feel better for myself.  I take the leap every morning to see what the scale screams at me, today, I had lost!  A good amount at that.  Then I make breakfast for Jariah and I we eat together as usual.  Then I check my Facebook page, first post i see is the one above. I was totally shocked!  My next thoughts went like this; I should write a comment and tell her how this makes me feel, maybe I shouldn't she might ease me from her single mother page that i really like, Oh well If she erases me this cannot go on.  I responded to her post with the following;

"This post surprised me coming from you (it would if anyone wrote it). Some people are very lazy and some people have health and/or mental conditions that cause them to be obese. The amount of fat on ones body can causes them to be handicapped. Knees cant hold them up, heart and many more health issues come with being obese. I don't know what kind of " special treatment"this person was looking for, but instead of slandering them on face book, when you may not know their specific health condition, maybe pray for them to have the strength to control their eating and health. I know that you are wanting to be an LPN, depending on what where you are placed, you may run into A LOT of obese people. 67% of the US is over weight or obese. Please think about how the person you were helping (your job) would feel if she read this post. I know i would be hurt, and i would never go back to Lowe's again. Just a thought."

I know that I have judged people in my life (never taking it more than a conversation with a trusted friend), but now I am wondering is that even right to do?  What does God say about judgment and compassion?  

To him that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friend; 
but he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. 
Job 6:14
 Remember them that are in bonds, 
as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, 
as being yourselves also in the body.
Hebrews 13:3

Who is weak, and I am not weak? 
who is offended, and I burn not?
2 Corinthians 11:29

Passage and passage again, the Lord tells us to shows compassion and sets a great example for us.  As he tells us to love each other and not pass judgment, for that is his job, we shall be blessed.  I have made judgments myself, being the human I am, but i am striving to be more like Jesus Christ. Each time i begin to pass judgment, I think to myself, what would he do in this situation?  What would he see in this person?  How can I help this person? 

The poor, the rich, the sick, the healthy, the hurting, the healed, He loved them all the same and showed compassion to everyone!  He had so much compassion for me (and you) that HE DIED for us!  So my question to myself and others;  What would you do for your Neighbor?

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

I moved to this Island 7 months ago, and I am finally feeling like this is home!  When I first arrived, It was sort of Like a working vacation; hanging out with the other staff and the ladies who live here, driving around viewing Kodiak, relaxing, not having to "go to work."  I thought it was pretty awesome!  Then about four weeks went by and I started to realize I wouldn't be going home, hanging out with friends, and worst of all not seeing my family.  My mind started questioning weather I should be here or not.  As the days went on and my mind kept thinking of what could be instead of what is, I was being ripped to shreds inside. 

I took the live-in job here in Kodiak because it gave me; stability for Jariah and I, a way to pay off my dept, and a way to get away from the city life that was suffocating me.  As a single mother, the best thing i can do for my son if provide stability for him.  I didn't want to be that struggling mom so many become when they are left alone with a child.  Life is expensive, children are expensive.  Sitting and adding my bills together and comparing to what i was making, there was no way i could provide for my son and myself the things we needed and wanted.  That was that.  After Having my son I found myself with a stack of bills and dept that felt like together they could touch the heaven floor.  Each day that passed, a choice was made, what to pay and what not to pay.  I wasn't catching up.  And lastly; the city.  Everywhere i drove made me think of old memories, memories of the old me staring me in the face.  New memories, that were less than great.  I was going to find a way out, and I have. 

I woke up about two weeks ago and I was Happy, Happier than i have been in a long while.  I am in a great spot.  I am able to work, stay at home with my little boy, go to the beach whenever i want, making new friends, paying off the stack of bills, and making new memories that are wonderful! 

I had a conversation with my sister the other day, she was having a bad day.  We started discussing the issues causing this day to be bad.  I explained to her the ways that my thinking had tricked me into having many bad days since arriving here in Kodiak.  If I thought this day was going to be bad; wouldn't see my family, my friends, drive down my parents street, etc., then i was for sure to have a "bad day."  On the days I woke up telling myself, this is going to be a great day, the day turned out to be pretty good.  Looking for the good or bad throughout the day would make my day and hers too.  My conclusion;  it is one's choice to have a good or bad day. 

Believe in Yourself
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me -Philippians 4:13
If ye have faith...nothing shall be impossible unto you.  -Matthew 17:20  
If God be for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31  
The kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21  
A Peaceful Mind generates power
be ye transformed by the newing of your mind  -Romans 12:2  
Try prayer power
Where tow or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them - Mathew 18:20

How to create your own happiness
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24 

Stop fuming and fretting
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you  -John 14:27

If you expect the best you will get the best
If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.  -Mark 9:23

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Forgiven By GOD; Oh what a feeling!

Once a slut always a slut, or NOT!  This is by far by biggest form of sin i have repeatedly committed; premarital sex, promiscuity, adulterer, what ever the term is for sexual sin, I have probably been called (behind my back or to my face).  And I (former self) am guilty as charged.  Well you can leave out anything to do with animals, for that i am surely not guilty of.  I use to take pride in the fact that I had taken control of my sexuality and that I could sex with whomever I choose, regardless of religious or social pressures or conventions to conform to a straight-laced monogamous lifestyle.  This all came after a few experiences that left me damaged.

What is a slut you ask?  A slut is definded in a couple differant ways;

Slut or slattern is a term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. The term is generally applied to women and was an insult or offensive term of disparagement, meaning "dirty or slovenly."


A slut is a person who has taken control of their sexuality and has sex with whomever they choose, regardless of religious or social pressures or conventions to conform to a straight-laced monogamous lifestyle committed to one partner for life. The term has been "taken back" to express the rejection of the concept that government, society, or religion may judge or control one's personal liberties, and the right to control one's own sexuality.

Growing up I was always the one who said I was waiting.  In high school I lied about having sex so i didn't  look like a weirdo.  My Mother never gave me the "birds and bees" talk, but I can remember learning her thoughts on sex after she found out i had performed oral sex on a boy (my first time).  I remember going to my room and thinking about how I had wished she had shared her thoughts about what sex is and why it was important to wait, prior to me "having sex."  Her words after the fact "Oral sex is sex Jamie."  I was 15 years old, how was i supposed to know her opinion.  How was I supposed to know the values and morals my mother had wanted for me unless she ever shared?  Anyways, I was grounded for the rest of the summer!

That was my only sexual act for a great period of time.  I remember kissing a few boys between that summer and the time i graduated from high school.  I had a steady boyfriend back then, sometimes we kissed, and the night of prom we laid together and there was a little make out session, but that was the extent.

When I was 19 years old, i met a guy.  We will call him M.  He was a man i worked with on a daily basis caring for children who where intellectually disabled.  It was definitely a friendship at first, i didn't think of him as a good looking guy, but he was really nice.  After months of working together, the three staff decided to do a movie night.  Well, it turned out to just be he and I because the other female worker couldn't make it.  M and I watched movies, then went to bed.  In the middle of the night, he woke me up and asked if he could give me a back massage.  Of course i said sure.  Well that "back rub" turned into much much more.  Before I knew it, we were having sex, and i remember thinking to myself "Oh no!  I was saving myself for marriage!  NOW IM NOT A VIRGIN!  We should stop, but it's too late now."  So I allowed it to just keep on.  It wasn't all that my friends had made it to be.  I was confused, conflicted, and wishing that it hadn't happened.  I didn't love him and he sure didn't love me (even though he told me he did).  After all was said and done, he went home to his WIFE.  Yes, he was married.  My sister later joked "I thought you were waiting until you were married, I didn't know he would be the married one."  I never wanted it to happen like this, and i never felt good about it.  I ended up telling his wife (because he didn't), I thought she deserved to know.  We met for breakfast one day and she grilled me over and over about; "how could you sleep with my husband, what position did you have sex it, was it good?"  All while she was nursing their 3 month old along with lots of old people staring at us!  Would i have taken it all back, yes!  But it was too late, and  my life was changed forever.  I went home that afternoon trying to break my bed in half, boy it is hard to "break" a spring mattress.  I folded, jumped on, punched, kicked, stabbed, but the sucker wouldn't budge.  I sat crying and thinking to myself, why? Why did I do this and how i was never having sex again. 

Time healed me and then I reconnected with my high school boyfriend.  It was just like old times where we could sit and talk for hours.  This was my first "love." He didn't speak to me after we broke up, so I was more then elated when he forgave me and we begun to move on.  The only thing that was "missing" in our previous relationship was sex.  He had known that I was no longer a virgin, and he was.  We were at my place, on the bed i tried to break, and kissing led to sex.  I felt so good right after, basking in "love" and happy thoughts of being together for ever.  Bahahaha!  Well that would last only a few weeks.  As much as I cared for him, his feelings for me had changed.  This made me look at myself and my sexual performance.  Maybe i wasn't a very good at having sex, no fun, maybe i didn't please him.  Who knows.

I started thinking love or no love, i had been hurt, in a way that is unexplainable.  Sex should be satisfying, and I am not going to be hurt again.  I am going to be the strong one, the one to walk away, the one who is pleasured, the one who hurts.  This is when i made a decision that would change my life forever.  Promiscuity was my new answer to everything; had a bad day, failed a test, thought about the hurtful past, what ever it may had been, SEX WAS THE ANSWER.

You always here the term little black book, something "men" keep.  A list of names, numbers, and star rating.  My "black book" was none of the sort.  I had phone numbers, guys i knew would come running with just a little call.  Anytime a "bad thing" would happen I turned to my phone, and pushed the call button.  Sometimes my girlfriends would ask me how many guys i had slept with, and in the beginning i could answer honestly.  One time i went to the doctor and she asked me who many people i had slept with, I was so ashamed so I told her a number i knew was about 1/2 of the truth.  If you were to ask me now, i could give you a range, but i don't really know the truth.  As the number grew, so did my self esteem.  I was powerful, in charge, untouchable, and it didn't hurt a bit!

Or did it?  Sometimes I would start to have feeling for one of them, then turn them off quickly to make sure i wouldn't be hurt.  But time and time again, it wears on you.  Falling hard for a few of them, and realizing they looked at me as i looked at them in the beginning; A person to make my hurt, pain, memories, fade away.  And then, was it only then, did i realize what i was doing to them and myself.  I was creating new memories that would haunt me forever.

I met a man, we will call him X.  We talked forever and became friends.  We started dating, but I really fell for him.  We didn't have sex for what seemed to be to be a long time (compared to my past).  We talked about sex, and why we both wanted it to be important.  He knew my past and i knew his.  It was all out on the table.  The night we had sex, was amazing!  The next year we spent together was amazing!  We went out, hiked, listened to music late at night, movies were a biggie, our relationship was more than sex.  The next two not so great.  Three years into it, the tide turned and things begun to go down hill.  We broke up and i was devastated.  I thought that he was "the one."  The one who would never hurt me, the one that would never make me feel the hurt, the pain, the guilt, the shame, but it was all there smacking me in the face reminding me of what I shouldn't have done.

This time i did nothing.  NO SEX, that was the answer!  A few months went by, I began dating someone else.  One night, X wanted his things I had at my place returned to him.  I went to his place, he asked me it, before i knew it my emotions were running crazy and control was thrown out the window.  We had sex that night.  A few weeks later, I found out i was pregnant.

Again, the hurt, the pain, the guilt, the shame, the heartbreak, everything came crashing down on my shoulders at once.  I would never forgive myself for the lack of self control i had that night.  This was about the time a co-worker switched office and was now put into mine.  She was like no one i had ever met before.  She was such a happy person, self controlled, pure, and a virgin waiting to be married.  I wanted to know the secret to her happiness.

As the days went on I started asking questions about her life, her happiness, her faith, and her purity.  She was more than happy to share her life with me.  As my baby grew in my belly so did our friendship along with my knowledge of God.  I watched her live her life, as a believer, and wondered if i could ever have that much faith.  I started telling her more about my life and asking so many questions of her faith and if she thought i would ever be able to get there. Between her and the missionaries there were a few things i learned that would change my life forever.

Faith is an amazing thing.  Forgiveness is not a question, it is a process anyone can follow through on.  Redemption (absolution for the past sins and/or protection from damnation) is possible for the sins of my past through forgiveness.  God loves me.  I could start fresh again through baptism.

Being God fearing, I was scared that I had ripped my soul to pieces with my history of sin.  Would I make it to heaven?  The answer; YES!  Since learning I could be forgiven and that GOD IS MY REDEEMER i have followed the process of  asking the Lord for forgiveness (see blog on forgiveness and the process).  Since my baptisim and taking the vow of chastity, I have not gone back to my old ways!  I look for other strengths within me, finding the new me.  Realizing GOD is my power,  my strength, and my redeemer!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Wikipedia defines faith as;  is trust, hope and belief in the goodness, trustworthiness or reliability of a person, concept or entity. It also refers to beliefs that are not based on proof. Religious faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition, "things will turn out well in the end," can be enjoyed in the present and secured in the future.

I think about faith from a christian point of view;  Faith to me first and foremost is the foundation of my believes in Christianity.  The faith I have in Jesus Christ, and this is the "foundation" for be and all Christians.  Faith is an act of trust or reliance. Rather than being passive, faith leads to an active life aligned with the ideals and the example of the one being trusted. It sees the mystery of God and his grace and seeks to know and become obedient to God.

I didn't always have the faith I have now held deep within my soul.  I wasn't sure who God was, or if he truly loved me.  I had seen horrible things happen to people as well as experiencing my own struggles and issues.   Through each of my early struggles in life I would question, Who is God and If he were real, why am i suffering?  I explain my first encounter with the heavenly ghost that didn't show me God, but let me feel him so close to me it gave no other option than to have faith. 

My faith causes change in me as I seek a greater understanding of God. To have faith, you must understand in whom and in what you have faith. Without understanding, there cannot be true faith and that understanding is built on the foundation of the community of believers, the scriptures, and traditions and on the personal experiences.  In a previous blog I write;

Several years ago I felt as though I had lost everything; my high paying job in property management, which in turn led to me losing my apartment, then breaking up with "the love of my life," I was a true mess.  I felt so lost and so alone.  As the days past by I got a new job, which provided housing for me, but was still mouning the loss of someone i truly cared for.  As thankful I was for my new job, I felt more lonely then ever.  I remember crying myself to sleep, thinking to myself 'how did i get here?' Going through a bout where i looked to everything but the lord for help; alcohol, Tylenol PM, promiscuity, blaming others, almost everything but the one that could help me out of the hole i was digging.  Deeper and Deeper I fell.  Worse and Worse I felt.

One night I just couldn't take the pain anymore.  I was crying, shaking, and holding the Tylenol PM bottle.  I started sobbing, fell to my knees, and started begging God to forgive me for all of the things i had done wrong in my life.  I asked him to come to me, to comfort me, to hold me, to make me feel ok.  Praying and begging for God to come to me for I couldn't tell you how long, I felt an overwhelming warmth of a hand on my back.  I opened my eyes, and no one was there, but the feeling of warmth was growing stronger and stronger.  I knew that the Lord had heard me and knew I needed him.  I felt the overwhelming pressure that had been building up in be for months suddenly subside.  I COULD BREATHE!"

This experienced truly changed my life, and continues to be part of my testimony.   Now I can explain Faith in a much simpler words; Think of faith like the wind, you sure feel it, but you never see it.  After you FEEL the "wind" you never forget it, and the same goes with faith.  "The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him." Lamentations 3:25 NLT.  If you are never in search, how can you know the truth, how can you gain faith, how do you feel the beauty of the breeze on the warm summer day? 

As i build upon my foundation of faith, i feel closer to God each and everyday.  I  also can look back and realize what each struggle has given me; growth.  Seeing others dying, struggles, hurt has given me; compassion.  Each thing i witness and experience is for a reason.  I look around the amazing island i live on and i glory in the beauty that the Lord has created and think how could i not believe?  I can feel the holy ghost in my presence regularly, and I know that when ever i am in need of my Savior, he will be there!  I hope that if you have never experienced the feeling of the wind; you search, you find, and you feel to find your FAITH.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Forgiveness; the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.

Forgiveness can be hard. Some times I feel that I have learned to forgive. On the other hand, i find my self resisting when I actually try to forgive someone.  I am finding forgiveness to be a true process.  All the times i have been hurt, wronged, lied to, how can i just let go of ALL of it?  

It seems so easy for God to forgive us, and for us to ask him to.  There are are only a few simple steps that we follow to be forgiven by our heavenly father;

Exercise faith in Him
Be baptized
Receive the Holy Ghost
Choose to follow His teachings for the rest of your life

In all honesty God is the only one who knows exactly all of my sins, the hurt i have caused others, the lies I have told, the sexual encounter i have had with married men, and the list goes on and on.  Not one of these things is a small thing to forgive, but somehow, he sacrificed his only son so that you and I could be forgiven.  Our sins, erased, and forever gone.  If he can forgive me for all of my transgressions/sins, why can't i forgive as easily as him?

For if you forgive others for their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 6:14-15

For in the way you judge, you will be judged;
and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye,
but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother,
‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
and behold, the log is in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:2-5

Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord,
how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?
Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, 
I do not say to you, up to seven times,
but up to seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21

I know that i have experienced pain from; relationships with a friends, family members, and persons whom I've worked with. The memories of the pain or even continued meetings with someone sit deep in my soul and eat away at me. Sometimes I feel as if forgiving is forgetting the wrong and maybe the other person’s behavior doesn’t deserve to be condoned. Forgiveness doesn't have to mean reconciliation with the person that has huet me, or that i condone their actions.  What I am really after when i forgive someone is to find peace within myself.  I have come to realize that the way I was handling my hurt and anger was really preventing me from truly enjoying my life and moving forward. If I was honest with myself, I would know that there were other issues going on in the other person’s life and it was not all about the problem in our relationship (weather it be work, family, or romantically related). Outside factors were affecting their behavior and probably mine.

There are a few steps one can follow to help them through the process of forgiveness;
  1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then, tell a trusted couple of people about your experience.
  2. Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else.
  3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning of their action. What you are after is to find peace. Forgiveness can be defined as the “peace and understanding that come from blaming that which has hurt you less, taking the life experience less personally, and changing your grievance story.”
  4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you two minutes – or ten years – ago. Forgiveness helps to heal those hurt feelings.
  5. At the moment you feel upset practice a simple stress management technique to soothe your body’s flight or fight response.
  6. Give up expecting things from other people, or your life, that they do not choose to give you. Recognize the “unenforceable rules” you have for your health or how you or other people must behave. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, peace and prosperity and work hard to get them.
  7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the experience that has hurt you. Instead of mentally replaying your hurt seek out new ways to get what you want.
  8. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving the person who caused you pain power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty and kindness around you. Forgiveness is about personal power.
  9. Amend your grievance story to remind you of the heroic choice to forgive.
Did you know; the practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt depression and stress and leads to greater feelings of hope, peace, compassion and self confidence. Practicing forgiveness leads to healthy relationships as well as physical health. It also influences our attitude which opens the heart to kindness, beauty, and love.

It is not an easy thing to do and I am still a work in progress.  But hopefully in the future, the process of forgiveness will happen sooner rather than later, knowing that the peace within shall fallow!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Are you MAN ENOUGH for me

When looking for a good man, I have to look at what God sees as a good man.  Therefore, I will never be; let down, wronged, tricked, hurt, stranded, etc.  If i really want a good man, I will wait until he shows me he has the character traits it takes to be a good husband.

Character traits of a Good Husband;

1.  A GODLY HUSBAND LOVES HIS WIFE. (Love) You can't be a good husband if you don't love your wife.  God has made your wife to complement you. She doesn't just happen to be the way she is. No, God created her that way.  Then, because He knew that she would be your ideal complement, God brought the two of you together. This is one very important reason to be a good husband to your wife.  God has given you the opportunity to have your own wife, and therefore He wants you to love and serve her – and only her.
And you, husbands,
must be loving and kind to your wives and not bitter against them,
nor harsh Colossians 3: 19

Put to death, therefore, 
whatever belongs to your earthly nature: 
sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires
Colossians  3:5

Dirty stories, foul talk and coarse jokes
these are not for you
Ephesians 5: 4

3. A GODLY HUSBAND SUBMITS TO HIS WIFE.  (Puts Himself after God)
Wow, that's a new thought, isn't it? For a man to submit to his wife!  No, not really. It might be new to modern man's thinking, but it's a very old idea, because it comes from the New Testament. 
The relationship of a man to his wife should be the same as Christ's relationship to his church, namely that He loves his church and has given his life for the church.  Do you want to be a good husband?  Then be to her as Christ was to his church. Christ died for his church!  In the same way, you should be willing to die for your wife!!
And you, husbands, 
show the same kind of love to your wives 
as Christ showed to the church when He died for her
Ephesians 5:25-27

4. A GODLY HUSBAND BECOMES ONE WITH HIS WIFE.  (Empathetic) God wants you to be one flesh with your wife.  What God means is that you must become one person with your wife.  When she hurts, you must hurt.  When she is glad, you must be glad.  Her welfare must rest pre-eminently on your mind, and your actions – as well as honouring God – must be designed to comfort and protect your wife.  You must strive to always make her happy, and never to make her sad.  That's the meaning of becoming one with her. 
It is for this purpose that God has designed life
in such a way that the man shall leave his parents 
so that he can become joined "as one flesh" to his wife
Ephesians 5: 31

A good husband will also protect his wife.  If harm gets in the way, you must be standing in between, sheltering your wife from harm's way.  That is how important her well-being must be to you.  Just like Jesus took the blame for the sins of the entire world, you must be willing to take everything on behalf of your wife.

6. A GODLY HUSBAND LEADS HIS WIFE.  (Can Grow together) Just as Christ leads his church, a good husband – that means you! - must also lead his wife.  You must be her leader – the one who shows her the way, guides her onwards towards God.  You must also be her example, showing her the way to God, not shoving her on her way to Him.  To be able to be an example for her, you must obviously have a living relationship with God yourself!  Yup, that's an non-negotiable part of being a good husband – at least as far as the Bible is concerned.

So Men, when your asking yourself; Where have all the good women gone? You should look at yourself and be asking; do i have what it takes to be a good husband? 

You want a good husband, be a good wife!

For as far back as i can remember, like many little girls, have had big dreams about my husband.  Who he would be?  How he would look?  Would he be a rock star or a plumber?  It took much later in life before i realized that there were certain character traits i would like my future husband to posses.  I am now realizing, that before I could ever hope or thing about "character traits" I would like in my husband, I first have to look at myself.  Am I worthy in God's eyes of becoming a wife?  Would I be a good wife?  What character traits do I have that someone else is looking for?  So before saying I DO.......make sure your ready to be a  good wife!

Character traits of a Good Wife;

1.  A GODLY WIFE IS GODLY. Godliness begins with a proper relationship to God. A godly wife is, first and foremost, a woman who fears God.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord,
she shall be praised
Proverbs 31:30

2.  A GODLY WIFE IS WISE.  The ideal wife is characterized as a woman of wisdom.

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands
Proverbs 14:1

She opens her mouth in wisdom, 
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue
Proverbs 31:26

3. A GODLY WIFE HONORS HER HUSBAND. A man who has married a godly wife has a wife who will bring honor to him. She is truly a helper to her husband.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, 
But she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones
Proverbs 12:4

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack, of gain.
She does him good and not evil All the days of her life
Provers 31:11-12

4. A GODLY WIFE IS GRACIOUS. One reason honor is given the godly woman is that she is known for her graciousness.

It is better to live in a desert land,
Than with a contentious and vexing woman
Proverbs 21:19

5. A GODLY WIFE IS FAITHFUL TO HER HUSBAND.  While it is not stated, it is implied and assumed that a godly wife is one who maintains sexual purity.

She is a woman who is virtuous or excellent,
in whom her husband has complete trust.
She does her husband only good and not evil
Proverbs 31:10-12

Friday, August 5, 2011

LOVE....what is it

From the day you are born you hear the word love, but who really knows what this mean.  Its a word that could be interpreted in thousands of ways.  Then there is different kinds of love; divine love, brotherly love, family love, and romantic love, so on and so on.  I had a discussion the other day with a young lady who had a much different view on love then i held, and it made me think if she had a different opinion, maybe mine was wrong.  So to answer the question, What is Love, i began my search.  

The Bible discusses four types of love;

Eros is the physical, sensual love between a husband and wife. Eros, or erotic love, is portrayed in the Old Testament book, The Song of Solomon. God is very clear in his Word. Sex outside marriage is forbidden. God created humans male and female and instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden. Within marriage, sex is used for emotional and spiritual bonding and for reproduction. Paul noted that it is wise for people to marry to fulfill their godly desire for this type of love:

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: 
It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, 
for it is better to marry than to burn with passion
 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

Philia means close friendship or brotherly love in Greek. Philia and other forms of this Greek noun are found throughout the New Testament. Christians are frequently exhorted to love their fellow Christians:

Love one another with brotherly affection. 
Outdo one another in showing honor. 
Romans 12:10
Storge is family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the love and mutual protection among Noah and his wife, their sons and daughters-in-law in Genisis; the love of Jacob for his sons; and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary in the gospels had for their brother Lazarus. The family was a vital part of ancient Jewish culture. In the Ten Commandments, God charges his people to:

Honor your father and your mother, 
so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 
Exodus 20:12

Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. This Greek word and variations of it are found throughout the New Testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers:

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. 
The one who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I too will love them and show myself to them. 
John 14:21

So I look back to how i answer the question; What is Love?  Love; a word that describes a feeling that one has for another.  Love is an act, how you treat a person. To sum it all up i will use my favorite bible scripture on love; 

 "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do you Dip or Dive.....Into the 10 Commandments

In my life, I have not always known what was right and wrong.  My family didn't have a set of written rule in our home.  I mostly learned what was wrong by doing.  And then being punished for doing something "bad."  Often times when i reflect on my past, I find my self asking what would my life been like with the 10 commandments as a guide.  Taught from childhood, morals and values, self worth, the unconditional love the Lord has for me, that I could do anything with him walking with me, what would my life been?  I can't change the past, but I can share what I have learned from the 10 commandments and how they affect or have affected my life in the past.  Someone once told me that no one of the ten commandments is more important to the other, I had a hard time understanding this, but read on and you to will learn that you can not just "Dip" into them, you have to "Dive" head first and let your body be consumed!

#1  "You shall not have no other gods before me."  Exodus 20:3 (other "gods" can include idols, money, possessions, etc.).  Putting anything in front of our Heavenly Father, can be very dangerous.  I know that i have done this myself (relationships, money, sex).  Day to day this can be a struggle, relinquishing your other "gods," but I have never felt so powerful, whole, and loved in my entire life! 

#2  "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6) I believe this to be about adopting one that was originally formed in God's image (humans) to be ones god, ie; singers, government, actors etc.  I have never really had an issue with this commandment, but then again i am not a movie buff nor movie obsessed, or that into government. 

#3  "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7)   Easiest way to explain this one; the use of the name of God in any frivolous manner.  In bible times it was thought that one would swear to a promise or an agreement and couldn't not keep his part of it because that would be committing a sin.  I can sometimes be guilty of this by saying "Oh my God."  I am trying to watch my mouth and use "goodness" or "gosh," but my efforts can be seen by God.

#4  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20: 8-11) The purpose of this one is to take the time honor of God. Resting on the sabbath is not done for the benefit of the people. On the contrary, things that benefit people are exactly what is forbidden. Instead, the purpose of the sabbath is to take people out of their daily routine and force them to remember everything that God has done for them: create the earth, the seas, the universe, and of course humanity as well.

#5  "Honor thy father and thy mother" (Exodus 20:12)  this one was easy for me as a child, if i didn't i was punished.  So I followed this commandment out of fear.  As i grew and moved out into the big world, I would listen to my parents, and i loved my parents, but that is totally different than Honoring them.  Looking back, I should have tried harder to, but I was a stubborn one.  Now I know that they know what is best for me, and they have my best interest at heart, therefore, I now Honor my mother and father.

#6  "Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13)  I see this one translating into;  Thou shalt not take the lives of other human beings in a manner proscribed by the law.  People kill in war, they kill as punishment for crimes, they kill because of accidents, etc.  I believe that if one has an obligation for a job (military, electric chair tech, police office, etc.) that they are not breaking this commandment.

#7  Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)  Any act of sexual intercourse outside of marriage as well as any act of sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse is considered to be adultery in by book.  This is where i have done the most wrong.  Growing up I molested as a child (this is not a sin, for i did not choose it) which gave me a different outlook on relationships, love, men, what men want, and how to have a functional relationship.  I kept this a secret from my family and friends, and when i was older I was finally able to tell a few people that are close to me, but i am still healing and relearning what God wants for me when it comes to this commandment.  I took Vow of chastity, and since haven't engaged in any sexual act and plan not to until i am married.  I have learned so much from just his one commandment; what LOVE is, why God has commandments, hurt, what a relationship should be, i could go on forever.  Because i chose not to follow this commandment for so long, i have had much heartache and now am a single parent (without God in my life i would still be struggling with this).

#8  "Thou shalt not steal." (Exodus 20:15)  Self explanatory.  the only time i have ever stolen anything was when i was 9 years old.  My sister had taken me to the mall with her friends and we were standing outside a shop called claires.  My sister and her friend picked up two sand toys and looked at me.....told me to pick on up.  I was scared to have them beat me up, so i picked one up and we left the store.  My sister told me that i had to take one so i couldn't tell mom she had stolen!  I'm sure that God has forgiving me. 

#9  "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." (Exodus 20:16)  don't gossip, lie, or falsify things about your friends, neighbors, co-workers, any human being.  Its just wrong and if you can't say it to their face, why are you saying it at all? 

#10  "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." (Exodus 20:17) In today's world you see this too often, the grass is greener on the other side, well you just coveted your neighbor!  Be happy with what you have, ask the Lord if you are in need and he will provide. 

I am learning that all of the commandments hold the same importance in God's eyes, they are all his laws made to protect and shield us from harm.  After learning the hard way so many times and learning them later in life, i can definitely appreciate each and everyone of them and know that if i follow these 10 laws, i will live a happy life!

How Good is Our God

Domestic Violence.....What God Says about it

One in four will be a victim of domestic abuse, your friend, your sister, your mother, your grandmother, your daughter!  I know too many of these women.  I have wanted to help those who have been victims in my circle and I have surely tried.  Sometimes my words fall on what feels like deaf ears, and sometimes I am told that my words were what made them realize they couldn't stay.  I am not trained in grief counseling, PTSD, or anything of the sorts. I have lived in moments of Domestic Violence through my entire life (until moving to Kodiak).  Always being the outside eyes looking in, thinking, what would God say if he were here?  Immersed into my studies last night I found the answer to the question I so often asked myself!

God's plan of a Happy Home consists of three words; FAITH, HOPE, LOVE (Please see earlier blog if you do not have a clear understanding of these three words).  In the bible you will find the following quotes;

"husbands, LOVE your wifes, and do not be harsh with them"  Colossians 3:19NIV

"In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives.  Treat her with understanding as you live together.  She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life.  If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard."  1 Peter 3:7 NIV

"The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked."
Proverbs 10:11 NKJV

"So husbands ought to LOVE their wives as their own bodies; he who LOVES his wife LOVES himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church."
Ephesians 5:28-29 NKJV

"So then, my beloved brethen, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath' for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of god."  James 1:19-20 NKJV

As I looked over and studies these specific scriptures, It became clear to me, domestic violence IS NOT in God's plan for any one person.  He loves us, he created us, he wants for the best for us as we do our own child.  "She is your equal partner in God's gift of new life.  If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard."  1 Peter 3:7 NIV  How powerful is that!  "Your prayers will not be heard."  God wants us to find a LOVING partner, to live with, and that we can worship HIM together.  Domestic Violence is NOT LOVING!

Ladies, I hope that if you ever find yourself in a domestic violence situation, you can seek the Lord for council.  He is there, pray, listen, and act!  If your heart is telling you to run, run out the door, it is HIM whispering to you.  If you are urged to ask for help, ask for help, it is HIM whispering to you.  And Always know there is A WAY OUT!  Tell a trusted family member, close friend, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. 

God Loves You!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Have you Searched Him lately?

Several years ago I felt as though I had lost everything; my high paying job in property management, which in turn led to me losing my apartment, then breaking up with "the love of my life," I was a true mess.  I felt so lost and so alone.  As the days past by I got a new job, which provided housing for me, but was still mouning the loss of someone i truly cared for.  As thankful I was for my new job, I felt more lonely then ever.  I remember crying myself to sleep, thinking to myself 'how did i get here?' Going through a bout where i looked to everything but the lord for help; alcohol, Tylenol PM, promiscuity, blaming others, almost everything but the one that could help me out of the hole i was digging.  Deeper and Deeper I fell.  Worse and Worse I felt. 

One night I just couldn't take the pain anymore.  I was crying, shaking, and holding the Tylenol PM bottle.  I started sobbing, fell to my knees, and started begging God to forgive me for all of the things i had done wrong in my life.  I asked him to come to me, to comfort me, to hold me, to make me feel ok.  Praying and begging for God to come to me for I couldn't tell you how long, I felt an overwhelming warmth of a hand on my back.  I opened my eyes, and no one was there, but the feeling of warmth was growing stronger and stronger.  I knew that the Lord had heard me and knew I needed him.  I felt the overwhelming pressure that had been building up in be for months suddenly subside.  I COULD BREATHE!  This reminds me of a scripture in the old testament;  "The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him."
Lamentations 3:25 NLT

My question to myself is; have you SEARCHED for him lately?  I know sometimes I feel like i don't have time, or I'm too tired, or many other excused i come up with to not do my scripture reading, prayer, etc.  but i have to remember, God loves me unconditionally (forever and always) and is there for me when ever i call upon him.  I should be showing him I am there by searching him, confiding in and depending on him, and living his by his commandments, because this is how I can show God I love him unconditionally.     

Three things will last forever......

Faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest is Love. ~1 Corinthians 13:13  Being on this island has started to drive me a little batty!  I started doing bible study by myself since i work so much, and don't get to go to church as much as I'd like to.  I have been learning a lot, and building upon my relationship with God.  It truly is amazing what the Lord has done in my life. 

When i was growing up as a child, my parents always told me they were believers, but they never went to church which really confused me.  Every once in a while i would attend church with a friend; Lutheran, Catholic, Non-denominational, Latter Day Saints, I have been to several churches in my short life.  I have learned from each visit weather it was a bad experience or a wonderful one.  I am still growing in my faith, and trying to live the life i know it takes to live again with my savior Jesus Christ in Heaven above.  Until that day I will try my hardest to grow in my FAITH, and HOPE, that one day he will search my heart and know how much I truly LOVE him!  And that is why I love the scripture "Three things will last forever; Faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest of these is Love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

FAITH; in Christianity is based in and on the work and teachings of Jesus Christ, In this way Christianity declares not to be distinguished by its faith, but by the object of its faith. Faith is an act of trust or reliance. Rather than being passive, faith leads to an active life aligned with the ideals and the example of the one being trusted. It sees the mystery of God and his grace and seeks to know and become obedient to God. To a Christian; faith is not static but causes one to learn more of God and grow; it has its origin in God.

HOPE; a trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God's promises. Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God's guidance... the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. Words for Hope In the Old Testament...are tigwa (“to look for something with eager expectation”), batach (“to rely on something reliable”), and yachal (“trust”)." For the early Christians, hope is also focused in Christ. He is called “our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1)

LOVE; the Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman—eros in Greek—and the unselfish love of others (agape), are often contrasted as "ascending" and "descending" love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing.

After truly knowing the definitions for each of these words,  my life is changed.  Now, If I apply this verse into my daily living, my life will be truly blessed by the Lord.  Amen.