Monday, December 15, 2014

I kissed dating goodbye...



I'm sure many people who open this blog may have heard of a fairly popular book with a similar title written by Joshua Harris. This blog is not about that.

I've actually never read the book.

Let me explain.

It's no secret that it hasn't been my best year. On top of all my medical issues, I also got divorced back in August (no, we didn't get divorced because of my medical issues, we had been separated nearly 7 months when I had my stroke).

What you may not know is that before my stroke, I really wasn't dealing well with the whole thing. I was in a position I never expected to be, and I was making some very unwise decisions.

I've struggled with depression. I felt unworthy and unwanted which led me to finding comfort in the wrong places. Food was one of them. Comfort eating is something I think I've struggled with since college. I also turned to different avenues of getting attention that I desired. I put myself in knowingly stupid and even dangerous situations... why? Because I temporarily felt what I had been craving. I felt wanted...

I've never been the girl who dated around. Yeah, I had boyfriends, but I can count them all on one hand. Actually... I hate dating. I hate the awkwardness of going out with someone you don't know. I think that's why I've mostly only dated guys I've known for a long time. However, the older I get, the less that seems like an option.

So, in the hopes of broadening my horizons, and the possibility of meeting Mr Right... I joined a dating site and an app for meeting people.

And honestly, it was fun! Sometimes just for a good laugh (there are lots of creeps out there), but I also got the opportunity to meet some cool people. During a certain period, I don't think a day went by without me checking my phone to see if someone new had messaged me. Yup, I know, makes me sound extremely desperate and lame, but I think I was.

But I became absolutely obsessed with finding someone new. I wanted desperately to move on. My standards weren't very high. To me, moving on was synonymous with finding a new man.

But why? Can't moving on simply be me not dwelling on the past, striving towards forgiveness, and learning to be happy? I think it can.

So, I deleted my account for the dating site. Not that I think anything is wrong with them, but for me, I simply felt like it was me not trusting God. Instead of believing that God can bring me the right thing at the right time, I decided to take it into my own hands.

So in a way, I kissed dating good bye, but not entirely. I kissed my way of dating good bye. The way in which I was trying to take control of the situation, the way in which I was desperate, the way in which I stopped believing that God can give me exactly what I need.

I'm totally up for meeting new people and hanging out. I am just not going to spend my time consumed by it.

So yeah, if you know someone (or you are someone) that's totally perfect for me, definitely send them my way! But until then, I am more than OK and happy. And let me warn you, I am not the same girl with low standards either... so only amazing guys need apply.

I have a list of things we need in a man, and I say "we" because Olivia is as much a part of this as I am. We need someone who will protect us physically, support us financially, guide us spiritually, and love us unconditionally.

And maybe that guy doesn't exist for us, and I am learning to be OK with that. I have the most amazing daughter, family, church, job, and life... really. I am beyond blessed.

Instead of worrying about what I don't have, I am going to be focusing on making myself the best I can... To be a better mother, daughter, sister, friend, leader... and maybe these things will lead me to be a better wife someday and maybe they won't.

God is writing my story. And I don't need to know the ending. I just want to enjoy the days it takes to get me there.




Sunday, November 23, 2014

You're still God

For those of you that haven't been keeping up with my journey over the past 6 months, check this blog out: http://paigerific.blogspot.com/2014/05/i-had-seizure.html

Now  that everyone is up to speed, since that time I've had my blood taken a million times (not literally) to test my INR levels because of the blood thinner I am on. I have had two more Cat Scans and an MRI. I had to have another surgery, this time on my left shoulder because it kept coming out of socket, which is a result of the seizures I had when I had my stroke... 

When I had my CT in August, my neural surgeon released me, because the small clot that was still left in my brain looked much better and the blood flow was looking really good compared to where I was at back in May. 

Which brings me to my most recent CT and appointment with my neurologist. 

The clot isn't any better. In fact, the way the contrast looked in my CT, the blood flow might even be worse. 

Chances are, since the clot has been there so long and has had hardened over time, that the clot will never resolve itself even with the blood thinners. That basically it's something I will have to live with, or there will be more brain surgery in my future. 

So now, I am currently waiting for my neurologist and my neural surgeon to meet and decide what that next step is. My neurologist seemed pretty confident that they wouldn't do surgery, but rather that the clot would just be there, unless I started having more symptoms (i.e. another stroke). 

I don't know if I can fully express in writing how broken hearted I was over this news. I prayed, many of you prayed... and while it may seem somewhat ungrateful after all of the miracles I have experienced, I was angry. 

I know I am not the only one who has prayed and believed and then didn't get the answer I wanted. Chances are I could live the rest of my life perfectly fine with no symptoms of the clot that is in my brain. But that doesn't stop me from worrying every time I get even a small headache. Or the fact that the only symptom I can look for is stroke like symptoms. 

I had a day, feeling sorry for myself... again I know, it could be much worse, and there are people who have a lot more problems that I do. I think its OK to hurt for a moment. To be mad and angry temporarily about circumstances that are sometimes beyond your control. Saying someone shouldn't be allowed to feel what they feel simply because someone else in the world might be worse off is absolutely ridiculous. Yeah, in the grand scheme of things there are children starving to death, which does come into perspective eventually, but I think its OK to take some time to be upset when your prayers don't get answered to way you had hoped. 

But after that... after I took some time to feel sorry for myself for a minute... I had to make a decision on how I was going to handle this news. 

I could stay upset forever, but really, that's just not me. 

I've been dealt a pretty crappy hand this year... but you know what, God is still God.

In my small group at church we have been watching a video series and recently it was discussing the three men in the fiery furnace. 

Their faith was so strong that they were willing to die for it. They had absolute faith that God could save them, but even if he didn't, He was still God. 

Now this story makes me a little ashamed of how I have been praying for my own medical battles. I was praying for a miracle... but never acknowledged God's faithfulness even if I didn't receive exactly what I wanted.

I wanted the clot to be gone. I wanted to not have to even think about surgery or blood thinners or the possibility of another stroke.  

But it's still there. 

And you know what? He is still God. He has been so ridiculously faithful to me my whole life, this year especially. I could have died... but I am still here. 

Maybe I will impact the world in some drastic way, or maybe I will never know or see exactly how my story has affected others. 

Maybe when I go back for my 1 year CT in May, the clot will miraculously be gone. And maybe it will still be in exactly the same place. 

Know that even through your trials, your heartache, and your failures, God is still God... he has never ever left you. Even if you have turned your back on him, he has never turned his back on you.

Because whether he does, or whether he doesn't... He is still God.











Monday, October 27, 2014

Is it enough?

If I lose it all, You're enough...

Honesty time. 

I posted lyrics from this song on twitter about a month ago, well because I like the song, and I'd like to think that this is a thought that I too can express. But the more I think about it, the more I can see that statement is very wrong in my life.

For those of you keeping up at home, I've had a bit of a rough year; divorce, stroke, etc...

In many ways I have lost quite a bit this year, far from everything, but still...

I still had so much, but it seemed that through my losses, Jesus wasn't enough. Hear me out...

It's a beautiful thought, but I am ashamed to say that nothing could be further from the truth when I really look at my life. 

What if I never find a man to share my life and change the world with?

What if my health never gets back to 100%?

What if I end up living in my sister's basement for the rest of my life?

What if I lost Olivia?

All of this makes me sick at my stomach just at the thought of them... but lately I have really had to ask my self... If there came a time when I truly lost it all... when everything that is important to me is taken away, if I never received the desires of my heart, or another blessing... would Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for me sins truly be enough? 

I think sometimes Job gets a bad reputation for wanting to die, but honestly if you think about how you would react in your life if you truly lost everything... I can't blame him. 

That doesn't mean I cant hope and pray for the things I love and desire. 

But as completely head over heals as I am for my daughter, I am doing here an extreme disservice as a mother and a Christian example, if I ever let me love for her trump my love for God. 

It's something I am working on... and I promise I haven't got it all figured out. 



I don't want to settle out of fear of being alone, but there have been so many times I have been willing to.

I had to read in front of people yesterday, and I felt like a 1st grader having to really concentrate to make sure I was pronouncing the words correctly.  And there are probably quite a few typos in this, and times I changed the word I was going to use because I just couldn't figure out how to spell it...

It's frustrating... I get very frustrated about all these things...

But God is good, and I know I have so much to be thankful for... I can't focus on what I don't have, or what I may never have.

But that's what I am currently working on, getting to the point in my life where Jesus is truly enough. 

I have to get the point where it isn't just a song I sing or a tweet, but that its truly a way of life. To find my Joy and fulfillment in Jesus, and remember that what he has already done for me, is far more than I deserve. 

So this week, I challenge you to look at your life... Is Jesus really enough? 

2 Corinthians 12:9 "But He said, 'My grace is sufficient for you..."


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30th

It's September 30th...

I honestly hadn't even realized it until I was on the way to work this morning, and they were talking about it being the last day of September.

Two years ago I promised forever to a man who only wanted me temporarily. And regardless of your opinion on the matter, that kind of sucks.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of positive has come through the divorce. I'm not bound by all the stress and hurt and anger anymore. I don't feel crazy anymore. I'm in a much better place emotionally, spiritually, physically... I get all that.

But today is simply a reminder that the future I as planning two years ago is not longer my future.

And I think its OK for me to grieve for that loss for a day. The loss of my forever, the loss of my best friend, the loss of a hand to hold...

Most of my time, I spend realizing that I am fortunate for a God of second chances. That I've been given the opportunity to create something even better than I was dreaming two years ago.

So yes, today makes me a little sad... My daughter won't have her dad at home every night to tuck her in. I don't have someone to come home to and tell about my bad days or the good ones.  And maybe one day I'll get married again and have someone to share my life with, but my daughter will never have what I had growing up. And that makes me sad.

My life is FAR from over... but I hope and pray for the strength to be the mom Olivia needs me to be. To always put her first, and for her to always know that she is deeply loved by her father and I. That she will never feel alone. That she will always know that she is beautiful. And that our mistakes won't cause her pain, but rather be the building blocks for her to be a more amazing person that we ever dreamed of being.

My life is nothing like I thought it would be two years ago... but I hope that next year I'll be saying the same thing about this year... because my best is yet to come.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Esse quam videri



Be rather than appear to be....

Know what I've been doing lately? 

Absolutely nothing.

Really, I was thinking during church on Sunday about all the things I've accomplished the last few months, and nothing at all comes to mind. 

I take Liv to school, I go to work, I pick Liv up, we go home, eat dinner, take baths, and go to bed. 

Life has been terribly mundane. 

I mean, I have a right to just take it easy for a while... I've quite literally been through Hell this year, with my stroke and divorce... I deserve some time.

Absolutely and completely wrong!

I've been telling myself for the past few months... when I get out of therapy, or when I move back home, or when I can drive... then I'll start making a difference... then I'll start changing the world. But you know what? All those things have come to pass and I'm still stuck in my weekly routine. 

Maybe I'm scared or I've become lazy. Maybe the heartbreak I've experienced affects me more the I let on. Maybe I can't because I don't know how to let go. Maybe I have a million and one ideas, but I doubt that I can actually accomplish some of these goals. 

"Let our faith be more than anthems,Greater than the songs we sing"

Is our faith only anthems? Is our worship simply a song? Are our words of hope simply white noise? Do we live what we preach? Is a few minutes of extra sleep more important than time with God? Is your prime time show more valuable than a lost and dying world? 

If we don't follow our own convictions... If we don't go against our own beliefs... we are hypocrites.

Let's call it what it is. Too many Christians are content with living lukewarm lives. It's time to make a decision... it's time to make a stand. Hot or cold. 

"The world is an evil place; not because of people who are evil, but because of people who don't do anything about it." -Albert Einstein 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Confessions of a Christian Divorcee



I assume many that know me might read the title of this and click on the link for some sort of dirt... maybe a tell all of my recent divorce and the terrible path we took to get there...

There will be some insight, but I refuse to let the world in on some of the private matters, because it's none of your business. I refuse to publicly bash my ex, because I do have a daughter to protect, and honestly I don't really bash him privately either. He is the Father of my daughter, and at the end of the day I can be thankful that he loves her and cares for her. But I want to share so that maybe someone else can learn from our mistakes.

We were headed for disaster from the very beginning, we just didn't know it. Or maybe we just didn't want to see it.

To be quite honest, the beginning of our relationship was pure perfection. We had the same goals and future and hopes. We supported each other's dreams and genuinely looked forward to a future together. Then in 2011, we discovered that we were pregnant.

We were in church and doing ministry, but obviously we had our own sins to deal with. I believe that our refusal to deny ourselves and to truly live our lives the way God intended was the beginning of the end.

There are ALOT of things I would change about the past few years... getting pregnant and giving birth to what I believe is the most amazing child on the face of the planet isn't one of them.

But inevitably things changed. We placed ourselves in a position where we were no longer leaders in the Church. Never were we outcast, in fact we were shown ridiculous amounts of love and support from our church. But we both needed to reflect on our mistakes and how to continue in the future. It really seemed as if everything went so smoothly... By the time we had our daughter we were once again serving in ministry.

However we were already in need of repair long before we were married. Our move away from ministry changed us... The very thing that brought us together and defined us was no longer part of us.

I could make lists upon lists of what he did wrong... but I've spent enough of my time dwelling on his mistakes.

I should have seen the red flags. Last week I wrote about how people can change if they want... but you cannot force them to. And that is where I was, forcing this marriage down his throat. You can't make someone love you... You can't make someone grow up. But that didn't stop me from trying.

I've never felt us mentally unstable as I have in the past almost two years. I was literally obsessed and driving myself insane. I was ridiculously unhappy and jealous. I manipulated him, I would pick fights to make myself feel better, I would throw a fit if things didn't go exactly my way... all because I felt I was entitled after his bad decisions. He definitely made mistakes and terrible decisions, but that didn't justify my actions. I literally felt crazy. I was no longer myself. I was completely unhappy.

I would like to say this really began after we were married, but the truth is it began long before. The warning signs were there. I just didn't want to see them. The decisions my ex made after we were married were no different than the ones he made before we said I do... I guess I just expected him to change. I expected something that he wasn't capable of at the time.

I have a terrible habit of falling for the Peter Pans in the world... the boys who never want to grow up. I think I was ready to get married when I was in high school, so I was excited to have my husband and father to my daughter home every night. I think we got married because he knew it would make me happy... thinking that it would be an easy transition from boyfriend and baby daddy to husband and father. It wasn't. Not at all... and I never let him forget it.

I honestly don't know that he ever would have left had we never had that last conversation the day he decided to go... I was determined to make this marriage work no matter how miserable I was. He wasn't ready to change... He wasn't ready to be the husband that I needed. And I knew that... and he knew that... we just didn't want to admit it to ourselves. After all, we were so happy when we first started dating... so ready to conquer the world together.

I discovered he was discussing the possibility of leaving... however it had yet to be discussed with me. I told him to leave if that's what he wanted.... and he did.

We tried over the next couple of months to somehow salvage the mess that we had made... to forgive... to let go... to move on... No matter what avenue I tried... counseling, reading books, being less crazy... nothing changed. We were still unhappy, and he still wasn't ready for the commitment he had made.

If you had told me when I was younger that I would get divorced, I would have called you a dirty liar.

So what can you learn from our mistakes?

1: Run from Sin. When you are in habitual sin, there are most certainly consequences.  I'm not saying that everyone who is caught up in sin is doomed for marital failure, I'm saying that when we knowingly disobey the word of God... we put ourselves in a position for future failure.

2: They won't change. Well they might, it's possible. But chances are, the red flags you see before marriage aren't going to drastically be undone once a ring is on your fingers. If you get married with the expectation that the other person is going to suddenly become super husband or wife, you are already doomed. People change because they want to, not because you force them.

3: You have issues too. I was constantly obsessed with his mistakes and downfalls that I rarely took the time  to see where my own imperfections played a role. After all, it was his bad decisions that made me this way... I pawned it all off on him. It was his fault I was this way... I refused to look at the fact that I had a choice. I blamed my misery on him. But it was my decision not to get up out of my depression... I just didn't realize it at the time.

4: Get help, and fast! We should have started seeing a counselor long before we ever did... even before we were married. But I kept our issues to myself, because I thought I was protecting our family. You should never go and spread all your personal issues to the whole world, but it is very helpful to have an accountability couple that can support your marriage or even start seeing a counselor early on... We were in denial of our issues... I think waiting to get help was one of our biggest mistakes.

5: Divorce isn't the answer. I say that even after I have gone through the process. I believe that if we were faithful, that God would have seen us through. In reality, we should have never gotten married to begin with. But we did, and I would have moved heaven and earth to keep our relationship together... but it takes two people to want to work on a marriage. I couldn't do it on my own.

6: Forgive. I think its one of the biggest things that could have saved our marriage. It's something I couldn't do at the time. I couldn't let the past go.

7: Be Honest. There are a lot of things I was willing to let go of, but lying was one thing that I couldn't. Once you lie to someone, it's difficult if not impossible to gain back that trust. So instead of looking for ways to gain back that trust, I found ways to lie myself. If you can't beat them, join them. But I was wrong... very wrong.

8: Put God first. I really think we had this at the beginning... and somewhere along the way we lost it. Praying together, encouraging each other spiritually, praying for each other, doing ministry together... In the middle of our trials God was definitely not the center.

My marriage has ended, and regardless of the terrible things I have experienced over the past couple years, it still makes me said. I still feel like I failed. I still have those what if's...

Maybe your marriage is falling apart... I home my mistakes can help you find some clarity. I hope you can find a way to mend the broken pieces.

Maybe you have already suffered a divorce. Honestly, I am lucky, ours was quite painless... maybe yours was terrible. God still has a plan for our lives. Our past mistakes don't have to define us. We can still move forward.

Maybe you are dating someone and you know that it isn't a health or godly relationship... and you realize you need to make a change before you say I do... or possibly end that relationship.

I thought I was going to change the world with his hand in mine... but just because I don't have a hand to hold, doesn't meant I can't change the world. I refuse to let this divorce be my defining moment. My dreams haven't changed. My hope for the future remains. Things didn't work out the way I planed, but I believe that God is still in control.







Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Change



I am the way I am, I just can't help it. I'm fat because of genetics. I am an addict because of a predisposition. I'm rude because I am a female. I'm abusive because I was abused. I hate others because I've been hurt. I hold grudges. I steal. I procrastinate. I'm always late. I sin... I can't change who I am. 

Bull crap.

I agree that people rarely change. But it isn't that they can't change. We have to ability to change... to better ourselves. The reason we can't change it a lack of desire... a lack of follow through... a lack of commitment to change. 

Change isn't easy. In fact, changing something that might define who you are may be the most difficult thing you ever do. 


But change is necessary if we are ever to become the individuals that God created us to be. 

How do you change? 

You start small. You pick one are of your life that needs to be changed to focus on. And then you pray. You get help from a friend or pastor or a counselor. You read books that encourages you in your desire to change. You consult experts. You make a plan. When you mess up, you don't quit. 

The things in your life that are holding you back... that is not the way that God intended for you to live. 

You will never be perfect... but why aren't we striving to be? 

Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

The very least that we can do, is to offer your life as living sacrifice. To stop being so focused on the things that make you the way you are, and to start living your life to be pleasing unto God. And this is the LEAST that you can do.... 

You can change. You can be better. You can give up those things that break God's heart. You can stop living your life held back by who you think you are and start living your life the way that God intended. 

The question is do you want to? The question is are you up for the challenge?  It won't be easy, but God has so much more in store for you. 

"They say a leopard can't change its spots. But we're not leopards. We are humans. Our defining characteristic is our adaptability. We adapt to survive. My point is: we CAN to some extent, change our spots..." -Tom Hiddleston 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

I wasn't going to blog this week, but I am beyond angry and ashamed to have read the things I have read today.

Things like...
"Robin Williams died? Who cares"
"Suicide is selfish, stop talking about Robin Williams"
"Robin Williams is in Hell"

There were more... but these comments where the ones I found the most disturbing. Let's start with the first...

WHO CARES
Well, apparently a lot of people. He was an amazing actor and had the ability to bring joy and laughter to those who watched his films. I mean, practically my entire news feed was covered with people who were genuinely broken over this news. So yeah, a lot of people care. Just because you are so heartless that a tragedy which doesn't personally affect you can't stir at least a tiny emotion, doesn't mean the rest of us are. People grew up watching this man, and many probably felt as if they knew him. Maybe he wasn't your friend, or you next door neighbor, but it amazes me that you can look at human life with such indifference. I can only hope that people don't show you and yours the same disrespect in time of tragedy. After all, what have you done in this life to make a difference? My guess is that even your greatest accomplishments might pale in comparison to a man who was obviously adored by many.


SUICIDE IS SELFISH
I think I can agree somewhat, especially from an outsiders perspective. The thing is, we have absolutely no idea what demons this man faced. Not a clue what finally brought him to the decision that death would be a better alternative to life. He was in pain... I know because you don't just end your own life for the heck of it. People who commit suicide... they aren't thinking about you... or their family... or their friends... they are thinking about the pain that they live with day in and day out. So yeah, maybe it is a bit selfish. But obviously if you are calling him selfish, you've never been so dark and desperate to even consider such an act. Everyone you meet is facing a difficult battle that you know nothing about... It's easy to simply simply wright this off as selfish. But when you take time to really look at how much pain he must have been in to take such drastic measures, when you try to look at it from his prospective... The perspective of someone who is hurting so much that they con't possibly imagine the pain ever getting better... I've probably said the same words, that suicide is selfish, at one point of my life or another. But depression changes people... and selfish or not, the fact that you could only look at his act rather than the reasons makes you seem extremely cold.

HE'S IN HELL
Really? Did Jesus himself come down from heaven to specifically tell you that was his final destination? Did he then send you on a mission to spread the news... no? Yeah I didn't think so... Honestly, I think this response was the must infuriating of all. I was honestly surprised to read this from anyone except the yahoos at Westboro Baptist Church. Just regular old people in my timeline making this proclamation. Here is the thing, he very well might be. But I don't know that. It isn't my place to judge. The Bible tells us that we will know people by their fruits. Regardless of any speculation on the matter, it is also scripturally not my place to judge. Maybe he used his last moments on earth to make peace with God, I hope so anyways. I would like to believe that there are cases when people are so unstable mentally in such a situation that they are incapable of making a logical decision... I know God is merciful. But to flat out proclaim that he is in Hell? Are you a prophet? I mean really, I want to know what exactly gives you the audacity or credibility for such an announcement. I'm sure they could use a few more picketers at his funeral if you really feel so strongly about it.

Before anyone get's their panties in a wad, this was not directed towards anyone in particular. This was just samples of things I read from Facebook pages and twitter hash-tags. But if the shoe fits, feel free to lace that thing up and wear it!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

To everything there is a season...

"I just want to be mad for a while"

I know it isn't Monday (when I typically write my posts for those who aren't aware), but I needed some time to think about this. Honestly, I needed some time to calm down before I wrote something completely rude and hateful and then no one would ever read my blog again. I think I'm calm now... maybe...

I've experienced A LOT lately... and while I am so ridiculously thankful for all the love and support and prayers... this is going to be bit of a rant, so this is your fair warning. 

Over the course of the last few months there have been times when I have been angry. I was angry and frustrated with my aphasia and not being able to express myself the way I wanted to. I've been angry and wanted to cry on more then once occasion because of my hair falling out. And not driving? I love my Mom and she has been great, bet a 26 year old mom needs her independence! 

Can I tell you the most frustrating part? Is that people try to help, and really they make it worse. I know it isn't their intent. I know in their heart of hearts they really are trying to put a positive spin on things. But when my hair looks like this....


Honestly the last thing I want to hear is "At least you're still alive". Don't get me wrong... I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to still be alive. But stop telling me I can't be upset. Stop acting as if I can't cry every once in and a while over my bald head. 

And the driving thing? Come back to me when you are an adult and you aren't allowed to drive for an extended period of time. Again, I know I'm lucky. My parents have been great to take care of my and Liv, and I know not everyone has that. But I want to be in my bed. I want to go to Wal-Mart by myself. Honestly I just want to fill the 4-Runner up with gas and just drive until it runs out. I miss my independence. 

But yet again, I have people making me feel as if its not OK to be upset. Like its wrong and ungrateful of me since I've experienced so  much blessing to be mad about silly things like driving. 

Can I tell you what is helpful? Just a plane "yeah, that sucks". Having your feelings validated sometimes is the most helpful thing someone can do. 

Maybe it's just me... maybe other people want you to help them see the brighter side. 

It's not that I don't see the bright side or that I ever stop being grateful for the blessings. But you know what, sometimes I just need to be made. I am human and I have feelings and I need to cry or yell or be angry. Even if its about silly and insignificant things like not being able to drive. 

I think sometimes we are too quick to offer some helpful or encouraging words, when maybe the person we are offering them to might just need us to be there. It isn't always necessary to offer an inspiring speech... but sometimes simply a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold... or someone to listen to you when you need to vent. 

If you haven't experienced it... try to put yourself in theirs shoes. Try not to offer advice you wouldn't want. If you really want to be there for someone, ask them how they feel, don't just assume and start opening your mouth with what you think about it. 

Sometimes I need to be mad.... last week was one of those weeks. That doesn't mean I'm not grateful or blessed. But I am human and I have feelings and sometimes I have to let those feelings out. 

There are different times in our lives when different feelings or emotions are needed. When different actions are required. That doesn't meant they are wrong. It's just different seasons. 

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.




Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't let it slip away



So I had a bit of down time this weekend and decided to watch the movie "God's not Dead". 

Great movie, but this blog isn't about that.

The movie actually reminded me of something I had completely forgotten about...

I met Michael Tait in a Kroger on New Yer's eve.

Apparently, my friend Hanna has family that is friends with him, so she just walks up to him and starts talking to him like its nothing.

I grew up listening to DC talk. I could honestly still probably quote most of the lyrics to you (I saw a man with tat on his big fat belly it wriggled around like marmalade jelly...).

He introduces himself as Michael and we shook hands. And you know what I did next?

Absolutely nothing.

This whole time Hanna is talking to him I am having this inner conversation going something like "OMG it's the guy from DC Talk. Surely that's not him. I mean we are at Kroger. You don't just run into Michael Tait at Kroger. He looks just like him. He's just a very similar looking African american gentleman. Maybe I should ask, oh no that would be rude... his name is Michael, its totally him... I should say something.. Paige say something..."

We walked away and I asked Hanna if that was him. It was. Of course she wasn't aware of my fangirling during our brief chat. 

I had the opportunity to get a picture... to make a memory. And I missed it. I let that moment just slip away.

I kicked myself the rest of the night.

I could probably write a whole book about opportunities that I have missed. Things I've missed out on because of fear or insecurity or doubt... 

It seems so stupid to me now, why I couldn't just say "Oh my gosh, I know you" but in the moment I held myself back. I didn't take the opportunity when it presented itself and I completely missed it. 

Am I the only one who has let far too many of the moments just pass them by?

I kind of hate to keep pulling the stroke card, but it just seems so relevant to my life, I guess since it was kind of a big deal. 

We only have a limited amount of time to make memories on this earth. My stoke could have been the last of my memories, but thankfully God decided to give me time to make a few more. 

Today my challenge is not to hold yourself back from those moments. Not to look back and regret not making a memory, even if you end up making a fool of yourself. 

Whats the worst that could have happened? It wasn't Michael Tait and I looked a little dumb mistaking him for someone else? So what? WHO CARES!?!? 

Life is far too short for me to care so much about looking dumb in front of other people or to be so concerned with what other people think of me.  

I can't be who I am called to be or do what I am called to do by being scared and living my life on the side lines. I have to make some noise. I have to get in there and play the game... even if I strike out... even if I look really silly. That's not the point. The point is just to do it, to put myself out there, to try, to fail, to make some memories, and to make a difference. Because we only get so much time here on earth... and I intend to make the rest of mine count. 

So, Michael Tait (because I totally know you are reading my blog right now), if I happen to run into you in a Kroger again, I promise you that I will be getting a picture.

And I might ask you to sing something for me... 


Ephesians 5:16 "Make the most of ever opportunity..." 






Monday, July 14, 2014

He loved me anyway



I've seen a lot of social media posts lately about murders and baby's getting left in hot cars and well... you know what I'm talking about, you've seen it too right? Everyone giving their two cents about exactly what should be done to people who could do such heinous things. They should be beaten to death, or die slowly, or hung up in the town square so we can all get a chance to take a jab at em. I can't be the only one who has noticed this.

And I can't begin to judge anyone for their reactions towards such crimes. Maybe they know the person who has been murdered... maybe all these children left in hot cars just bring it too close to home for some moms.

I've never had a close friend or family member that has died in such a tragic way... but as I was starting to read posts from different people a scripture came to my mind...

I Corinthians 13:6 Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

As a Christian, I am called to love... which is not always an easy to task. I am called to love not only those who love me, but I am also called to love my enemies. To pray for those who persecute me and hate me. To forgive those who who speak falsely against me.

I want to first say that I believe that those who committee these terrible crimes against others should most certainly be punished.

But I think sometimes we are so busy to hand down our own sentences, that we don't take any time at all to thing about those that have committed these crimes to begin with. Many of these people are mentally ill. Many have experienced horrific pasts that have led them to this point. I believe many of them struggle with demonic influence in their lives. While these in no way excuse them, instead of seeing individuals as human beings, we automatically label them as monsters... as less than human.

For God so loved the world...

He didn't just love the avid church goers or those that are perfect or even those who just don't kill people...

He sent his Son to die for the whole world... the liars and the cheaters and yes, the murderers...

My whole point in writing this, was mostly for me. Because sometimes I don't know what I think until I read what I write. I needed to wrap my head around what kind of perspective I should have as a Christian regarding these issues.

My analysis? Is that I am a sinner saved by grace. While here on earth we can label and define sin and right and wrong, but in heaven I am no better than a murderer. It was my sins that nailed Jesus to that cross. It was because of me that he had to be brutally tortured and bleed and die so I could receive forgiveness. And you know what? He loves me anyway. He doesn't hold it against me. He didn't make me pay for my wrongs... he simply forgave me.

So when I have been forgiven so much, how can I then hold so much blame towards someone else? Once again, yes, punishment after committing a crime is deserved. But when Jesus loved me anyway, how can I hate and hold un-forgiveness in my heart?

If you have personally been affected by a tragedy, I hope and pray that you can find peace.I can't even begin to imagine. But realize the only person that anger and bitterness will destroy is yourself.

My anger doesn't hurt those that have caused me past offenses. My anger and bitterness only hurts me. 

Forgiveness isn't easy. Its not supposed to be. If it was, everyone would do it. But we all have a choice. We can choose to live our lives with the anger and bitterness that has been dealt to us. Or, we can choose to live with the freedom of forgiveness. 

Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.



Monday, June 9, 2014

I am beautiful

So the following is going to be extremely vain... I get that. But sometimes a girl needs to whine a bit. 

Beginning of last week my hair started falling out. We aren't talking little tine strands. Like seriously, one side on the back of my hair is almost bald. It's coming out in chunks each time I wash my har, brush my hair, breath...

Apparently it has to with the anesthesia I was under during my surgery a couple weeks ago. Hair isn't exactly vital to life, so your body says, let's not worry about holding on to it for a while. Apparently this is just supposed to be a couple months and then it will start growing back, but in the mean time?? Ughhhhh!!! 

This got me to thinking about myself in other aspects. Things I don't like about myself our I would change.
Loose weight and remove all these baby roles are definites. 

I think most women probably have a list a mile long of things they would change about their appearances. 

I don't believe there is anything wrong with desiring to improve yourself. The problem lies in our obsession with perfection. 

Diet pills and drinks and work outs and eating disorders endless things we obsess about to make ourselves perfect. 

Where do we draw the line? 

Let's just get one thing straight. Go on right now and get it through your head that you will never be Beyonce, or any of these other ridiculously beautiful celebrities. Because they aren't real! They work out like a million times a day and they are still photoshopped in magazines. 

Can I tell you the secret?

The secret is to start believing in yourself. 

To start loving yourself no mater your color or size or how much hair is falling out of your head at the moment. 

Be-You-Tiful

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Jesus loves and desires you. He thinks that you are breathtakingly beautiful. After all, he created you. 

So you want to improve yourself? That's fine. But stop with the obsession, don't buy into the hype. There is so much better for you. 

"You're beautiful, every little piece, love, and don't you know you're really gonna be someone, ask anyone" 


Saturday, May 31, 2014

So I had a Stroke

Ephesians 3:20 "Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us"

I had a seizure. A few pretty bad ones in fact. It's called a grand mal seizure, Google it. Its pretty intense. I had 4 of them.
 
During this process I dislocated both of my shoulders, it was quite painful.

Did I mention I also had a stroke?

That Sunday afternoon I was trying to take a nap, and I was unable to make my Wii remote work. I was getting very frustrated, because I was unable to make the remote function. Unbeknownst to me, I was already having some issues with my brain process. So luckily, I had the common sense to go upstairs to get some assistance from my sister. However, I forget to put pants on before I went to ask for any assistance (sorry Trey).

I remember walking upstairs and smiling at my sister, Mallory. I vaguely remember being in the ambulance, however, I do remember throwing up while I as on it. I remember the nice lady at the hospital. I remembered someone cutting my shirt off.  I asked my mom who did it,  turns out it was my little sister and best friend, who happen to be nurses. I will be forwarding you both my bill for a new shirt ;)

(I had surgery on Tuesday, May 20th. The doctors removed a 6-8 inch blood clot from my brain. The doctor said it was as big around as his pinky finger)

I asked my older sister if she took the time to take a picture of my seizing. She said she was a little preoccupied with keeping me from falling down, chocking, and well vomiting. She did however manage to send me this lovely picture rendition of my seizing episode.


It's all pretty much a blur. I don't remember the trip on the Life Flight helicopter, but here is the picture...



I wasn't supposed to remember being intubated, but I do remember, and it was miserable. I just kept pointing to my mom trying to get her to get the thing out of my throat.

Lots of people came to visit, lots of people I couldn't remember. It was frustrating. I'm still pretty frustrated. Because while this probably all looks great to you, my mom has to proof read everything I write because I'm still having some issues with remembering how to read.

My mom and little sister are pretty much in charge of making sure I take my medicines, because well it's too much for me to keep up with. I have to take a shot in my stomach twice a day, and to be honest it sucks.


I can't drive. I can't work. I go to speech therapy and doctors appointments.

A few weeks ago I was a pretty independent individual. I could pretty much take care of myself. Now my 26 year old self has to be taken care of by my parents.


Here is the thing. Not to be dramatic or whatever, but there are people in my situation who die. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 140,000 people die each year from a stroke in the US alone.

 
I could have died. That stroke could have been it for me. But my story isn't over. There is so much more for me to do and dream and accomplish. My life isn't over. My dreams are not over.

Your story isn't over either. If you have a pulse you have a purpose. Just because you've lost your vision along the way, doesn't mean that you have nothing left to accomplish. God has a plan for you. Don't give up simply because you've made some mistakes along the way. You may not have another chance to accomplish your dreams. Start today.

I'm going to change the world, just you wait and see.

XOXO,
Paigerific


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Unanswered Prayers



"Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers" -Garth Brooks

I have been toying with the idea of writing this, but I've been really unsure how to discuss this situation. I don't want anyone to assume that I make a habit of restricting God by putting him into some clearly defined box.

My question today: does God hear the prayers of the unsaved?

Before you start saying that I am limiting what God can and cannot do, please just let me explain. I never asked if he could, I said does he?

I read a statement the other day that basically said something to the effect of "I in no way shape or form live my life for Jesus, but I know he will answer my prayers".

I am having a difficult time trying to understand this concept.

Why would someone I have no relationship with care to answer my requests?

I feel as if it is extremely bold and presumptuous to assume, that simply because God is all knowing and all powerful that your prayers will be heard and answered.

Hebrews 10:19-21 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.


So what does that mean? If Jesus cleared the way to God by the blood of his sacrifice, do we not have to first accept his sacrifice to have access to the power of God?

It seems awfully, dare I say, hypocritical to believe that God will answer you, while living a life that isn't pleasing to him.

Sin separates us from God. Jesus, gave us access to God through his sacrifice. 


I may not live for Jesus, but I believe in him. That should count for something.

James 219 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder


Does God hear you if you aren't living your life wholly and acceptable unto Him? Possibly. I am not really trying to start a debate, but rather inspire change. 

Whoever calls on Gods name shall be saved. Period, end of story.

I guess I want opinions. Not to argue or say I am right or wrong.

Does God hear the prayers of the unsaved? Maybe, that's really not my place to say I don't suppose. 

I guess my whole point in this blog is to challenge people to more. To be better and do better and actually live for God, accept the sacrifice that grants you access to Him and stop using God like a sugar daddy.











Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Break Every Chain




If you want great, then be great...

Honesty time.

This past month has been quite a struggle for me. As much as I like to be strong, there are times I'm just not. 

And while I truly believe everyone will excuse my weak moments, seeing them as simply natural because of the difficulties I've faced, I simply can't be satisfied with that any longer.

I've made excuses for myself. 

I've felt that I was entitled to make mistakes. 

I settled for less.

I sold myself short. 

I gave up...

Why? Because sometimes pushing forward is just plain hard. It's so much easier to blame other people and play the victim...

But is that really best? Is that really all I am capable of being? A product of my circumstances?

I'm honestly so afraid to have standards and set goals, because lets be honest, ambitious women can be pretty intimidating. That probably sounds extremely conceited, but rare is the man who can handle a woman like me. 

I've forgotten my dreams for a while, because I wanted to be normal for a moment. I wanted to feel wanted. I wanted to feel accepted. But I paid for these meaningless temporary items with my hope for the future. 

Where there is no vision, the people perish...

I feel like I've been dead for a while with no vision to propel me forward. 

I became a prisoner of my circumstances.

No more... I refuse to continue to make excuses for myself or to live a less than an extraordinary life. 

I was made for so much more than normal... 

Paigerific is back. 


"There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain"



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

20Something



OK, so when I read this... I may have taken it a little too personally, but it infuriated me.

How stupid and childish can you be? This is exactly whats wrong with the 20somethings today.

Let's get one things straight. There is definitely never ever a ten year period of your life when you are given permission to be selfish. How arrogant and self consumed can you be? And falling in and out of love? That sounds like exactly what God planned for you, to have your heart broken over and over and to in turn break someone else's (note the sarcasm).

I'm all for going on adventures and making mistakes... but selfish?

News Flash: IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!

Seriously, if you could wrap your mind around that concept... if you could truly grasp the concept that everything is not in fact about you... I FEEL LIKE TYPING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THAT"S HOW AGGRAVATING THIS IS.

There is a great big world out there, and a lot of 20 year olds will take on this way of life. But its wrong, and to be quite honest with you its not biblical.

I propose something a little different.

I propose you see your twenties as a gift from your creator.

A chance to explore and try new things and take adventures.

To make new friends and pour your heart into your passions.

To be SELFLESS and give whenever possible.

To serve.

To fall in love with the One who created you.

To be kind and gentle and humble.

To try and fail...

To be gracious and wise.

That's what it means to be 20something... everything else is crap.

Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit..."

Monday, March 10, 2014

Prince Charming

"When I was a little girl I used to read fairy tales. In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming and he's everything you ever wanted. In fairy tales the bad guy is very easy to spot. The bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you always know who he is. Then you grow up and you realize that Prince Charming is not as easy to find as you thought. You realize the bad guy is not wearing a black cape and he's not easy to spot; he's really funny, and he makes you laugh, and he has perfect hair.”

It's easy to fall for charm. 

It's the first thing you notice about a person besides their looks. 

I'm not just talking about romantically. 

Some people just have that something that draws you in. 

I'd like to think I have a good sense of people, that I am not easily deceived, but experience tells me differently.

I fall in love with charm... with the way someone acts in a crowd... that feeling I get from being in their presence... that something that you can't quite put your finger on.

Charm is deceptive...

Some people just know how to turn it on. And that's dangerous for those of us who fall for it so easily. 

Life would be so much easier if you could tell a person's character by how they looked... if the ugliness of their personalities showed through in their physical appearance.

But that's not life... and as good as some might be at discerning another's character, I feel at some point or another, we've all fallen for charm.

I think I want to believe the best in people. That it's hard for me to give up, even when someone proves over and over that they don't appreciate or deserve my efforts. 

I want to believe that people can change... I want to believe that it wasn't all a lie. 

But reality is, people rarely change.

You are the rule, not the exception. This is something I tell myself constantly. 

I feel like I'm smarter, a little more difficult to deceive. But who knows, maybe I'll always fall for charm. 

A lady was telling me that she could tell someone's character by having them draw a picture. If only it were that simple. 

But Price Charming? He's a lie... he may be charming at first, but eventually the charm fades away, and what's left? For some, there's enough to sustain... but that's yet to be my experience. 





Friday, February 28, 2014

But I don't wanna...

Let me completely honest... I do not have any desire to be writing a blog this morning.

I'm tired, my kid is sick and the last thing I wanted to do was pick up my mini dell and try to find words to be inspiring. 

I'm a bit of a Debbie Downer this morning.

Nothing in particular is wrong, but I have this terrible tendency to just shut down sometimes. When life isn't going my way, I retreat rather than fight. It's a very bad habit.

There are lot's of things I don't wanna do... 

I don't want to write today... 

I don't want to exercise, even though I've got a 5K coming up in less than a month.

I don't want to clean my house.

Lots of mornings I don't want to go to work.

And sometimes I don't want to smile...

But I've learned, and I'm still learning, that I have to push past the "I don't wanna" some days... because in reality, I'm never going to regret having a clean house, or getting up and going to the gym, or the possibility that I may somehow find the words that someone else needed to hear this morning. 

So know today, that I just don't wanna, but today I'm still gonna... Because the decisions I make today, affect the person I will be tomorrow... I want tomorrow me to be proud of today me. 

So its time to suck it butter cup... get out of bed, and get something done!

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cheater Cheater

I assume most of us have heard about the high school teacher from Kentucky that was not only cheating on his girlfriend with several women, but also sending some suspicious texts to a high school student. You haven't? 


So now that we are all up to speed. Crazy right? My friend sent me a link to this story last night, and I'm not gonna lie, I got a bit of a laugh. That was a pretty epic break up. How freeing and liberating it must be to call someone out on their crap, and for them to actually reap negative repercussions for their selfish decisions. 

But notice at the end, she takes down her post... why? My guess is because as freeing as it may seem on the outside looking in, that this Facebook takedown probably caused more problems than she bargained for. That bad guy or not, you can't just erase years of feelings, not matter what the jerk did. 

I see it so much on Social Media, people subtweeting and flat calling each other out. It's disturbing, but even more disturbing when I see Christian's participating in these facebook rants.

I'm not saying you shouldn't call someone out on their crap, but is Twitter really the best place to do it? Is it really going to get you the result you desired? Who else is it affecting besides just you? I see parents talking about their godless children, and children talking about their immature parents, and girlfriends and boyfriends arguing on a timeline rather than face to face...

We've become a culture that deals with conflict on a screen. It doesn't take a lot of courage to type a Facebook post about your feelings, it takes a lot more to go to someone face to face about how they've hurt you.

And if your goal is to hurt the other person, congratulations, that will definitely be accomplished when you air your dirty laundry. But don't think the person you are trying to hurt will be the only one affected, what about their friends and family... what about you? Don't you see how you are hurting your credibility by using a social media outlet that was initially intended for college students as your means of handling conflict?

The biblical way to handle conflict is to first go to that person in private. If things are unresolved, take someone with you the next time, and if things are still unresolved, you are supposed to bring the matter before church leaders to get their insight on the situation. No where does it say to gain support from your Facebook friends first by posting a status. 

Spilling your guts is just as lovely as it sounds... it isn't. Conflict is much more easily resolved in private rather than with the whole world staring you down. 

I'm sure this girl wasn't expecting national media coverage, but that's what she got. You can take down that post, but it's already out there... and there are always consequences for our decisions.

I applaud the girlfriend for getting out, and yes the breakup was pretty epic... but my guess is it didn't help to heal her broken heart. I'm sure she felt better for a while, but at some point she will still grieve the loss of that relationship, even a relationship with a cheater.

Moral of the story? I stick with the girlfriend's, "Never underestimate a girl with bigger balls". But if we take anything else away from this story, I would need to quote Andy Mineo, "Why don't you face your problems, don't facebook em?"

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alone

"Now I'm standing alone in a crowded room and your not speaking..."

So I'm honestly not the kind of person who needs a lot of alone time.

Or any really.

If I could spend my life constantly in the presence of the people I love, that would be just fine with me.

This possibly might stem from the fact that I don't like the way my brain goes into overdrive when I have been given too much time to think.

But on this journey of life I think we are faced with different paths and different struggles. Sometimes we travel with a companion, and sometimes we have to travel alone.

Trips are much more enjoyable when you get to travel with someone else. But I think we all have a point in our lives where we have to make the journey our own.

Not to punish us, but maybe to strengthen us. Maybe we have to walk alone for a while to figure out who we really are. Maybe we need to see what we are made of. Maybe our priorities are out of whack and we need this time to get things straightened out.

Whatever journey you are on at the moment, whether it be your own journey, or walking with a companion, I hope you are letting the journey grow you. I hope you are refusing to stay where you are, that you are moving forward and learning and becoming more and more of who God wants you to be.

And at the end of the day, even when I feel alone... I know that I am never alone.

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



What is Paigerific? I’m glad you asked, although I don’t have an exact definition to offer. Paigerific is my thoughts and my heart. Paigerific is my passion and my fear. Paigerific is my success and my failures. Paigerific is my blood, sweat, and tears. Paigerific is more than just simply word. It’s a million different words all rolled into one. Words like hope, grace, determination, imperfection, love, faith, insecurity… The one word I would use to describe myself? I am Paigerific.

 


Paigerific
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