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Overcoming the Sinkholes

Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World … I’m so glad you stopped in . Today has been a busy day in sunny South Carolina, but it’s been a good day.

Tuesday as we were traveling I became consumed with thoughts and like most of us I have to jot those thoughts down and attack them on at a time.

As the news of Kate Spade’s death spread all over social media and the TV stations I thought about how precious and fragile life can truly be.

I remember receiving my first Kate Spade bag the Christmas after my son was born … and I was truly hooked on her fun and whimsical style .

As I thought about that memory almost 21 years ago I kept going back to the thought how our minds can become like sinkholes.

After spending just 3 winters in Florida i have become quite fascinated with their famous sinkholes. I grew up in Maryland and most of our holes are made intentionally.

After a late night of google searching I found a very interesting explanation. Scientists have come to determine that sinkholes occur when the underground resources gradually dry up, causing the surface soil to lose its underlying support. Everything simply caves in forming an ugly pit.

As I laid in the stillness of the night I came to the conclusion that … Depression and sinkholes have a lot in common. Depression seems to overwhelm with a vicious suddenness when it is actually the result of a constant process.

Inner resources are slowly depleted until one day there is nothing left. The world caves in and darkness seems to overtake each day.

I remember at a ministry conference one year the hosting pastor got up and addressed the issue of depression… I was a tad shocked , it was things like that we didn’t talk about. I recall him telling us that when a truck is carrying a load of bricks and the bricks start to crumble and fall .. was it the first brick or the last brick that caused the mess? Wowza, I wish I knew the answer.

He went on to say that because no one is immune to the darkness, we must learn to face it honestly, with emotional integrity.

Today I am raw and real … I was that person. I had a husband and 2 adorable little girls… BUT in 1997 after giving birth to my beautiful baby boy that God had healed of a life threatening disease … I had everything a women could want … yes, even a brand new Kate Spade bag.

I realized that something was drastically wrong. I was absolutely empty and completely exhausted. It seemed as if I had been living in the fast and furious lane forever! Overwhelmed, I sat down and mentally listed the demands on my life.

Wow, I recall looking at the list and thinking to myself …. No wonder you’re struggling. I was just plain tired.  Being a people pleaser, I had always been very strong, driven to make sure that I made everyone happy!! Now I, the strong one, couldn’t get out of bed. Getting dressed by the time my children were up and seated in the homeschool room was a task that took great effort to perform.

I had no idea how I had gotten there and what was even more frightening was the fact that I had no idea how to escape!  I did the only thing I could do. I cried out to God.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”  (Psalm 40:1-2 NIV

This cry started my journey not only into my healing BUT opened the door for me to minister to other ladies.

“Mire” comes in all shapes and sizes – buried pain, the loss of a loved one , broken relationships, unresolved anger. Eventually, the mire works its way to the surface spilling ugliness and darkness into life.

As I looked back over my life a startling realization came – I had painted a picture in my heart and mind of how I wanted my life to look….. and then I became upset and overwhelmed when it didn’t look like I thought it should .

In the following weeks and months, the Lord and I sifted through the enormous pile of “mire” that had settled into my spirit and life.

Trust me when I tell you it wasn’t easy but it was worth it! That journey of unpacking my pain refueled my desire to write, craft, journal, and even to go back to school.

Dear friend just know you are not alone … at times it may feel like you are BUT the truth is He will never leave you nor forsake you .

I felt as though I could not talk to anyone … I began eating my feeling because that brought a few seconds of happiness…. all I can say is BUT GOD.

My challenge for you is to take time to breathe … if you begin to feel overwhelmed know that it’s okay to talk to someone…. trust me it’s okay !!!

It’s by His stripes we are healed , it’s His peace that is perfect and is in us .

This morning as I sat on the patio and watched the sun come up I have truly learned that it is darkest before the dawn but joy comes in the morning … Christ in me is my joy !!!

I am healed , whole, and well … because He alone conquered death. He heard my cry … He picked me up … He gave me beauty for ashes!

NO weapon formed against me will prosper !!

Be blessed, be bold, be you

Xoxo

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When life gives lemons make donuts

Happy Saturday, I hope you are having a good day! Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World… I am so glad that you decided to stop in.

Things are so quiet in my world today … and I had so many things planned AND I’m not too proud to say that I’ve been busy daydreaming.

Just a few minutes ago the storm started at my house and my electric kept flashing off and on… and with that I kept thinking about what could happen if the power stays off .

So I wonder when you find yourself in the middle of a storm are you a pessimist or an optimist?

A few years back I read a quote from Barbara Johnson… she stated, ” A pessimist is someone who believes that when her cup runners over she”ll need a mop.” So dear friend do you see your glass as half-full or half-empty.

While we were spending a month in Texas I got so tickled that every donut shop we went, no one could fill my order of a white cream filled donut…. it was the only thing that I did not like about the beautiful state.

On morning we packed the car and grabbed the dog and headed out for a road trip to see all that we could see … as we were nearing our first stop a noticed a cute little store front that had a bright pink sign offering the best donuts this side of the Mason-Dixon Line !! Oh I can still remember how excited I was .. I knew that they would have my favorite donut … as the smell of real butter and powered sugar filled my nose i could almost taste the yummy treat I was about to buy.

Then it happened… I stepped up to place my order…. and as the sweet lady with the beehive hair do and the apron looked at me in utter confusion, I knew I was not getting a white cream filled donut.

I finally settled on a lemon donut and a cup of Earl Gray with honey … but I knew this donut could never meet the craving that had been building in my belly for almost 30 days .

As we turned to leave and finish our journey I noticed a sweet little sign that she had hanging above the door….

With yesterday being National Donut Day and the storm outside … that little quote is now stuck in my mind … and it has me wondering; Do you have the bad habit of looking at the negatives in life, such as the hole in the donut?

God wants us to look positively at things in our life… that’s why He told us to be joyful, be thankful and pray in ALL circumstances. God should be filling us to overflowing with His joy and peace, and we should be able to look on the bright side.

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing, give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 KJV

You see I had two choices that day ….. I could have gotten upset and a tad annoyed when she laughed at my request stating that white cream didn’t belong in donuts OR I could have chosen the better choice.

The better choice for me was to ask the lady which donut she would recommend for me. Believe me when I say my choice paid off … because that lemon donut was the best lemon donut I have ever tasted. And this girl has eaten a lot of lemon filled donuts in 47 years!

I know that sometimes it’s not easy to be joyful … but I’m starting to learn that happiness & joy are two totally different things.

Being happy seems to be a fleeting thing but true joy comes from Him and it’s deep down inside of us.

It has become my prayer that our joy would bubble up inside of us, and that we will want to share that joy and optimism with those around us. Because when we do this everyone truly feels better.

My challenge for you this coming week is to catch yourself before you start down a path of negativity. Find ways to turn the lemons in life into lemon filled donuts .

Our minds are a beautiful thing … too beautiful to waste on negativity! Take a moment to just breathe!

Be glad and rejoice, even in the roughest and toughest of circumstances! No matter what… you are not alone … God has you and it’s His joy that is in us!

Have an amazing weekend !!

Be blessed, be bold, and be you

Created by God

Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World… I’m so glad that you took a moment of your time to stop in. As I sit here listening to the rain hit my roof it always makes me smile ……because I truly love the smell after the rain, how about you?

This past week and a half Joey and I have been running from appointment to appointment trying to get everything completed before his surgery next week …. and trust me sitting in doctor’s offices and labs gives the brain too much free time to think!

On my mind lately has been … how often I have allowed the frustration of falling short make me feel totally inadequate. The countless times that I have compared myself to other women… and in doing this I can’t even look at myself, because when I do I feel badly about who and what I am.

As I gently look over the rim of my tea cup and watch the steam dance in the air … I feel a sigh escape my lips …. do I really have what it takes to fulfill God’s purposes in my life? Can I really birth this new dream that I feel swirling around in my belly?

So … I ask you dear friends, have you ever felt like this ? Because I have felt like this more times than I care to count. And I want you to know that from God’s perspective even once is too much! Because in God’s eyes we are fearfully and wonderfully made … we are the apple of His eyes.

I have come to learn (the hard way) that seeing yourself the way God does is the key to living the way He wants you to live.

In the process, you’ll learn to embrace who you are so you can become all God created you to be. Here’s how:

First, get to know yourself. Ask God to show you more about the person He made you to be. Truly see yourself through His eyes. Find your strengths: personal characteristics that you can use on behalf of God in service to others (from being creative to being resilient). Recognize that your distinctive set of personal characteristics is just as sacred as anyone else’s, because God made you in His image. You are unique and learning how to walk in that uniqueness will not only free you BUT it will also bring glory to God.

Second, you must replace the lies! Let go of lies that don’t reflect what the word of God says. Because you are a beloved child of God ! You are loved beyond measure! It is by His stripes that you are healed!

Keep in mind that there is no condemnation in Christ. So whenever a condemning thought enters your mind or someone communicates condemnation to you, realize that it’s not true. God Himself has the ultimate say about who you are: and He says that you’re unconditionally loved and incredibly valuable.

Lastly, (at least for today’s post), Listen to God rather than your emotions. What you feel can seem right and real, but when your emotions don’t line up with what God says about how you should view Him, yourself, and other people, you can’t trust them.

Your emotions are constantly changing as you react to different circumstances, but God’s truth remains the same, no matter what. Don’t suppress your emotions; feel them freely, because God made you an emotional being.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever … so don’t accept wild thoughts and feelings that our out of touch with God’s reality. Always choose to do what’s right, despite what you happen to feel at the time.

So today my sweet friends I am choosing to

focus on doing just what God wants me to do, when He wants me to do it, and always with love.

I am no longer setting unrealistic goals for myself BUT Instead I am choosing to, set goals that fit well into my life and simply do what I can and the best I can.

I promise to keep in mind that the process of discovering who God made me to be and putting that into action will continue to unfold throughout my entire life.

Never forget that each step we take will bring us closer to fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives.

I challenge you today to take good care of yourself. Invest regularly in your own health emotionally, mentally, spiritually, socially, and physically so you’ll be well-prepared to serve God and others.

Be blessed, be bold, and be you !!

You Got a friend in me

Happy Friday … what a sunny day we are having in South Carolina! The breeze is just enough to blow your hair around and the sunshine is warm enough to reach deep inside your soul ! Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World … I’m so blessed that you popped in !

The other day I was sitting on the patio looking out at a group of children climbing aboard a school bus… it was such a peaceful morning all you could hear was the birds chirping and the laughter of the children. Those two beautiful sounds caused me to lean my head back against the chair and sigh … what a wonderful day this was going to be !

Friendship is truly a gift from God … and I know it’s said that some friends are only available to us for a season … but lately I have been asking God to show me how to be a good friend … a lifetime friend … a friend that cares about the details .

As I sat there with my eyes closed and my heart full I had a few thoughts …..

Like peanut butter and jelly , cheese and crackers, some friendship duos are just meant to be … BUT then there are the type that at first glance , may not exactly go hand-in-hand …. like a cowboy and an astronaut! And as I smile to myself these two lovable characters proved the universe wrong ! Woody and Buzz are a true example of what true friendship can be.

true friendship is rare and may not always look like what the world tells us it should look like…. and I have had many friends in my life, but finding ones that stands the test of time … well truthfully that can be a tad difficult.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:10)

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

Trust me I know that those kinds of friends can be hard to find … and I also know that trying to be that type of friend is even more difficult.

As I sit here typing out this blog I think of all the times I’ve gotten into a bind … or had a major failure … and yes even the times I felt like I have lost my way …. it’s been in those times that I realize just how precious a true friend is.

It’s that friend that shows up … even when you are miles away they take the time to speak into your situation… stop what they are doing to pray … that’s a true friend.

To me, the difference in a true friend and one who calls themselves a friend, but is really an acquaintance is fairly easily identified.

As I got up this morning friendship was so heavy on my mind … maybe it’s because I’m working on children’s ministry curriculum… and Kody has made two amazing friends … Grit & Grace … or maybe it’s because God is challenging me to step up my “friend” game … but for whatever the reason I felt like I wanted / needed to share my heart !!

Here are 4 characteristics of true friendship that God and I have been talking over this beautiful Spring morning !!

Unconditional love – A true friend loves at all times. Regardless of what you do, what happens, or where life takes you, a true friend loves at all times. On your worst day—when you aren’t even fun to be around—a true friend still wants to take you to lunch…. even on the days when you don’t even like yourself!! I truly thank God for the friends who love me in spite of myself !!

Unwavering support – True friends are in it for the long haul. Even when you’ve stumbled and they don’t understand they are there !! Or even the times they agree with you completely—a true friend is in your corner. When you call—even when you’re in trouble—they come. True friendships may only be for a season. I have many of those. But if we run into each other again we pick up where we left off. Trust is already established. The relationship is just as strong. True friendships are consistent.

Willingness to challenge – Love and support is not ignoring the words you need to here. A true friendship makes you better. The Bible says “iron sharpens iron.” True friends will correct you if needed. Proverbs 27:5 says, “Better an open rebuke than hidden love.” Friends won’t let you injure yourself or others if they can intervene. They won’t remain silent with what you need to hear—and it will be shared in the deepest of love. This one is probably the hardest for me … I need challenged … you need challenged and with that my prayer is that always I will keep my heart open to freely give and freely receive.

Full of grace – True friendship weather the sometime difficulties of relationships, forgiving when needed, and loving each other even when it hurts. A true friendship isn’t one-sided. Both friends are willing to lay down their life for the other. Grace is freely and generously given.

I have a number of friendship I would consider true friendships… to be completely honest my list gets longer as we travel and meet new people … I can clearly see the hand of God when He blesses me with “friends” along my journey.

I want to challenge you today to take a moment and ask yourself if you have what it takes to be a true friend… because there are days that I would have to be honest and real and say, ” I miss the mark”. Even when I miss the mark I know that it’s okay and that tomorrow is a new day .. with new possibilities!!

Be blessed , be bold, and be you !!

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Welcome to my crazy little RV-World I’m so glad that you took the time to stop in. It seems like a month of Sundays since I’ve had a moment to blog …. but as most of you know I do my best writing while traveling.

This morning while I was sitting on the porch , sipping my tea, and watching the world around me wake up I had a thought… surprisingly it was a rather good one!

Right after Easter we were traveling back to SC after a beautiful weekend with family and friends … and as usual the car was pretty packed .

It truly amazes me how we can shove so much in such a “small” car…. but this particular trip I had to carry a small spring cactus with us .

Anybody who knows anything about me knows daisies and cacti are my two most favorite flowers/plants .

Well …. as we were traveling the traffic was horrible and we were both just ready to get back to the rv and rest …. about 6.5 hours into our trip a truck cut over in front of us causing Joey to have to dive toward the medium and get our car stopped .

Oh my, everything inside the car shifted … and I mean shifted . My beautiful cactus fell over and rolled under the seat .

Taking a few moments to calm our beating hearts and to catch our breath , Joey made sure that everything was okay before pulling back onto the highway .

Quietly I bent down and started fishing my beautiful plant from under the car seat . It was a little topsy-turvy but nothing I couldn’t fix.

Then something happened that I will never forget as long as I live… as I stood there holding my cactus it bloomed right there in front of me . I couldn’t take my eyes off the tiny buds as they opened up in all their glory …

it was truly breathtaking….

you see just because it had gotten tossed and dumped it didn’t matter … it was time for my tiny plant to bloom and right there in my hand it bloomed . As I carefully dusted the dirt and fuzz off it’s tiny green stems it reminded me of sweet old man that I met my very first day living in the tiny little town of Friendsville …

His name was Sonny and he knew everyone in town… he called them by name and he knew what was happening in their lives … because he truly cared .

He took time to stop and ask about a sick child or an ailing marriage … he could always make you smile … he was ready to pray and offer encouraging words . No matter what he would not “force” his faith on anyone … but he loved them and his influence lingered wherever he was . He truly had about him “the fragrance of Christ “. (2 Corinthians 2:15)

Please never forget that you have that same fragrance wherever you go as we quietly manifest Jesus’ love.

I challenge you this week to never give up! And even if you feel like no one acknowledges your efforts … God sees and knows all …. so just go ahead and Bloom right where you are planted!

Be blessed , be bold, and be you !

Being me… flaws and all

Happy Thursday … welcome to my crazy lil RV-World, I’m so glad you took the time to stop in! Things have been a tad busy but when you are spending time with family it’s a good kind of busy!

Last night I woke up and for the longest time I could not fall back asleep… as I laid there in the dark my mind would not stop …. I wish I could tell you that it was peaceful thoughts … but I found myself questioning God.

Oh, please don’t judge me … these questions were thoughts about myself that have been playing over and over again like a broken record in my mind!

I closed my eyes and I found myself saying, “God, there are things about me that I don’t like. I really wish I had different hair and oh, how I wish my skin was a little darker. Why couldn’t I be taller and a little skinnier. Why do I struggle to find my talents… how I wished I looked like her and if I only had his smarts”and on and on.

As I laid there with tears streaming down my face my list of all the things I hoped to be was growing longer & longer.

Finally I got out of bed a headed downstairs to my quiet place and as I flipped through my notes I found this nugget…. “with this kind of thinking I was basically telling God, you blew it! Everybody else in this word is OK… BUT you goofed up big time when you made me” #whatwereyouthinking

Then it hit me friends … and trust me, it hit me hard ! When we reject ourselves we are in essence rejecting God, because He is our creator and we are His beloved children.

It’s like looking in the face of our precious Lord and telling him that He messed up … telling Him that we could have done a better job. And questioning why He didn’t give us different talents with a different life.

As I pulled my blanket closer I felt like God himself was wrapping me in His unconditional love …. and in the deepest part of my spirit I felt Him say, “No, Kecia … I made you exactly to be you because I want you to be you …. with all your strengths and your weaknesses!”

By this time I was a snotty mess … and as I allowed His words and my tears to cleanse me … I knew that from that moment on I had to choose to love me , all of me… the dents, the dimples , the rolls, the loud voice , and even louder laugh … my pale skin that gets flaky and dry … all of me!!!

Because in the very still of the night … I caught a glimpse of the sun peeking through… He showed me that living my life as me … and being who I was created to be I would bring glory to Him … I needed to just be me instead of trying to be someone else.

You see dear friends …. I’m being real and raw today …. The root behind all of my problems is that I didn’t truly trust God. I know many of you can relate to that statement… it’s a tad harsh I know BUT it is part of my story!

My prayer is that we would start believing how much God really loves us! We question Him because we don’t believe that He has our best interest at heart.

I know there are times we all wish He had made us someone / something different… As a result, of this I found myself allowing bitterness to rear its ugly head… and I was often frustrated!

Frustration and bitterness will keep us for being everything that God has created us to be.

I crawled back into bed after reading this scripture.. and I realized that I can completely trust God with every part of my life!!

And so can you … never forget that God Loves you , He wanted you … you are His beloved Child … you are the apple of His eye !

We are fearfully and wonderfully made and even though we all have had moments where we questioned this … it’s the absolute truth!!

I challenge you today to daily walk in the wisdom and the knowledge that you are His … and He does not mess up or make mistakes!

Be blessed, be bold, and be you !

Drops on my Window

Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World … I’m so glad that you stopped in. I just settled in with a lovely cup of chai tea and couldn’t wait to check in and see how life was in your corner of the world.

I pray today was everything you needed it to be…and you found time to not only love others but to love yourself as well.

Tuesday morning I woke up to the sounds of my phone warning me of weather … not only was my home state under a big snow storm BUT our RV campground was under a tornado watch .

What a way to wake up … I jumped out of bed and even before I brushed my teeth I put on my worry pants , and attempted not to freak out. It didn’t take long for the rain to pour and the thunder to roar.

Have you ever noticed how the raindrops slowly roll down a window? If you have never watched it… it’s quite lovely .

Standing at the sink in our little kitchen watching the trees blow and the rain fall… I noticed how everything viewed through the rain drops seemed to be distorted. Distances and the size of the objects outside began to change and nothing looked like how I remembered it before the rain started.

I stood there mesmerized for what felt like an hour watching the beautiful drops roll down the window … and as I watched I noticed how the world seemed to be changing …. right before my eyes.

As I blinked back the tears of worry and concern I reminded myself that the view through the raindrops was inaccurate, foggy, and just a tad distorted. Almost like trying to view God through the lens of fear, pain, and loneliness.

Too often when we find ourselves in a place of loneliness, pain, and uncertainty we forget that there are feelings and there are facts . They are both real … trust me they are so real BUT they are not the same!

We may find ourselves feeling lonely BUT we are never alone. Things begin to get distorted when we view our world through our feelings…. our problems seem bigger and God seems very small and far away .

Let me be honest with you, when our winds hit 29mph and our RV was creaking and squeaking.. I felt a little afraid…. and as I watched out the window everything seemed dark and out of control.

It’s in times like these that we start to feel like nothing is ever gonna change … we feel like everything is going wrong , and God seems distant. We allow our problems to become bigger than they really are.

So today I challenge you the next time you feel lonely and undone to just stop where you are and start to speak truth over yourself.

God is never far away … He is always faithful.. He will never leave you and He loves us beyond measure, and that’s the truth !

As I lifted up my cries and worry to Lord I felt His peace completely engulf me … and I reminded myself in that moment that He will always care enough to hear the cries of my heart!

So sweet friends when ever we need an accurate view of our God and our situation, let’s stop what we are doing , take a deep breath, and remind ourselves what we know is true …. God is love.. we are His beloved children… and He will never leave us.

Even though the raindrops were beautiful rolling down our window on Tuesday … I had to step away and get my eyes off the storm that was brewing around me and get them back on Jesus.

Be blessed, Be Bold, and Be you!