Addiction…I Understand the Struggle.

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I am definitely taking a raw plunge on this blog. I have gently touched on the subject of addiction many times but I think straightforwardness is in order because there  are so many vices, so little time and so many lives being wrecked.

This is from Larry Crabb’s book, Connecting. “God declares that there is no goodness in sex outside the boundaries of a loving relationship with a lifelong mate. When we believe Him and therefore are inclined to do what He says, obedience yields a joy that supports us in what ever frustration may exist. ”

Do you agree with that? I know that I have been spared pain and destruction when I have hidden myself in” the loving marriage relationship”, even when it has been a down right unloving relationship and even when it called for separation.

He goes on to write; “A man (or woman) has a difficult day of meetings and retires early to his hotel room. One press of the button (or call that call or that sext) and pornography will fill the screen.  He calls his wife, gets some work done, and then goes to sleep…never presses the button. The next day, meetings go well, that evening the urges come back, he yields.”

“What ever the complexity might be, it is clear that we are a strange mixture of good and bad urges and they can have a life of their own. With God’s Spirit we can love as Jesus did, but we can also sin like the devil..indwelling sin is a lifelong problem-indwelling goodness is a life long reality awaiting release.” (All wrapped up of course in Romans 7&8 )

“His personal problem is sex addiction. That man senses a voice that yearns to be filled but lacks the sense to realize that he longs for LOVE, not pleasure.” And that is where the wreckage happens. I know, I have experienced it first hand.

Is God’s love enough? That has been my question. That has been my adventure. That has been my pursuit. Can His love surpass anything this world or anyone else has to offer me? Can His love be so tangible and intimate that any other would pale? Is He that interested in my well being and future? Or is what seems a justifiable and reliable provision of pleasure/center of life/lust/control/addiction really soul satisfaction?

In the midst of my addiction behavior I could say; “I can live with out_______, I cannot live without God”- Even though nothing in my flesh wanted to let the addiction go. It is so easy to feel isolated when you are struggling or failing. I would look for anything on the internet that might help relate to me, a Christian woman caught in addictive behaviors. I did find an extremely helpful prayer that seemed to understand the snare and all of the anguish I had been caught in. But more times than not, most Christian articles related to addictions or failures left me feeling more demonized as the guilty party.  I needed to know there was a light at the end of the tunnel, that people had not only come out the other side, but that they were Alive!, Thriving! and were loved and used by God again! I want to be a light like that to someone who is where I have been!

You have to understand that I believe Jesus delivers!! That all power belongs to Him! That nothing is too difficult for Him! That He came to set the captive free, and had when I first came to Him, so why was I in bondage again? I had to understand why I would allow myself to come to such a low place and risk loosing my whole life as I knew it. During the search for that answer, I learned so much about myself and God.

These are the things and people He has used to reveal who I really am in Him and His love toward me. If you are caught in addiction, and really want freedom and health, these are the resources I highly recommend. First, Friends who see the greatness in you. I tightened my circle of friends and unfortunately had to cut off some really significant relationships that couldn’t be that for me (my husband being my best friend  and support  even while dealing with his own issues.) Any of Larry Crabb’s books…I think I have read and re read them all. Henry Cloud’s Changes that Heal and Robert McGee’s Search for Significance.  I had two amazing Licensed Marriage Family Therapists (which are the only  type of counselors that I recommend) who I still reach out to. Through a set of supernatural sequences, I got a hold of The Adulterous Christian Woman; The Lies that got me there, truths that brought me back by Lyndell Holtz, who has become one of my dearest friends since, and continues to be a radiant light ahead of me.  I also immersed myself in watching You Tube videos by Malcom Smith and Sylvia Pearce who’s life mission is to help Christians understand who they really are in Christ.

If I could have left my life and gone some where to figure it all out, I probably would have. But God has been so good to me to send me help while living my day to day life out and I believe He has given me grit and perseverance in the process.  Like I said before, I want to be a compassionate light leading some one else who is navigating their way out of the pit of addiction…I understand the struggle.

 

 

What Are You Thinking?

 

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Thinking: we all do it. Some of us are better at hiding it than others, but no matter who you are, the things you think about will affect all of your life choices. We have amazing minds, and I don’t think we can be reminded enough of the benefits of renewing our minds.

I have written a lot of blog posts on this idea over the last year. The following is what I wrote one morning on my Facebook page. Although the focus is on shame, it ultimately goes back to what we think about ourselves:

According to the book Unashamed by Christine Caine, shame-based thinking says, ” I am not ________ enough” (Thin enough, smart enough, victorious enough, successful enough, Christian enough, a good enough parent, a good enough spouse, etc.). But those are constant lies that many of us have believed. It isn’t what God says about us. It isn’t the truth. In Genesis 2:25, “Adam and his wife were naked and they knew no shame.” That was what God created. Jesus took shame on the cross, and His Blood will wash away all of our shame if we let Him work in our lives. Run to Him! He ALWAYS wants to bring wholeness and healing to His children no matter what you have done or where you have been. He loves you so much that He died on a cross for your sin. You ( and I ) are no shock to Him! If you walk around continually defeated, feeling like you are missing the mark, remind yourself of what He says about you. You are completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted, and complete in Him! He is the one you are living for, so His approval is the only one that matters. He is love. Let Him free you of your shame so you can be the person He created you to be. ❤

Do you walk around continually defeated? Do you question everything about yourself and all the decisions you make? Consider taking time to question what lies you are believing about yourself. It cannot happen overnight, and it cannot happen when you are rushed. But as you take quiet time and reflection and begin to ask yourself hard questions, you can be free from these untruths that have been holding you back in life.

Here are five essential oils that can help clear the mind as well:

  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Juniper Berry
  • Peppermint
  • Sage or Clary Sage

As an aromatherapist, I regularly use and carry all five. I am here on this journey with you! You are not alone and you are loved!

Are you interested in trying these five mind-balancing oils? Have you experienced the power of renewing your mind and thought patterns? We want to hear from you today!

 

Choosing Forgiveness

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I’ve been understanding forgiveness on a whole new level over the last year. I’ve dealt with asking for forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving others and not being forgiven. One thing I completely agree with James McDonald on: “Christians need to be masters at forgiveness.” This is a challenging thought, but it’s true. And whether you’re a Christian or not, you know forgiveness changes your life and allows things to move in a healthy way that would be impossible otherwise.

The biggest challenge and help to me has been to understand that, “I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God. I am totally accepted, deeply loved and absolutely complete in Christ” (Robert McGee, The Search for Significance).

With God’s help in believing this is true, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! I want to be rebuilt and energized in that truth, so I can do everything I was created to do in this life and not waste one more second in unbelief.

I want to encourage you that this is possible! You can change your life, your patterns, your habits, your hangups, and your failures. You can take that mustard seed of faith and it can grow into a flourishing tree!

I completely relate to King David when he said, “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). Forgiveness is not an easy road, and the battle is mostly in the mind. But unless I believe (without seeing) that forgiveness produces good fruit and leads to a more abundant life, I will give in to hopelessness and despair. I have been there many times, and it does not bear anything good! Not for me or any one else around me.

So, I am encouraging myself even as I write this, and hope I encourage you today!I encourage you to check your heart, investigate the things that weigh you down, and ask yourself if there is an area in your life (or that situation you can’t let go of) in which you really haven’t forgiven a person, or even God. Don’t let this day pass without getting it out in the open, confessing it, and receiving forgiveness for it. Don’t carry it around another minute, day, or year. This is precisely the Reconciliation Jesus Christ provided to us through the cross and what we can meditate on further through this Resurrection weekend. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can greatly aid us on this journey of forgiveness<3

 

Motivational Monday!!

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Good Morning! Good Week!! It is a beautiful, cold and sunny day here in North West PA! There is a lot of excitement building for Christmas this coming weekend. The kids are antsy and distracted in school with parties and class Christmas movies!

Unfortunately, anxiety can be a big problems this time of year. I have said this before on some blogs,  I do not like all the hype that surrounds “Christmas”. I do not like crowds, parties are actually not my favorite….I would prefer deep, one- on- one conversation. I do not appreciate the expectation that is placed on us this time of year from advertisements and culture and it is hard to ignore.

Christmas, to me, is the birth of Christ. Because of sin, as is evident in the wounds, destruction, disfigurement and marring of people, relationships and the world, God sent His Son into the world! All of the despair that is in the world would be permanent and irreversible except that Jesus came to deliver us from our sin! (Matthew 1:21)

That is Good News Today! There are situations in my own life that seem hopeless, but with God all things are possible. They may be irreversible in human terms, but Not in God’s economy!

God is reaching out to you through the Christmas story and even as you are reading this saying; “I love you, I made a way for you, I want to spend eternity with you because I am madly in love with you.” Bitterness can go, forgiveness can be received and extended.” He lived so He could die for you (and me).

Receive the gift God sent you, It is the greatest gift you can ever receive or give<3

 

 

He’s Always Been Faithful

20161028_084139Morning by morning I wake up to find The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine Season by season, I watch him amazed, In awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember one single regret In serving God only and trusting his hand I can’t remember a trial or a pain He did not recycle to bring me gain

All I have need of his hand will provide He’s always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, and this is my song The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long God has been faithful; he will be again His loving compassion – it knows no end

(Chelsea Moon and Uncle Daddy- Hymn Project 1)

A friend sent this to me and I LoVe the song! I love the second verse;

I can’t remember one single regret in serving God only and trusting his hand. I can’t remember a trial or a pain He not recycle to bring me gain. 

The truth is, I remember many regrets of times I tried to serve my self!! But if I look back over my life, even in the most excruciating circumstances, when I followed Him, He only ever produced green ness in my life; fruit, peace of mind, joy and a clean conscious. And the times that I have had pain or trial (usually from some failure on my part), He does not waste anything. He is the ultimate Earth- Day -Celebrator, Recycle er extraordinaire!!! But even so much more when working with souls.

That line gives me the remembrance I need today to move forward in trust, casting all my anxieties on Him. He cares for us, He wants us to succeed more than any other person on the planet….. No the Universe! He is faithful even when I am not.

If you do not know this faithfulness, turn to Him today. No matter if you have been a Christian all your life, part of your life, or you are not a Christian- God, through His Son Jesus is always right there waiting with expectation for you to turn to Him.

Blessings on your week<3

A Song in My Heart<3

 

You don’t have to look very far to see brokenness in our world. We have broken relationships, health, finances, systems, the list never ends. It can be hard to find a song to sing sometimes, unless that song is one of brokenness and pain!!

My brother recently said this to me;

 

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He said it after he heard me sing a song the I wrote from my heart, it spoke to him. He was glad and able to see I had a song to sing, because he understands the journey I’ve been on. The song that I wrote speaks of the brokenness that I’ve experienced, but it also speaks of Hope.

The Hope I find is the only Hope I think is true. It is not in what I earn, or my status, or the lottery, or even my health….it is in God. He is my hope and I want to offer you that hope to you. I believe that 2000 ish years ago, God sent His son in the form of human baby, and celebrate that at Christmas. I believe He lived as a man for 33 years, even though He was fully God at the same time. I believe that He died, and was buried and was raised again by the power of the Holy Spirit after 3 days, just like He said He would. I believe He was taken up into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of His Father until He comes again to set up His perfect kingdom on earth.His name is Jesus. ( For the whole story read the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John in The Bible.)

My hope is in that. No matter what goes on in this broken world, or my broken life, He is what I look to and for. God loves me, forgives me, accepts me, and I am pleasing to Him and that puts a song in my heart! I believe your song is hope, and I sing that over you today whether you can sing  along with me or you have forgotten it’s words<3

 

Doubts

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We all have them. Those incessant nags about all of our decisions. Doubting is negative, it is  not helpful or healthy to be a doubter. It provides nothing positive in our life.  According to “The Feeling Wheel” developed by Dr. Gloria Wilcox, being skeptical has it’s root in the emotion of being mad.

If I am considering holistic health, I examine how this habit can affect my over all health. I have been challenged by what I have been reading lately.Hannah Whitall Smith wrote this in 1875 concerning doubts;  Do not stop to argue out the matter with yourself or with your doubts. Pay no attention to them what ever, but treat them with the utmost contempt. Shut your door in their very face and emphatically deny every word they say to you.  She wrote a whole chapter on the matter in her book; The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life. 

The Bible itself explicitly teaches not to doubt.

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
I have been on a mission of renewing my mind for many years, but much more fervently the last several months. I have overcome an addiction by God’s grace and I see things much clearer than I ever have in my life. I realize that doubting has been an such a hindrance in my life- I never realized how much I participated in it.
I encourage you to take this challenge with me. Look doubt in the face and tell it to go back from where it came from! Like Hannah Whitall Smith said, “pay no attention to doubt what so ever. Then let the doubts clamor as they may, they cannot hurt you if you will not let them in.”
An Essential Oil that we have high-lighted earlier and offers strength to self confidence and motivation is, Basil. What we need in the face of doubt is Courage! So renew your mind and support your over all health with essential oils like Basil.
We want to hear from you today! Tell us how you have over come doubt in your life!