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Now here comes the ugliness. 

At times I can have a short temper and a quick tongue when I am angry.  It's something that I have not intentionally attempted to work on until recently. 

During a conversation with one of my accountability partners, she made mention to me something that I "knew," but didn't really know how to handle.  She said, "You need to sit in front of the toilet and purge yourself of all the unrighteous anger you have and flush it away and ask God to help you work through it."  Ugh...

The last couple of months have been a season that I have been dreading to go through.  I have been "content," so to speak, with the anger I have been harboring.  I haven't forgiven some people for hurting me and all of this is making me an ugly person inside.  I have been sulking in my anger and my hurt for far too long.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to realize, "It's not them.  It's me."  I can't change how they are, but I can change myself.  I can choose to RESPOND, rather than REACT.

Last night I was forced gently to my knees for a situation that is about to unfold later today.  I was forced to acknowledge a lot of issues that I have been fighting to work through.  I was forced to surrender, truly surrender, everything to my God.  I started off with a river full of tears and finally ended in a contented sigh.  God's peace just filled me.  I called and texted a couple of girlfriends and requested prayer and I totally felt the prayers coming through. 

This healing process may not resolve today after the conversation takes place, but I will continue to seek God out for healing.  I need to establish boundaries during this conversation.  But before I can begin to establish these said boundaries, I need to work on me, but I only have a few short hours.  In these next 4 1/2 hours, I need to identify the symptom, identify the conflict and identify the need that drives the conflict.  I also need to take in and receive the good, practice these newfound boundary skills and learn to say, "No," to the bad.  Yet, all of that comes with a little something extra.  I NEED to forgive the aggressor(s). I NEED to RESPOND, not REACT.  I NEED to learn to LOVE in freedom and responsibility, NOT in GUILT.  This is such a L-O-N-G list of things that I have to learn and enforce in ONE DAY!  I'm glad that I can no longer runaway from the issue.  I need to purge everything...STAT!

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers  flare.
Lord, I pray that your words will flow from me today.  That your heart and gentleness speak louder than my own voice.  Amen.
Linking up with Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates
Readers can follow her categories or come up with 7 blessings that happened
during their week. 

Scripture:  I'm still going through Psalms and Proverbs this week and there were several awesome verses that spoke to me, but this week (I haven't taken the time to sit down and write) has been Über stressful and God replied:

"We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer....Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:1, 3  

I want to and need to rest in these words.  

Story Teller: So while at (in)courage I came across an article about Pinterest and community.  Loved it!  I love Pinterest and would love to do more crafts, so I'm hoping this will inspire me to actually DO something about it.

Social:  This week socially has been a quiet one, but it was just what I needed.  I love my Monday and Wednesday nights as I get to spend them with some great ladies...skating.  I love roller derby and am hoping to make it onto a team by next year.


Snapshot: For those of you not in the Pacific Northwest, this is what it has been like in town.  Our smoke has travelled to Idaho, Montana and parts of Wyoming.  So sad.  Yes, this is what we're actually breathing.  

HOWEVER, today we have blue skies!  We will never take blue skies for granted.

Thank you to Lynette Smith and Crystal for sharing their beautiful photos with me.
Sips: I bought some super yummy double dutch chocolate coffee.  The aromas from it are so soothing to me.  I inhale them so deeply that I. Just. Melt. <Shiver>

Sweets:  This week my sweets consisted of my mom's blueberry grapes.  These little blueberry-like grapes just popped in my mouth the most amazing flavors.  Yum!

Don't forget to link up with 
Stop and Smell the  Chocolates  for some wonderful encouragement!
Five Minute Friday

Constricted. Painful. Loss of all senses.  I'm GRASPING.
Lack of oxygen to my brain.  I'm GRASPING for air.
Emotions running wild.  Still I'm GRASPING.

What is my ultimate goal?  To have peace.  God provides that peace for me.  When I'm knocked down and struggling, I can usually relate everything to not having my quiet time, my alone time, my peaceful time with my Daddy.  He's my EVERYTHING.  I'm GRASPING onto his words of comfort.  I'm GRASPING onto his words of hope.  I'm GRASPING with all my strength.  His word and his timing never fails me.  He GRASPS my heart, ever so gently and pours his love on me.  He's GRASPING onto me just as much and even more onto me than I am to him.  He doesn't want to let me go.  He loves me so much that it pains me because I don't deserve it.  I thank him for his loving grace and mercy.  I will continue to GRASP onto him, even when I don't think I can.  Thank you God for never letting go.
I've been reading a few blogs here and there and this one in particular from (in)courage stuck out to me today. 

Community in general is something that I struggle with.  In high school it wasn't that difficult because you see the same people everyday and are a bit forced to mingle (something for the introvert in me that was really nice to have!).  In college I had a lot of male friends and very few girl friends.  I didn't know how to relate.  As I've gotten older, I've realized the importance of having the female presence around.  I still find it difficult to relate to a lot of women.  As my counselor would say, I'm still learning to be the ME that I was never allowed to be while growing up (more to come as I develop ME).  However, there is one group of women that I'm relating to more and more and that's the Apple City Roller Derby girls, in particular, the FRESH MEAT.  Fresh Meat is exactly as it sounds.  We're the Fresh Meat of the league, skating our little hearts out to be on one of the coveted league teams: The Hydro Elektras, Black Label Barbies, and the Jawbreakers

I've been skating with the Fresh Meat team since June, but have had very few practices due to business trips. But whenever I was gone, the other Fresh Meat checked in with me.  At practices, there is a bond that I haven't experienced in a long time.   I enjoy the workouts, the encouragement, and the community that this group of ladies (and men...the refs and coaches) bring to the POD (Pit of Despair).  There have been times that I feel like I can't skate another lap, but they keep you going.  They want you to learn and have fun.  The best thing about this particular community of derby is that you can go anywhere and contact the local derby leagues to hangout with them.  They truly know how to share in community. 

In my own experiences, this has been the only community that I've seen that is very accepting.  It doesn't matter your race, sex, sexual orientation, body type, creed, political stance, etc.  You are ACCEPTED.  It breaks my heart to see my fellow Christians judge others so harshly.  I know I'm not perfect, nor do I claim to be.  And I know they're not either.  I have many struggles in my life, but it pains me that there are very few people, Christians in particular, that I could share these struggles with for fear of losing whatever community I have with them.  I want to be ME.  Is this selfishness?  I don't think so.  I think that I'm trying to be the person that God has always intended for me to be, but fear has squashed ME to become what I think others want me to be.  What breaks my heart even more is that I'm still trying to learn to be ME with my own family; my own blood.  But that's where God comes in to help me overcome these fears.  He has helped me to seek out community where I can learn to ME.  And derby has been such a blessing and a kick ass workout.  So thank you Jesus for giving me the courage to sign up.  Thank you Apple City Roller Derby for having a great environment for community.  And thank you to my dear, near and loving friends who let me be ME...always.
I've been doing this in my old-school (i.e. handwritten journal) and have decided to put it to cyberspace.
So I'll be linking up with Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates.  Readers can follow her categories or come up with 7 blessings that happened during their week. 

Scripture:  I've been going through Psalms and Proverbs this month and this week, with everything that has been going on, God spoke nothing but sweet words of peace to me and I'm holding on tight.

                            Psalm 37:7a - Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.

Story Teller: I was so excited to start Liz Curtis Higgs' bible study, The Girl's Still Got It last week that I couldn't wait for the next one.  She takes the book of Ruth and breaks it down, bit by bit and takes you from Moab to Bethlehem.  Love, love, love it!  Take the journey with her.

Social:  I was super social bee this past week.  I got the pleasure to hang out with my besties, Ashley and Natalie.  We've been friends for 26 years!  I love these 2 so dearly.  We haven't seen each other since my wedding 5 years ago and Ashley met Mr. Right (Kyle) and we had to go meet him and the newlyweds.  We had a wonderful time.  We hardly slept a wink.  I know I was up for at least 24 hours spending time with these lovely ladies.  I can't wait for our next visit.  Hopefully it won't be in 5 years!

Silly: Well after my trip to see the girls, I had a work trip in Nashville.  I was so ready to be home with my family.  I surprised the kids by picking them up as soon as I got off the plane.  Then we got home and I got to be silly with the kids.  They thought it would be hilarious if I used them like a weight-lifting bar.  Let me tell you, I got a workout that my arms are still yelling at me for, but it was so worth it!

Snapshot: Well, it's not really a photo, but a video.  We celebrated our 5 year anniversary at the beginning of the year and we usually watch our video, and we were late in watching it this year.  Thank you to our wonderful photographer, Chris Watkins, for keeping this alive for us!
Sips:  I had a LOT of tea and coffee after all my travel exploits.  I had a very yummy raspberry chocolate truffle coffee that I couldn't get enough of in my belly.  Mmm....

Sweets:  While in Tennessee, my trainers sent over a welcome bag of treats to my hotel room.  It had some amazing dark chocolate.  I totally didn't grab its name, but oh my goodness...it melted in my mouth and was just soooo smooth and creamy and, wow, my mouth is watering. 

Don't forget to link up with Stop and Smell the Chocolates for some wonderful encouragement!


1 Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.  Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness.

Nourishment. We all need it in order to live. Babies, fresh from the womb, need nourishment once the umbilical cord is cut.  In most cases, that baby is offered mother's milk, the best form of nourishment for a baby. 

"Breast milk is a unique nutritional source that cannot adequately be replaced by any other food, including infant formula. Although pollutants can accumulate in breast milk, it remains superior to infant formula from the perspective of the overall health of both mother and child.

 Infants are fragile and susceptible to disease, partly because their bodies are not fully developed. They must be treated with special care and given adequate nourishment. Infant formulas are able to mimic a few of the nutritional components of breast milk, but formula cannot hope to duplicate the vast and constantly changing array of essential nutrients in human milk. Nevertheless, breastfeeding is often devalued, both in the United States and abroad, and in many parts of the world it must compete with relentless advertising by
infant-formula companies." (Natural Resources Defense Council)

We are all still "babies."  We need NOURISHMENT; the spiritual kind.  I have been craving to be fed, more so than ever.  The lyrics from Neon Trees, Everybody Talks, "It started with a whisper..." comes to mind because that is exactly what it was to me.  He provided a gentle whisper...and wait for it...I opened my ears and heart and LISTENED.  He said two simple words, "Trust me."  In all actuality it probably wasn't a whisper, but more of a slap upside the head.  He has been trying to tell me this for so long and as thick-headed and stubborn I am, he'll have to keep telling me. But ever since I started to put INTENTIONAL effort into trusting him, I have been craving more and more. 

Take the paragraph above and with a few changes you will see just how important God's nourishment is for us.

God's word is a unique nutritional source that cannot adequately be replaced by any other source. Although worldy pollutants can accumulate in our daily living, God's word remains superior to any other outside source from the  perspective of the overall health of our hearts and salvation.

We are fragile and susceptible to sin because we are sinners and miss the mark everyday. We must treat ourselves with special care and give ourselves daily and adequate nourishment. The world is able to mimic a few of the nutritional  components of God's word, but the world cannot hope to duplicate the vast and constantly stable array of essential nutrients from God's word. Nevertheless, God's word is often devalued, both in the church and out of the church, and in many parts of the world it must compete with the world of today.

Once we see our need for his word and begin to find nourishment in Christ, our spiritual appetite will increase, and we will start to mature.

How strong is your desire for his nourishment?

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