I’m sitting here in early morning quiet on a Saturday reflecting on the last few weeks.  It has been a few weeks with what felt like thicker air pushing in on me making it more difficult to breath, focus, and hear the truth.  I struggled keeping my happy.  I found myself saying “Jesus” quietly to myself more often than I had in quite some time.  My heart hurt, and I couldn’t really put my finger on it.  Busy at work and lot’s of hours?, less sleep? exhausting myself with early morning work outs and evening runs?, fathers day is around the corner?…..  I believe it was a combination of all of the above.

Do you find your happy sometimes feels like it’s just snuffed out?  Does life feel great but then all of a sudden, for no reason, the air has gotten thick, the flame has been harder to burn, and you find yourself wanting to hide? Guess what.. that is life!?  It is totally normal!! God is with you, loving you, and whispering truth into you while Satan is using this time to try and win you to his lying layer.

When I struggle, or feel pressure squishing in on my heart, I tend to find a good Christian book and soak it up. That is exactly what I did last weekend.  I’m not sure why I have never read one of Lisa Harper’s books before, but I am hooked!  Last weekend I picked up her The Sacrament of Happy, What a smiling God brings to a wounded world. I can’t recommend this book enough.  I gobbled it up in two days.  It’s no accident I stumbled upon this book.  My heart needed it, my head needed it, but most importantly my spirit needed it.  I have since gone onto kindle and downloaded several more of her books!

Happy is a choice.  Happy is free.  Happy is infectious.  Happy is possible amongst pain, hurt, sadness.  I would like to encourage you today to find your beautiful smile, put a small skip to your step, and believe that you matter.  Try it for the first hour of the day… I promise you it will change the rest of your day!

While I waited

I get asked a lot “why did you wait?” or “how did you wait?”  I get asked this from people all over the board, both believers and not believers.  Both then and now, this question always pops up. While I was in my storm, I was shocked at how many bible believing Christians told me that he didn’t deserve me and that I shouldn’t be waiting for him, that it wasn’t healthy for me.  My only statement during times like this was “it’s really only up to God, he knows what I need”

I’m sitting here 3 and a half years later to tell you God truly knew what he was doing.  He had a plan.  Did I get my marriage back?  My family back?  Nope.  But I can look at the things he changed in me slowly during the two plus years I waited.  The list is endless… furthering my education, progress on my home for it’s possible selling (which is another subject in itself), incredible healthy changes in ways I truly never thought were possible for me,  lot’s and lot’s of time with my children, but most of all, my relationship with Jesus which changed so many other things in me and my children.

My relationship with Jesus changed the way I look at life on bad days, not just good days.  I’ve always had a saying… Attitude is Everything.  I lived it less and less the last few years of my marriage.  Now, I think it all the time.  When I’m stuck at work past my shift for the second day in a row, I figure if I smile and energize my step, it will pass quicker and I will have more fun… it works.  If my youngest son is struggling and raising his voice, I find a smile and a quick thanks that I am the one that was chosen to be his mom, is the quickest response.   It’s also the response that leads me to gratitude, leads my son out of frustration quick (because I’m not being a bossy yeller), which makes life easier for both of us.  This week I have worked 46 hours, and I still have a day of call ahead of me.  My son has had some difficult end of year tests, portfolios, and reading projects.  Yet it has been such a good week.  And I still love my job more than when I first started there.  I learned new things at work this week, and was commented to on more than one occasion what a great nurse I am.  I received calls from some of Nic’s teachers telling me how absolutely amazing he is doing.  Being happy, is fun.  It’s fulfilling.  And it is incredibly infectious.

The changes in my life during the time I waited, brought me to where I am.  I didn’t want to sell my home, I didn’t want to move.  But I learned to listen to God in the quiet that my life suddenly became.  I went back to school for my BSN, which this job required.  I worked on my house, small project at a time (hoping the fix ups were for me), and it helped the house to sell.  On my quiet nights and mornings I read…. oh a read a lot.  I soaked myself into book after book searching for help in my walk with Jesus.  I ran a lot when I hurt.  Running became my connection to Jesus.  I heard him best on runs.  I still do.  Fitness and Jesus go and hand in my life.

I don’t believe I would have found this job without a relationship with Jesus.  It wasn’t posted for the public.  It was an internal job.  I applied for a main OR job and this job was suggested to me by the recruiter… why, I have no idea.  My resume was handed to my now boss (again…. why?) who asked to visit with me.  She and several other girls in my department are runners.   They apparently all had commented on that portion of my resume.   I  met her, toured the department, and met the crew, after my interview in the main OR.  She wasn’t going to be able to open the job for an outside interviewer for 6 weeks per contract. I told her I would pray about it but that my gut was telling me  I couldn’t wait for 6 weeks for a “maybe” job.  I was unemployed and needed a guarantee now.   She already had an internal applicant she was hiring.  None of it sounded like it would work out.  So I was resolved to go with the main OR job and maybe someday, if pediatrics was meant to be for me it would open up.  Within less than a week I got a call for an interview…. how?  I was offered the job the next morning.  Again… how?  I know how….. God.  Slowly the changes he had made in me, brought me to this job, gave me time with my children, and changed me.  He moves mountains when the time is right.  He works miracles when necessary.

That is why I look back on my years of waiting, and I have only joy and gratitude for what it has given me.  Sure, I wish I was sitting here writing to you that our marriage was healed and our relationship is better for our storm.  I wish like crazy someday’s that this is not the path he took.  But I hold no anger toward him, only forgiveness and sadness.  His journey is his, while mine is mine.