Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Favor


Genesis 39:2-3 "The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potipher noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did."

In 2006, I became part of a program called Masters Commission. The whole point of this program was to spend a year completely devoted to knowing God and making him known. We had hour long prayer every morning, memorized 300 scriptures, and became part of different institutes that helped us to learn and grow. It was an amazing year, and I met some of the most incredible friends and leaders that have and continue to make such an impact in my life.

I received so many amazing opportunities. I was chosen to go on the first trip of the year to Page Arizona (I wonder if they picked me because my name is Paige, lol). During the yearly conference, we were all divided up into teams, and I was one of the two first year students who were chosen to be on the MCIN team and basically help run the conference. I was chosen to help direct the play our first year class wrote. I was chosen to help direct the 1st and 2nd year parent service. This was such an important year for me, because I had been in church all my life, and had always received great opportunities to serve within my church. But the fact that I could go to a new place, where I didn't know anyone, and still receive opportunities mean I wasn't just lucky. I had favor.

Now what does this have to do with anything? Well when I was reading this scripture in Genesis I was thinking about what it actually meant for the Lord to be with someone. This scripture tells us that Joseph was receiving these opportunities because it was obvious that the Lord was with him and making him successful. I think that having the Lord with you is much more than just going to church on Sunday and proclaiming to be a follower of Christ.

I think having the Lord with you is about spending time with Him. It's about being faithful and doing everything as if you are doing it for the Lord. I believe that pouring your heart into things and doing your best is a reflection of Christ within us. Favor and opportunity isn't simply give. Favor and opportunity is something you earn.

Have I been living in God's favor, or have I been selling myself short? Have I been doing my best in everything, or have I simply been getting by.

The Bible promises us that we have been given that authority to do even greater works than Christ did during his life. But do we actually live that out? Do we even attempt to heal the sick or cast out demons? If we have been giving the authority to do even greater acts, why do we refuse to live in that promise? Maybe we are scared, or maybe we just can't believe that we have been given that much power. We can't do anything on our own, but we hare powerful and mighty because it is Christ who lives within us and gives us the ability to accomplish great things in his name.

Now the rest is up to us. Are we going to continue to live the mediocre life, or are we going to live in God's favor. You were created for much more than to work to pay bills and then die. I hope to live my life in such a way that points Jesus... I hope that is your desire too.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Duggar Delimma


Typically, when I blog, I do it with the mindset that the majority of my viewing audience is going to be Christians, this will be no different. Don't get me wrong, I hope that my writing translates to people of many different faiths and ideas, but being a Christian, I try to look at things from what perspective I should take as a follower of Christ.

So, unless you have been hiding under a rock, sometime over the past three months or so you've heard something about the Duggar family, more specifically Josh Duggar and his many indiscretions over the years that have recently come to light.

Let me be the first to say, that I in no way shape or form agree with his actions. They are horrible and I am sure many have been hurt and grieved over his decisions. There have been many that now have to live from the consequences of his bad decisions. Because I don't believe in mistakes. When something is wrong, and you know its wrong, and you do it anyway, it was a decision, not an accident. Mistakes seem to write off our bad decisions and make them seem less bad. Josh Duggar has caused pain to many, and he will have to live with the consequences of those actions both in this life and the one to come.

I just wanted it to be clear that I was not excusing or agreeing with any of the things that he has done, but...

I have made some awful decisions in my life. I have caused pain to the ones I love. However, I am not in the spotlight like the Duggar family is, so my bad decisions seem to disappear over time, since no one is trying to dig up more dirt on me.

So, I guess what I am saying is that for the most part, you and I have no idea what its like to be in Josh Duggars shoes right now. Yes he made some bad decisions, but unlike me, he not only has to deal with those decisions with his family, but with the multiplied thousands of people around the world who are following this story. I have read the statements from Josh, and many are unforgiving since he is seemingly only admitting his mistakes after getting caught. But is that so different from the rest of the world? Even worse, how many people would continue to lie after getting caught and try to make up excuses?

My point is, is that as a Christian, I too am a sinner, and without the saving power of Jesus Christ, I would be in a world full of trouble. I know its hard for us to understand God's forgiveness sometimes, and its easy to label sins from bad to really bad. But am I so different than Josh?

"If the gospel isn't good news for everybody, then it isn't good news for anybody." -Rob Bell

Rather than casting stones and blame on this family, can't we instead focus on the hurt that they are feeling? Can't we pray for their difficult road ahead of forgiveness and rebuilding trust? I mean, I guess we could just burn Josh at the stake and be free of one more liar/cheater/molester. But I for one, hope that this becomes part of his testimony. That he is able to recover from this and rebuild his relationship with his family, and become a great witness for how easy it is for all of us to fall into sin.

"So if you think you are standing firm, be careful not fall!" 1 Corinthians 10:12

The crazy thing is, so many are absolutely disgusted by the sins Josh has committed. But what we fail to realize is that the Bible warns us of thinking we are strong. Because when we let down our guard in one area because we think there is not way we will ever be tempted there, it will be so much easier for Satan to sneak in and catch us off guard.

I still love the Duggars, because they are just a normal family. Yeah there is a ton of them, but they make bad decisions and the love each other and they love Jesus. I pray and believe that these revelations aren't the end for the Duggars, but rather just the beginning of an amazing ministry ahead.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Me too



The most powerful thing that anyone has ever said to me over this past year...

It hasn't been a scripture verse, even though I love being reminded of scriptures to give me hope. 

It hasn't been someone telling me to keep trying, even though many days I have needed that encouragement. 

It hasn't been the many times people have told me how strong they think I am, even though those words have given  me the courage to keep moving forward.

It hasn't been someone telling me they were praying for me, even though I appreciate those prayers more than I could ever say. 

The most powerful think that anyone has said to me over this past year is simply, me too.

I hurt too.

I mess up too.

I fail too.

I doubt too.

Because sometimes we spend so much time trying to find exactly the right words to say, when all that person needs to hear is for us to say, me too. 

The crazy thing is, this is exactly why God sent his son to earth, to live and experience the same pain and struggles that we experience so that you don't have to pray to a God who simply sits on a throne. You have a God who can say me too! 

Hebrews 4:15 " For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who was tempted as we are, but without sin." 

He experienced temptation, and rejection, and fear, and pain, and so many of the things that we experience every day, so that He can say to you me too...

Don't be afraid to tell someone else that you share in their pain. Don't be afraid to say me too. It might be the most simple thing you could say to make the biggest impact in someone's life. 


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Try


Yes, I am very aware of the ridiculous amount of editing that this picture has received. 

I did this one day after viewing several middle age moms who edit their Facebook pictures. Some I found were so over the top that I didn't even recognize the person when I saw them in real life. 

What kind of message is this sending, especially from moms?

To our girls, who are already living in world full of photo-shopped models, do we too feel that we have to conform to this image? What does it say to our daughters that we can't post a picture of ourselves without erasing the wrinkles? Is this promoting self confidence and self worth, or are we helping to sell the lie of perfection? 

And to our boys, are we helping to contribute to their beliefs in a false standard of beauty, one that no one can live up to? 

I am only 27 years old, and I have wrinkles on my forehead. I get bags under my eyes. I have lots of freckles and moles. 

I don't think there is anything wrong with  trying to be healthier or putting on makeup. I think the problem occurs when we are presenting a false perception of ourselves. 

If I am so insecure in myself that I can't even post a picture without editing it, how am I ever going to raise my daughter with confidence and self-esteem? 

Dear Olivia, 

You are not perfect, and nether is your mommy, but that is perfectly OK! You are however fearfully and wonderfully made. Before I ever dreamed of having a little girl, God was dreaming of you. 

Unfortunately, you live in a world where sex sells, and photo shopped images of women in barely there ensembles has become the norm. Don't buy into it. God has so much more planned for you in your life than showing off your body. 

I honestly believe that you are beautiful and smart and talented, but I have been a young girl too, and I know there are days when you might not feel any of those things. Even in my adulthood, I struggle with days when I feel as if I am not enough. But baby girl, we are. Not because we are anything special, but because we are God's creations. 

So here is my promise to you, I will never let my own self-confidence get so drained that I project that lack of self-confidence on to you. I promise to always tell you that you are enough and that you are God's beautiful creation. 

You  are going to Change the world.... Mommy loves you all the world Olivia Quinn... to the moon and back. 

Let's raise our daughters with confidence and our sons with realistic expectations of beauty. Let's give them something different than what the world is giving them. Let's be confident in our imperfect selves. 



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

To the person I hate



To the person I hate,

You know who you are. You know what you did. You know why I hate you. But there are a few things you may not know...

I get physically sick every time I see you. I get nauseated and I start to have a mini panic attack. 

I feel as if you don't see how wrong you were. Yes, there was an apology, but their seems to be a lack of continual remorse on your part. It happened, we should move on right? But what you fail to see is that I have to live with the consequences of your actions every single day, even if you don't. I am not over it. 

You aren't the first person to hurt me, and I am positive you won't be the last. But it was different with you, because you knew me, you knew my family, and you chose to act in a completely selfish manor with complete disregard as to how your actions would affect anyone but yourself. You got what you wanted, and I was left to try to mend the broken pieces that would never be put back together. 

Some people say that time heals all wounds, but I don't really think that's true. Time has come and gone and it still hurts just like the first day. 

I know and understand that HATE isn't something you should have in your heart as a Christian, but it's honestly not something I know how to control. 

I have sought counseling on this subject. I have prayed. I have read books. I just honestly don't know how to let it go. 

But I need you to know I am trying. 

I need you to know that I want to let it go. 

I want to forgive you.

I don't want to desire to smash your face in when I see you. 

I look forward to the day when I see you and I can offer a smile, instead of trying to avoid eye contact. 

Let's be clear, I do not want to be your friend. I have no desire to have long chats or any discussion at all really. But here is what I do hope for.

I hope that you have learned from you bad decisions, and that you choose to live your life with more careful thought as to how your actions affect those around you. 

I hope that you have made peace with God, because regardless of my pain, his forgiveness is something you need to seek as well. 

And I hope that someday I can look at you doing well in life and not feel anger towards you, but rather to be the one to wish you well in all you do.  

That day is not today, and most likely won't be tomorrow. It's a process that I am continuously working on. 

But I have come to the realization that you and I have something in common. We are both sinners in desperate need of a savior. Jesus died for your sin just as he died for mine. Neither of us deserve forgiveness, but God has extended it to us anyway. 

I still hate you, but I need you to know I am trying, and maybe even by getting my feelings out in this blog, I've been able to dial it down to despise, and maybe then a simple dislike. 

But I am trying, I am really trying. 



Monday, May 18, 2015

1 year

For those of you that haven't been keeping up with my Facebook posts, I'll catch you up...

May 7th 2014: This was the first day I had a terrible headache and nausea . I left work a few hours early to try and sleep it of. It seemed to work, because I felt much better the next day.

May 12th 2014: I left work a little before lunch that morning to head to Louisville for a 3 day conference. I had no idea that morning would be that last morning I would work until July. That week my head was hurting off and on. I sent several texts to my mom throughout those few days. I couldn't figure out if it was a headache, or possibly and ear ache, or maybe my neck? My friend is a nurse practitioner and I was already making plans to visit her in her office the following week if these symptoms continued.

May 15th 2014: Was a terrible morning. We had to sit through and award ceremony and I felt terrible. My head was hurting so badly and the microphone seemed so loud. I ended up laying my head on the table for most of the ceremony. I already had my bags in the care and was checked out of my hotel room. As soon as it was over, I jumped in my car, stopped at a drug store for some headache medicine, then drove two hours by myself to get home. Took a nap at home and I felt somewhat batter.

May 16th 2014: Around 1am my head was hurting so badly I could hardly stand it. The pain radiated from the front left side of my head all the way behind my left ear and down into my neck. I made it to the bathroom before I started throwing up, but I felt so week I didn't know if I could stand. Somehow, I happened to grab my phone when I was headed to the bathroom. I called my Ex, because well I figured he would be awake and he is a paramedic so I thought he might have some advice. He said I needed to go to the ER, when I told him I didn't think I could drive he came and got my daughter and I. I realized before we got there that my insurance card was at my parents house. He came in while I got registered and he left to go get my insurance card. I was the only one in the waiting room at the time. From the time I got to the ER to the time I left, I was probably the ER for a total of 45 minutes. I was complaining of the worst headache of my life, neck pain, and nausea. No tests were completed, they gave me something for the nausea and some migraine meds, and told me to follow up with my doctor the following week. My Ex had my daughter and I stay with him at his mothers to make sure I was ok. I woke up the next morning feeling much better. Later that evening I drove to Nashville to stay with a friend because we were running a 5k the next morning. After all, the doctor said it was only a Migraine.

May 17th 2014:I felt perfectly fine that morning. Took my migraine meds, and my friends and I headed off to the race! About 1/3 of the way through this race full of obstacles, the pain in my head returned... the rest of the race was miserable. I was walking around all the obstacles, and by the time we made it back to the car, I just laid down in the back seat. My plan was the take a nap at my friends house before I headed home, but I just wanted to go home. I drove the hour back home in terrible pain. I was supposed to take my daughter to Sesame Street Live, but I didn't think I would be able to handle the noise, so her Dad's family took her. I slept the rest of the day.

May 18th 2014: I woke up that Sunday Morning feeling much better, so I headed off to church. After church I went to my parents house for a while, and then went to Target to get a gift for a friend for her Wedding Shower. During the Wedding Shower, the pain returned.  As soon as the shower was over I headed home to take nap. I don't remember a whole lot after I got home. I was taking off my church clothes and putting on my comfortable clothes, then I was going to turn on a movie on Netflix and go to sleep. That's when things started getting blurry.

I remember that I couldn't make the Wii remote do what I wanted it to do. I thought there was something wrong with it, but my stroke had already begun and my brain just wasn't working properly. I don't remember walking from my bedroom to the stairs, but I do remember walking up the stairs with the remote in my hand to get some help with it. When I turned the corner my brother in law was standing there, he started talking to me, but I wasn't able to respond. I remember my older sister taking me to the couch and then nothing....

Within just a few minutes of me coming up the stairs, I had my 1st of 4 seizures. I don't remember the ambulance ride, but looking at the report I was apparently a very bad patient. I ripped out my IV, was projectile vomiting, and refused to lay still.

I remember the nurse at the emergency room, and the next thing I remember I was waking up at Vanderbilt still intubated after my life flight.

Everything after that was a blur. I remember a lot of people came to see me, and a lot of them I didn't know at the time, but now I remember them being there.

2 surgeries, lots of medications and therapy, and 1 year later here I am.

It was only 11 days from my first headache to when my stroke occurred. That's not even two weeks! Strokes can happen to anyone at any age.

So what have I learned this past year?

I am horrified a of seizures, but seizures aren't as scary if you are one having them and can't remember it... sorry to everyone else who had to witness them, mostly my nephew Ivan.

I learned that I can do a lot of things I never thought I could, like giving myself shots when I have always hated needles.

I have learned that I am incredibly resilient. I may have had a brain injury last year, and things might not work quite the same as they used to, but I took two college classes this semester and did very well in both of them. Not bad for a girl who only a year ago didn't know the what the opposite of black was.

I have learned that I have the most amazing support system in the world! My family and friends, my church family, my work family... I am so blessed. Your love and support and visits, and gifts, and prayers were definitely appreciated. I never would have made it this far without all of you.

I have learned that losing your hair is definitely not the worst thing in the world (its pretty close though, lol).

I am thankful for all my doctors at Vanderbilt, and I highly recommend them! I am also very thankful to all the wonderful people I got to know at Bluegrass Outpatient Therapy, that was practically my second home in the beginning when I was doing 6 hours of therapy a week. Wonderful people there.

Mostly, I am thankful to God. And maybe that sounds cliche, but I mean it. I am thankful that my brain works as well as it does, even with my frustrations sometimes. I thankful that I have no physical disabilities associated with my stroke. I am mostly thankful that I received the opportunity to continue being Olivia's mom and to continue to watch her grow.

So what's next for Paigerific? First I am hopping and praying the my upcoming CT at Vanderbilt will reveal enough progress that my Neurologist will decide to start weening me off my remaining medications. I would greatly appreciate your prayers for this, and I will definitely let you know the outcome of this appointment.

I am also making a lot of changes in my life, mostly personal, but some I will be sharing with you all along the way.

God gave me this life. God gave me this second chance. I don't know if you were paying attention to the MANY times that had I had the stroke another time, it definitely could have ended my life, like while driving, or when I was alone.

Today, I am just thankful to be alive. It is absolutely crazy that my stroke was a year ago. My life has changed so much since last year.

Thank YOU for all your support throughout this past year. Thanks for reading all my ramblings, especially the ones that were terribly misspelled!

So stay tuned, because I have so much more up my sleeve!



Monday, May 11, 2015

Lie's we are told




I am single. That's the box I have to check when filling out paperwork... well that or divorced if that's an option (that still sounds weird saying I am divorced).

I'm not married... that's what the box wants to know. There isn't a box for kind of seeing someone or even seriously dating someone. So for all legal purposes, I am single (for all other purposes, if we are friends you know my relationship status, and if you don't know, well we probably aren't friends).

But I have spent A LOT of my 27 years as a single lady... Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it?

There are things a single person gets told... A LOT about being single. Even Christian's attempt to spout out words of encouragement that I don't necessarily believe are true.

Things like "There is someone for everyone." Really? I mean can you show me where the Bible tells us that there is someone for everyone or where God creates specific mates just for us? What about when Paul says its better to stay unmarried? What about a person who die's young, does there someone then have to do without someone? Or what about people who get married more than once... which someone was actually theirs? Or what about someone who marries the wrong one, does that mean their kids are the wrong ones as well? Although meant to be encouraging, this doesn't seem to be a biblical principle.

I don't believe in "the one", at least not in the conventional sense. I believe that God gave us free will... free will to choose a life with him or life a without him. We romanticize the notion of a soul mate, but what is romantic about basically being forced into something because it was "pre-destined"? I think the idea of a soul mate infringes on our rights of free will.

Rather than someone that was created specifically for us, I believe that a soul mate is created in someone you choose.

To singles, we spout out Jeremiah 29:11 for reassurance that one day prince charming will come along (or princess for all you single dudes). God does have a plan for all of us, but sometimes in the midst of your singleness, that fact doesn't always bring peace.

We live in a world of romantic comedies where that bad guy becomes the good guy and in the end they fall in love and live happily ever after. We would all say we know that it isn't real life, but somewhere, in hearts we hope and pray that it might be. Maybe Freddie Prince Jr really will ask me to the prom...

I personally get caught up in being "good enough". Not like, I'm to short, too fat, too dumb, etc... kind of stuff. But more of looking at my singleness like a punishment for not being as good of a Christian as I should be. Like somewhere in my mind I begin to think that the reason I am single is because I didn't read my bible yesterday or because I said a curse word when a car pulled out in front of me. I've made getting re-married into a sheet of checks and balances, of which I fall below quite often.

I know God has it under control, and I have really had to come to a place where I am OK with wherever this journey of life takes me. I was at a point where I wasn't moving forward in my life, just in case I was suddenly to become un-single.

I think other people, however unintentional made me feel that way. By trying to remind me of "God's plan for my life'", I felt like I had to wait instead of moving forward and making a life for myself and my daughter.

So let's be honest. I could be single forever. I may never get married again or have more kids... and I am learning to be ok with that. I am not looking for a guy or pursuing anyone. But now, I am following my dreams. I am accomplishing things in my life that I thought I needed to wait today... just in case.

I am completely confident in God's plan for my life... I am completely confident that He knows my desires and He will bring the right opportunities to me at the right time when I am diligent and prepared to pursue them. It all comes down to allowing God to take control, waiting for his purpose, but always moving forward.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fight Song




This is my fight song, take back my life song...

LOVE THIS SONG! Definitely one I like to sing at the top of my lungs with the windows down. Get's me in the mood to take over the world. 

There is a big difference between living and simply existing, and I think we are guilty of the later at some point in our lives. 

I have been stuck in the existing phase for a while. 

It's like I had in my head that when this happens or that happens, then I can accomplish this or that. 

But what if it never happens? What if I am waiting and it never comes? What if my life ends and I haven't accomplished the things that I want to accomplish because I have been waiting for something to come along to get me started?

This blog isn't going to be a long one, because well, this message is really simple.

As a female, sometimes I think I need a man to help me accomplish things. But you know what? It's becoming more clear to me that God has given me everything I need. I am strong and independent, and yeah it would be awesome to have someone to take out the trash or mow the yard, but you know what, I am completely capable of doing that on my own.

I am not waiting for someone else to save me. I am the hero of my own story. 

Maybe you haven't been truly living either. Maybe you've been waiting for something that isn't guaranteed to come. 

If you have been waiting for a sign, this is it. Do it, it will be amazing. 


Starting right now I'll be strong

I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Make a Difference!

As many of you know, it's been almost a year since I had a stroke. I am constantly amazed at how for I have come. But this isn't just about me. 


Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States, killing 130,00 Americans every year. 


A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke.

Every year, about 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes; 185,000 are recurrent strokes.

Although stroke risk increases with age, strokes can—and do—occur at any age. In 2009, 34% of people hospitalized for stroke were younger than 65 years. Don't think it can't happen to you. 

In a 2005 survey, most respondents—93%—recognized sudden numbness on one side as a symptom of stroke. Only 38% were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a stroke.

Patients who arrive at the emergency room within 3 hours of their first symptoms tend to have less disability 3 months after a stroke than those who received delayed care.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I know that I have been so blessed and I want to in turn make a difference in the Stroke community. May is not only my one year anniversary of being a stroke survivor, but it is also National Stroke Awareness month. 

With the help of Rhonda Miller at Perfect Promotions, we have created a t-shirt about stroke awareness. These shirts will be for sale for $15 with the proceeds going to the National Stroke Association. The money donated to the National Stroke Association will go to increase awareness about stroke and providing life saving information as well as helping to impact survivor empowerment and stroke community quality of life. Adult sizes small-3x available and two shirts to choose from!


The easiest way to order, will be to send me the money on my PayPal account address at paigerific@live.com. To do this, click on the pay or send money tab at the top of your PayPal Home page then click send money to friends or family. On the next page, type in my email (paigerific@live.com) and the amount you are paying then click next (please add $2 to your total if you want it shipped). On the next page, in the note section, I need you to write your name, size, which shirt you want (because I care or for someone I love) and mailing address if you would like your shirt mailed to you.  If you don't want it shipped you can pick up your shirts when they are completed at perfect promotions on Lehman Avenue in Bowling Green KY! See me often? I can also take your order and payment in person. The LAST day to order these shirts will be Thursday May 7th! Don't want a shirt, but still want to support the cause? You can do the same process to donate any amount, just write donation in the note section. Don't have any extra cash to spare? You can also help simply by sharing this post! 

I am so excited about this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of stroke survivors as well as helping to spread more information about stroke awareness to save lives! Thank you so much for being part of this with me. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Starting Over



This may be the most vulnerable blog I have ever written... seriously... this is scarier than writing about my divorce. Here it goes...

I am fat...

No really, looking at a BMI scale I am not just overweight... I am obese. In fact I would have to lose another  several pounds before I am even considered overweight for my height.


I honestly don't remember a time in my life when I didn't feel fat.... especially in high school! Ahhhh.... to be as small as I was when I thought I was fat in high school.

I've always struggled with my weight... mostly because I don't ever consistently continue to try to lose the weight.

I know I am not physically healthy.

I think I have always felt like I carried my weight well... but not these days. These days, I feel like a wale!

This isn't about being skinny.

This is about being comfortable in my own skin.

This is about being a good example to my daughter.

This is about feeling better.

This is about being happier.

It's always an excuse... and as a single mom, I can use a lot of excuses.

But not anymore.

Last year before my stroke, I had lost quite a bit of weight... but after my stroke until now, I have gained it all back.

I could point to all the trauma I have experienced over the past year and all the medications I have had to be on as the reason... but that would just be an excuse. Truth is lack of motivation and a crappy diet are the culprits. 

So I am starting over. Something I don't want to have to keep doing.

I truly believe that God desires for us to take care of our bodies. Why else would the scriptures say our body is a temple? I am not some extremist trying to convince anyone to eat only organic or start a paleo diet (I mean, more power to you if you do). I think there is a balance with food that so many of us struggle with. 

We finish our plates, even when we aren't hungry anymore. We eat when we are bored or lonely. We constantly eat fast food. 

So I am going to eat better. I am going to walk more. I am not going to McDonalds just because I don't feel like cooking. 

The bible tells us to honor God with our bodies. This scripture is typically used to discuss sexual sin, but I think it goes hand in hand with taking care of ourselves. We were given our bodies, and I think God wants us to take care of them, and part of that is learning to be more physically healthy. 

Maybe you are starting over too. Maybe just to be healthier in general, maybe because you foresee some serious health issues ahead if you don't take control. 

This is not my attempt to turn this into a fitness blog... I am still going to write about my life and my kid and all the things God is teaching me. But this was on my heart... this was in my head. And maybe someone else is just as tired as I am of constantly starting over. 

So lets make this the last time we start over. The last time we start from scratch, and work towards being happier and healthier individuals. 

"There are seven days in a week, and tomorrow isn't one of them"



Monday, April 20, 2015

Things not to say to a single mom



So, I have been separated since October of 2013 and officially got divorced in august of last year. So I in no way claim to be an expert on single mothers everywhere, I only know from personal experience and what I have read. These are things that people say, and I know they mean well, but sometimes it's just a little too much. Some of these things I have never personally heard, some of them far too often. This is less of a "shame on you" rant, and more of an informational piece. If you have never lived it, you may not realize that your words, even with good intentions, can hurt.

1.Where is your child?
Sometimes I would like for my response to be "OMG, I have no idea, will you help me look for her?" The fact is 90% of the time if she isn't with me, she is with her dad. So, thank you for reminding me that tonight when I get home I will be all by myself. That I won't be getting goodnight kisses and getting to say our night time prayers. It will be quiet and lonely. I know that's not what you mean, you are most likely genuinely curious, and I am not angry for that. So, lets just assume she is with her dad, so you don't unintentionally make me feel crappy about it. And when people say things like it must be nice to get a break from her for on a weekend... umm no. In fact I HATE weekends she is with her dad. And if she cries when she leaves and says "Mommy, you come with me?" well I cry when she leaves too. I feel like she grows so much on her weekend away, and I feel like I miss out on so much of her life. Not fun at all. And if you do see me out on a rare occasion without her when you know she isn't with her dad, assume that she is being watched my someone I love and trust. I think its OK for me to occasionally have a life!

Want to be helpful? Maybe if you think a single mom might not have her kid for the weekend, maybe ask he if she wants to hang out. Go to dinner or come over and watch a movie... She will quickly tell you if she can't because she will have her kid, but she might be appreciative of the kind gesture either way.

2. Are you dating?
Ha... well of course I am completely open for a great guy to come and sweep me off my feet. But I don't believe when most men are filling out their dating resume's that they check yes, what they really want is a single mom. Why? Because single moms are busy and they aren't always fun. We work, some more than one job, and then we are busy with our kids, and cleaning house and doing homework... and well you get the gist. Most single mom's who aren't pawning their kids off all the time, don't have a lot of free time. Sure we can go to a movie, but I can't guarantee I won't be fighting to keep my eyes awake. And well if I do find someone that meets my standards, trust me, people will know.. because well that would be kind of a big deal. Until then, just assume I am not, or not serious enough to make an announcement about it, and that I am perfectly happy until Mr. Right decides to come along.

Want to be helpful? Don't just invite single moms to hang out in couple settings. I am OK with being single, but sometimes I just don't want to hang out with a bunch of couples. 

3. Any extreme negativity toward my ex
I get it, this divorce didn't just affect my daughter, my ex, and my self. It affected a lot of people that are close to both of us. I get it, you are angry and hurt too. But most of the time, I really don't have a lot of negative things to say about him. We aren't together for reasons that are non of your business but we still get along great and parent well together. He will always be part of my life. But I can't hate him, because without him I wouldn't have the most amazingly wonderful kid on the planet. He isn't perfect, and sometimes really makes me angry... but mostly we do well working together to be great parents to our little girl.

Want to be helpful? Just don't bring it up if they don't, and if they do, maybe listen and don't feel the need to interject your own input.

4. So you get along, well my ex and I..
Like, I think for some reason the fact that I am divorced makes other people think I really just want to sit and dish about it all, or listen to them. Its awkward. Like, when I am hearing about your constant arguments and such, like I have no idea what to say, because well that's not how my divorce went. Now, if we are sitting having a hear to heart about what you are dealing with personally, then yeah, lets get coffee and chat! But I have no desire to hear you degrade your ex, I have no desire to hear about you giving up, because well I am not divorced because I gave up, and it kind of makes me a little angry to hear about people who run to divorce lawyers so quickly.

Want to be helpful? Stop trashing your ex... Be a grown up... enough said.

5. Going to church must be so hard.
Umm, why? Because I am divorced? I think you are going to the wrong church if this is your attitude. I have made TONS of mistakes in the public eye of those I go to church with. Not once have I ever felt unloved or like I didn't belong. Church should be the place you run to, not from! Now, church people aren't perfect, and sometimes they don't know how to act in certain situations. I would kindly point them in the direction John 3:17, and ask if God didn't send his son to condemn the world, what exactly gave that individual the authority to do so?

Want to be helpful? Maybe ask a single mom about church, maybe she has had a bad experience. Maybe you could be the one that can show how Christian's are supposed to love like Jesus.

6. Any sentence at all that says or implies that you feel sorry for me
I despise pity more than just about anything in the world. People seem to be much more upset about me being a single mom than I am. Don't get me wrong, at times it isn't easy, but my life is good. Seriously, take your pity where its appreciated, because it isn't here.

Want to be helpful? Want to know how a single mom is doing? Ask her genuinely and without a somber look on your face. If you can't manage that conversation without portraying pity, maybe just don't say anything at all.

7. It must be so hard, I don't know how you do it.
I mean, like what other option do I have? Put my 3 year old in a basket and leave her at the door step of a church? Of course not! Wanna know how I do it? I just do. I am sure this is meant to be encouraging, but if you were in the situation you would do the same. I wake up every morning and just keep moving forward. I mean, I really don't know what other realistic option that I have. I love my kiddo more than anything in the world, as I am sure you love your kids too. You do what you have to do. You have to let the chips fall where they may and just deal. I am not some super hero, I am just a mom who loves her kid and would do anything for her... being single didn't change that.

Want to be helpful? Tell a single mom you think she is awesome. Tell her you think her kids are well behaved and it must be because they have a great mom. Tell them what they are doing right, don't remind them that it isn't always easy. She knows.

8. You look tired
Thanks, that is so helpful for my self-esteem! Want to know why I look tired? Because I am! This is just hateful to say in general... so don't.

Want to be helpful? Ask a single mom if she needs help with anything, offer to give her a night off, bring her a coffee, encourage her... never tell her that the single parent life is starting to show.

9. I feel so bad for you daughter
HOLD UP! You want to make a single mom mad, please tell her you feel sorry for her kids. WHY?? Because she has a ridiculous amount of people who love her? Yeah, so her dad doesn't live with us, but guess what, he loves her too. I think my claws would come out on this one. I worry enough about my daughter's future, and I try my best to make sure her father and I have a healthy relationship. Please don't try to tell me that she is doomed for serious relationship issues in the future. I would ask you to show me your crystal ball that tells you my daughters future. And well I know that having both parents at home is ideal, but that's just not how it worked out for us.

Want to be helpful? Be a positive roll model to her kids. Kids need lots of role models. Maybe they have a dad in the picture and maybe they don't. Be a friend that the child can talk to and learn from. 


I love being a mom! Olivia is honestly the best thing that ever happened to me. So what can we learn from all this, I mean I'm not sure I can write a blog without a moral of the story so to speak. I think if someone reads this, and feel inspired to love, support, befriend, or help out a single mom I think that's what I want. I am beyond blessed to have a crazy amazing support system, but not everyone does. That life line of support is the reason I am able to do and be and accomplish everything that I have. So hug a Single Mom today, and let her know she is awesome!


I found this list of scriptures for single parents, but I think this list can relate to parents everywhere!

  1. When You’re Overwhelmed
    But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31 (GNT)
  2. When You’re Tired 
    “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28(GNT)
  3. When You Feel Alone 
    “’The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace.’ So says the Lord who loves you.” Isaiah 54:10 (GNT)
  4. When You’re Worried about Money 
    “And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.” Philippians 4:19 (GNT)
  5. When You Need Wisdom 
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. Proverbs 3:5-6 (GNT)
  6. When You’re Unsure about Your Kids’ Future 
    “We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.” Colossians 1:9-11 (CEV)


Monday, April 13, 2015

It's not about us


No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a picture of my ex-husband and I. We took this picture on Easter Sunday. It was his weekend to have our daughter, but since it was a holiday, we planned time together. We took her Easter Egg hunting and they came to my Church. Isn't my kid just the cutest in her Easter dress?

The weird thing is... for the most part, this isn't weird. This is normal for us. No, we do not hang out all the time. But it is important to both of us to both be in our daughters life and be able to do things together with her. We may not be married anymore, but we are her parents, for better or for worse.

I am by no means an expert on the situation, and well I know that in many aspects I am just lucky that Jacob and I get along as well as we do.

I wanted to write this blog because I see so many people having issues with doing the whole co-parenting thing. I'm not saying it's always a walk in the park, but I do have a few tips that might make it a little easier.

1.Make it legal
It seem like a lot of the issues that parents have when raising a child together comes after they begin to not get along, which makes a lot of sense. Sometimes couples who split, go into this co-parenting thing with good intentions, but then their feelings get hurt or they have a fight. My advice is, make everything legal before that happens. Don't wait until your ex is mad at you and refuses to let you see your kid. Maybe it's was a train wreck from the get go, and if that's the case even more reason to get it taken care of so everyone knows the rules. Our agreement is pretty simple, he gets her every other weekend... end of story. It's that simple because we didn't need to make it complicated. If he is off work on a Wednesday and wants to spend the day with her, that's totally fine. And we've worked out Holiday's to where we can both spend time with her at some point. I get that not everyone's agreement can be that simple, and maybe someday we will have to go back to court to adjust the agreement. For now this works for us, figure out what works for you.

2.Get over yourself
Can I be honest? Jacob still makes me angry from time to time. It's not like it's just rainbows and butterflies 24/7. Sometimes I'm still hurt by the past. Sometimes, I just plan think he is dumb. But you know what? It's not about me. He loves that little girl, and she sure does love her daddy. As long as he is doing what he needs to do to keep her safe, raise her well, and support her, why would I ever try to take him out of the equation? Now, if you ex is abusive or on drugs or any other situation that would cause them not to be a fit parent, THIS DOES NOT PERTAIN TO YOU! This if for the parents who let their hurt get in the way of what is best for their kids. Stop being selfish.

3.Stop the bashing
I honestly make it a point to not bash my ex. I'm not saying he doesn't ever make me angry, and I might need to consult with a close friend to stay calm about it. I don't air it all out on Facebook or sub-tweet about it. I don't run and tell everyone I know. Why? Because someday my daughter is going to be old enough to understand a lot more than she does now. This is my way of protecting my family. Not only should you not bash your ex, you should also not allow your friends or family to either. I get it, they were hurt by the situation as well, but this isn't about them. This is about protecting your child and doing your best to keep the peace. And regardless of any crappy thing my ex may have done, he is still the father of my child. Never EVER bash your ex in front of your kids or but your children in the middle.

4.Be a family
Like I said before, Jacob and I don't hang out. But we make it a point to make sure that we can be good examples to our daughter. We went together to get her ears pierced. We had her birthday party together. We don't hang out all the time, but I want Olivia to know that her dad and I love her so much. That our marriage didn't last, but that she is still the most important thing to both of us. We are a family, although not a conventional one. We share our daughter, and we want her to see us getting along and making this work. We would never want her to think we hated each other or that we are too stubborn to make this family work. Because once again, it's not about us.

5.Boundaries
Something that personally helped me when we first separated is setting some boundaries for our relationship. No, we didn't have to sit down and discuss anything. But I had A LOT of hurt and anger built up. So I deleted him. I took him off my social media accounts or made it to wear he didn't show up in my news feed. Because I was driving myself crazy about what he was doing or who he was with, and it wasn't making me feel any better. I think it's important to realize what you need to heal from a situation, and for me that was to learn not to care about the things he was doing because they were no longer my business (unless it came to Olivia of course).

6.Stick Together
I probably drive Jacob crazy because I read way to much about things that could go wrong and kids looking at porn and why you shouldn't do sleepovers... and all these things that stress me out when our kid is only 3! But it's important to discuss big issues and make sure you are both on the same page. I never want Olivia to think her dad can tell her no and the she can turn around and get me to say yes. That takes communication! Kids need consistency. Be consistent and stick together. Don't ask kids to carry messages! Your children need to know that you communicate, otherwise it will be so easy for them to pull one over on you.


I'm not saying we have it all together and I know it isn't necessarily this easy for everyone else. It makes a big difference if you are both committed to doing the best you can for your kids. But that isn't always the case. I know it isn't easy, but you have to be the bigger person. Not because your Ex deserves it, but because your kids do.

But for me, it's so important! I know that kids that come from divorce don't fair well in the statistics. My hope is that if Olivia sees her parents loving her, communicating, getting along, making her a priority... that she can grow up to be successful and well adjusted. I know our decisions affect her.

Olivia is the most important thing in my world. I hope and pray that she becomes more and does greater things that I can ever imagine. And I believe she will, because her Father and I refuse to stand in her way... because it's not about us.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way she should go; and even when she is old she will not depart from it.






Monday, April 6, 2015

She keeps me warm

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. -Rick Warren

A hot topic lately is the laws in Indiana on religious freedom.  

I found it pretty interesting that there seems to be such an uproar about this, when there are several states that have similar legislation already enacted. 

However, this blog isn't about being right or wrong, it's not about telling the gays they are sinners... this blog is for the Christian's.

Unfortunately while researching and looking at articles I found A LOT of Christian's in desperate need of putting their two cents in. 

I am not saying you are wrong... but I am saying so many of you are handling it completely wrong. 

I honestly don't know a ton about the specifics of this legislation, so I'm not going to write about my opinion, because well my opinion is not currently a well informed one. 

However, I am embarrassed of how some Christians are behaving themselves. 

Stand up for what you believe in! But do you have to call people names? 

They will know we are Christian's by our LOVE! But so often it seems that Christian's resort to hate just to be part of the conversation. 

Instead of just making noise, why don't we come to the conversation with intelligence? Telling someone constantly that they are going to Hell probably isn't the best way to convince them to choose Heaven. 

Here is the thing... gay or straight, boy or girl, black or white... we are all sinners, in desperate need of a savior. As a Christian, you are fortunate enough that you get it... you've accepted the sacrifice of Jesus and you have made a decision to follow him. There are some people who still just don't get it, and some people who are so wrapped up in their lifestyles that they don't want to... It isn't your job to condemn them. It is your job to point them in the direction of Christ.

The Bible says the road to Hell is wide, and lots of people are headed that way. But the road to Heaven? It's much smaller, and there are few that actually find it. 

So today dear friends, I am urging you to never abandon your convictions, but to never let the way you feel about something or believe in something cause you to be hateful to others. Because that is not the way to lead them to Christ. 

Don't be the stereotypical Christian. Don't bash people. Be the change. Be better. Be like Christ... love people. 

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sin. 



Monday, March 30, 2015

Do better!



"I didn't know what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better" Maya Angelou

I honestly consider myself pretty tolerant of peoples differing opinions, ideas, and ways of life. Not saying that I necessarily agree with or support some life styles. But I don't find myself being outraged by people who just don't get it yet... people who's lifestyles reflect the fact that they are in desperate need of a savior. I am not compelled to argue with them, even though I may not agree with them. It isn't difficult for me to "love the sinner" so to speak...

In most cases....

But do you know what really creams my corn?

People who have openly expressed an experience with Christ, proclaimed to be living a life in pursuit of him and his will, yet the still CONSTANTLY post garbage on their social media accounts.

Like, have you seen these posts? The one where they are quoting John 3:16, and the very next one is filled with so many expletives I'm embarrassed to even read them?

Now, I can see how this might be coming off holier than thou... trust me I am not... scroll down to a few posts back... yeah I'm a screw up. 

But here is the thing, I am trying my darn tootinest to be better than I was yesterday.

We all have struggles and foul language may be on of those struggles for you. But slipping a curse word at work and taking the time to allow those thoughts to translate from you brain to your fingers in a post are two completely different things. I mean, can you "slip" when typing?

And maybe you do struggle with Alcohol abuse... I can't even imagine the pain you must be in. But if you are proclaiming to be a Christian, there is a big difference between struggling with alcohol use and posting pictures of you and your friends getting wasted seemingly quite proud of yourself.

I have a lot of tolerance for sinners. I have a lot of tolerance for Christians who make mistakes. My tolerance for Christians who continue to act ignorant? On a scale of 1-10, its probably a 0.

We can't keep doing the same things over and over and calling them mistakes. A mistake implies that you are ignorant to the consequence or outcome. That you completed the action without serious consideration of the possible negative effects.

But if you considered the consequences and you just didn't care? How can you call that a mistake?

I unintentionally ran a stop sign a few moths back. I was on my way to work, thinking about the day ahead, when I saw those blue flashing lights behind me. I was so focused on getting to work I honestly had no idea why he was pulling me over. He asked me why I ran the stop sign, my response was "I ran a stop sign?!?!" I had no idea. This was a mistake.

But if I had just simply been in a hurry to get to work and I saw that big red stop sign right in front of me, and I chose to just blow past it, how can I consider this a mistake? No my friends, that would be a choice.

And the right choices aren't always easy. I've made lots of bad ones.

But when we know better, we should do better! That doesn't mean we will be perfect, but isn't that what we as Christians are supposed to be striving towards?

Because it's not just about you! What about those who see the stupid things that we do, and because of that they decide to no longer follow Christ? It might sound extreme but Christian's get accused so often of being hypocrites. 

It's time to stop saying "well it's not a sin" and start asking if what you are doing is God's best for you...

And if it's sin... then call it what it is. Stop justifying yourself. God prefers you to be either sold out or completely in the other direction. People who profess Christ with their mouths but don't reflect him in their life styles make him sick.... don't be that person

So let's make the decision to do better... start today!

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."


Monday, March 23, 2015

Crap Happens

(this emoji is NOT chocolate ice cream)

Last Monday was just like any other Monday. 

The weather was nice, so a co-worker and I decided to walk to lunch together. We came back to the office and started eating, and that's when I heard it...

"AHHHHHH poop... it's POOP!" 

Those were the exclamations coming from my managers office. 

I had not idea what she was talking about... so I continued to eat my lunch, until she said...

"It's for Paige!"

OK, now she had my interest. 

I leaped from my chair in the conference room and quickly made my way down the hall.

She handed me a package that had come via the United States Postal service... the contents of this package were exactly what she speculated them to be.

It was indeed a bag full of poop. Cow poop to be more precise. 


So me being the curious person I am, decided to check out the website.

Someone paid $20 to anonymously mail me poop.

So my first thought is, who in the heck has $20 to spend on something as stupid as poop? 

Second thought was, was this meant to be funny, or meant as someones passive aggressive way of telling me they are upset with me? 

I'm leaning towards the latter...

But nonetheless, I thought this could be a teachable moment. 

Crap happens... basically things that we don't expect to happen, well they do. 

And when it does, we have a choice... we can either be angry about the crap, or we can learn from it. 

No one likes crap, but we all deal with it from time to time. It isn't what you are going through that makes you the person you are, but rather how you handle it. 

Because sometimes crap happens... of course typically it isn't sent to you in the mail. 

So to whoever thought enough of me to spend their hard earned money to send me poop, thank you. 

Maybe you are upset with me for some reason I am unaware of (I mean everybody loves me right?). If that's the case, it really would have been a lot cheaper to write me a nasty email or delete me from Facebook (THE HORROR). And while you are spending money to make yourself feel better about whatever situation caused you to be this upset with me, rest assured I am not losing any sleep at night. 

Your feelings towards me, good or bad, don't diminish the way God feels about me, and His is the only approval I need. 

Whatever crappy situation you are in... choose joy. Crap stinks... but you can waller in it, or you can use it to make fertilizer and watch things grow. It's up to you. 




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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