Error 101…

Oftentimes after I hit publish for a blog-post I’ll go back and read through the published copy which has been sent out to anyone who follows my blog; and the post is also available to anyone who may be interested in that particular blog-topic…

More often than not, I’ll read not too far in, and the grammatical errors begin to stand out like a vegan at a steakhouse…and I’m like how in the world did I miss that one?!! 

I miss-spell simple words, confuse commas and parentheses, and inaccurately use ‘their’ when I meant to use ‘there’ (that one’s a frequent flyer). I once wrote loves-truck instead of love-struck (huge difference when you’re trying to make your point about two young love-birds on Valentine’s Day). And last week my husband pointed out that I had typed Bid in my post instead of Big when I was supposed to be referring to ‘Big Daddy Weave’. When I notice or become aware of this type of thing, I immediately scroll through attempting to make everything right…and…well… “perfect”.

A fellow blogger, Ann, over at Seeking Divine Perspective wrote a post a few months ago she called What the-?!? where she writes about the time someone read her blog and asked if the name of her blog was supposed to read ‘Seeking Divine Perpsective’ or ‘Seeking Divine Perspective’. (Some of you will have to take a double or triple look to find that error, I never noticed until she wrote about it).

For over a year she’d been blogging under the name ‘Seeking Divine Perpsective’, where the p and s were flip-flopped in the word “perspective”. As a retired English teacher, at first she was greatly appalled that she hadn’t noticed, but very soon the Lord spoke to her heart and reminded her that imperfection happens, yet there’s an incredible amount of goodness to be thankful for and rejoice over, nevertheless.

Her “perspective” over life is beautiful and she brings it out through the words in her blog-posts as she aims to glorify God…regardless of a misspelled blog title, which I believe has been corrected now.😉

Honestly I could beat myself up over the many errors on my own blog posts and make a “bid” deal about something harmless, but if I choose to do that then Satan’s just getting the best of me—and the worry, fear, and anxiety would quickly escalate to other areas of my life…

Satan longs to seep into our struggles and tell us we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not strong enough…

Not Enough.

Such a powerful word…when we allow Satan to lie, crush our joy, and use that word (enough) to label us we’re brought down negatively, but allowing Jesus to use it over us—it changes everything…our whole “perpsective” changes…it no longer matters how it looks on the outside. Through God’s word we learn that we are MORE than enough—errors and all! God offers mercy and grace over our imperfection through a Perfect Jesus.

Romans 5:8 says, ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’

Instead of pushing repeat for Error 101 lessons, I need the reminder of truth from Psalm 139:14, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”

For so long, in my quiet prayers, I was guilty of pleading, saying: “God help me to get over my past, help me to not beat myself up, help me to not allow Satan to get the best of me, all of my mess-ups are too much…but here recently I’ve changed that prayer, thanking God for the life He’s given me, and the things I’ve learned along the way, and for what He’s doing these days—in and through me…for His Purpose…and now, I’m not near as distracted and annoyed by my inevitable flaws.

He’s an amazing and wonderful God…the best part of my life and the reason I am who I am today!! I’m so thankful He loves me unconditionally…mistakes and all!

Romans 8:38-39 says ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

The Cone of Shame

I feel like our dogs end up at the vet every other month. If it’s not for a routine check, we’re there because Eli’s seizures are flaring up or he’s not feeling up to par. The other day though it was my daughter’s dog, Macs (a little three-pound Yorkie who self-identifies as a pit bull). To keep this post rated ‘E for EVERYONE’ I won’t go into a detailed description of his medical issue, but I will tell you his back half was suffering irritably so without delay I loaded him up and took him in. Turns out he’ll be fine; doc fixed him up and sent him home with two different types of meds….and since he’s a chewer and a licker he also got a free prize!!!….a plastic necklace AKA the cone of shame….

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60109B14-CCE2-4268-A80F-AB6C193D2697The poor little guy looks pathetic trying to tote along this protruding piece of plastic (that’s half his size). When he walks, he now has a waddle and his head bobs from side to side, almost resembling a swagger-type strut; but his face and eyes droop, revealing a true depressive temperament. (I wish I could attach a video to give you a good laugh but apparently I’d have to upgrade my WordPress account so just imagine Ace Ventura’s awkward stride and you’ll have a good idea!) And to top it off it’s been snowing a lot here, so when Macs goes out for potty breaks you can imagine the “snow-cone” humor from my kids.

I feel bad for him, but in a canny sense I’m reminded of the many times I’ve mentally and emotionally worn my own cone of shame for a lengthy period of time…when I’ve caught myself nagging at my husband over petty things, harping on my kids when really I’m the one in need of an attitude check, or when I allow the lies that I’m ugly (because of my past) to fester…the list goes on and Satan quickly steps in and says, “here my pet, you’ve messed up again, let me firmly place this cone of shame around your neck—keep your head down, don’t look around, just focus on your pity and the extra weight you carry, and most importantly medicate yourself with an extra dose of embarrassment and shameful thoughts and feelings. Now stay put!! And remember your key diagnosis is shame.” Continue reading “The Cone of Shame”

Pocketknife Lessons

My son eagerly inquired for what seemed like the hundredth time, “so mom did he text yet? I’m really wanting that pocketknife, did dad text you yet?”

“No Warren, he sure hasn’t.” I responded in a gentle but exasperated voice.

My boy and his dad had made a deal (a few days before) pending good behavior—If my son (Warren) held up his end of the deal, showing respect and a good attitude, he’d eventually receive a mini-pocketknife from his dad’s scant collection and on the flip side: poor behavior and lack of respect and bad attitude would equal no pocketknife.

Pretty simple formula to process.

…maybe not for an eight-year old boy with an abundance of extra energy.

#thestruggleisreal, right?

First off when this deal was initially communicated a deadline must’ve been overlooked and never discussed. Warren seemed to be failing at recognizing that patience and self-control are two very important and necessary components of respect. Both of which he was lacking as he repeatedly questioned me asking if his dad had messaged yet to give a timeframe on this deal.

In other words I believe he actually wanted to know ‘how long must I practice and display being EXTRA nice?’ (Um, for the rest of your life son)…After all he’d been holding doors open for others, using an abundance of more-than-usual verbal manners, and even helping tote things to and from the vehicle with our busy on-the-go schedule…all without being asked to do so.

So per his request, I had texted my husband (who was at work for the day) to see just when this “positive attitude for pocketknife” exchange might happen and in the meantime Warren was anxiously awaiting his father’s response.

Finally when he asked for the hundred and first time if I had heard back yet, this is what took place: Continue reading “Pocketknife Lessons”

Bread Doesn’t Have To Be A Weakness For Me

Since the start of this year (2019) I’ve been avidly avoiding gluten and dairy products and so far I’ve been successful.7f7f0dce-8785-40e5-811d-c8cd9cee7cd7

I have an auto immune disorder (psoriasis) and I’ve discovered if I keep my distance from the two I can manage a little better. I’ve gone on these kicks before over the past couple of years where I give special attention to my diet and more often than not I’ve failed miserably…and I’m blaming bread!!!

Bread is my weakness! I mean who doesn’t love a loaf of homemade banana bread smothered in melted butter or a warm slice of garlic bread next to a plate of spaghetti (which I also bypass now due to gluten sensitivity)…

I’m a sucker for bread of all types.

Several years ago I was down in Mexico and had eaten days worth of Mexican food (which I love) but I was craving bread after a while. As it turned out our missions team headed out for a morning of shopping and happened to spot a bakery. I made a beeline straight for that store, probably even stopped traffic on the busy streets of Tijuana just to get there. I walked in and the smell about made me black-out. It was like Subway on steroids, it was glorious—dinner rolls, pastries, biscuits—sweet superfluous loaves of bread. I thought we’d stepped through the doors of Heaven. Continue reading “Bread Doesn’t Have To Be A Weakness For Me”

Healed Through Forgiveness

Warning: This post may contain emotional content for some. I know it’s long but I’m putting it out here on the chance that it provides help to someone who might be struggling.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. —Martin Luther King Jr.

I had just finished giving a presentation of my life story to a group of ladies. As I packed up my notes and props I noticed a girl whose face was covered in a stream of tears.

Oh no, was it something I said?? Way to go Alicia…My self-conscious way of thinking began to prod away.

Slowly the melancholy faced girl made her way toward me while the noise of music quietly played in the background.

My heart raced forward as I thought about what words may come out of her mouth…would I be prepared with a response or an answer..I’m just a woman who loves Jesus and wants others to know about Him….what if she needs help and I don’t know what to say…God you know I’m a writer, not a talker…

I felt incredibly unprepared for this moment. I hadn’t considered I’d be doing more than simply sharing my testimony, so the thought of anything beyond that certainly overwhelmed me. I quickly pleaded with God in my mind..I did my part God, I shared my story in front of these women, I’m not prepared to further speak—much less counsel someone if this is what’s about to happen…

She now stood right before me. My eyes met hers and I could see there was hurt deep within…she had my full attention…

“How did you do it?” she pushed the words through trembling lips without hesitation….How did you do it??? The words echoed throughout me. I paused long enough to collect my thoughts…

“How did I do what?” I asked with an empathetic whisper.

After-all I had just shared the disarrayed story of my life—starting with the responsibility I felt being raised by an epileptic mother, to experiencing life with a loving but drug and alcohol addicted father; and not failing to include childhood stories of a homicide in front of our California home, sexual abuse, and my own substance abuse as a teen and young adult and the poor choices I made in all of that. I had shared the pain I felt with my dad’s death and then how I finally had my come to Jesus moment in my late twenties.

I had covered many life lessons and emotions just moments before as I gave my testimony in front of this group of women so to pinpoint the one thing she was searching an answer for, would be a challenge in itself.

But it was the sexual abuse that she was referring to…“how did you get past the sexual abuse?” she managed to bravely stutter the words out. Continue reading “Healed Through Forgiveness”

Finding a New Perspective Through Zip Lining

I sat, securely in a harness, suspended from a cable about fifteen feet off the ground. My husband walked alongside my kids who were down below cheering excitedly. They pulled me and my attached equipment to the starting point where they’d release the rope and send me sailing on a zip line amidst a thickly wooded grassland.

Adventure? Yes.

Enthusiasm? Not from me at this moment.

When my family was invited to an evening of fun at what has been dubbed “magical” Narnia, we quickly accepted the offer. This tiny slice of Heaven belongs to our Pastor and his wife and sits on ten acres with a river gently flowing along the edge of the property. With four-wheeler trails, rope swings, a camp fire area, shooting range, zip line, and lots of space to climb, roam and explore, it really is a good time for an outdoor enthusiast and it’s entertained many over the years.

But as I sat anxiously, about to be whisked away, I was far from impressed but hesitantly persisted on—in hopes of overcoming my fear. Knowing the set-up was completely secure still didn’t alleviate my anxiety. I tried to ease my mind—It’ll be over in seconds…I’m probably the five hundred and eleventh person to use this zip line…my insurance deductible has already been met this year…my kids and many others have been zip lining all evening and they’re still in one piece…

Let me tell you, when you’re afraid of heights—NONE of these things matter—AT ALL.

Without warning, my family freed the pull-rope and there I went zipping along wildly at the expense of Tarzan and his chimp’s amusement, AKA Nate and kids. My emotional state heightened far beyond my physical suspended height, and when it looked as if I was going to smack a tree that sits way too close to the zip line trail it was game over for me. “I don’t like it!!” I shouted down to my amused onlookers.

And then just as soon as it began it ended. It was over. I made it to the end. I was safe.

…I thought about how at an earlier point in my life I had enjoyed the thrill of zip lining and other wild adventures.

But that was before a husband. Before kids. Before adult responsibilities. Continue reading “Finding a New Perspective Through Zip Lining”

The Bible: Too Incredible to Deny part 2

PART 2: continued from Too Incredible to Deny

The truth is I could beg a person who stands on the edge of believing to just trust Jesus…to just believe in Him. I could share my convincing testimony with someone; I could challenge him or her to watch the sun rise and fall or count and name the endless stars…to consider the complexity of a baby forming in the womb and then try to tell me there’s no God.

But when it comes down to it, none of those things can cause a person to truly know, love, and appreciate God the way the Bible can. Although a Bible (in its material form) can’t offer salvation, the words within can certainly lead a lost soul to the Lord. No matter how incredible the very thing we view and marvel over appears, the word of God is absolutely by-far the best proof of God’s existence. The Bible makes all of those things worthy of appreciation when we choose to acknowledge God as their Creator.

If you struggle to believe, if this just sounds too bazaar to you, then I challenge you to read the Bible for yourself. You’ll be entertained, motivated, shocked, held in suspense, wowed and awed as you read the history of:

women and men going from zero to hero

  • Moses’ leadership (read Exodus through Deuteronomy)
  • Rahab’s prostitution yet devotion to her family (Joshua 2 & 6)
  • David’s heart for God (1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2 & the book of Psalm)
  • Queen Esther’s life at risk (the book of Esther)
  • Matthew the despised tax collector (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

Continue reading “The Bible: Too Incredible to Deny part 2”