It's Not Over Until It's Over

So for those of you that watched the Superbowl on Sunday evening, you know that the statement "It's Not Over Until It's Over" rings more true than ever.  

I actually only caught the halftime performance, the last few minutes of regulation play and overtime.  Just being honest here.

Anyway, ever since seeing that ending, I realized that this statement is more true in life situations than many would like to admit.  

We've all been faced with situations in life that were challenging.  We've all been through things in life that have scared the literal poo out of us.  We've all been through things that make us want to dig a hole, crawl in, and never come back out.

But what's this really mean?  The fact that you're reading this means that you've made it through those times.  It means that you've lived.  It means that you've come out on the other side.  It means that you've made an incredible come back.  It means that the world may have thought it was over for you, heck YOU may have thought it was over for you, but it wasn't.  

NOW is your chance.  NOW is you time to come back from a debilitating score.  NOW is your time to show everyone around you that you've got the strength.  NOW is the time to show what God has done in your life and brought you through.  NOW is the time to put on your big girl panties.  NOW is the time to share your story and let others hear what you've been through in order to help them crawl out of their pits.  

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I want to challenge you, right here, right now, to look back.  To look at the mess you've seen in life and been through in life.  And when you look at that mess, see where you've been blessed and helped through these things.  

Whoa...where have I been?

Oh man, I just realized it's been like FOREVER since I've blogged.  A TON has happened in my life since my last post and I so wish I had the time and energy to share ALL of it with you but know that it's been big.  Anyway, onto the point of this post.

So each year I pick a word for the year to focus on.  In 2015 I chose the word freedom.  In 2016 I chose the word brave.  Both of those years, the words I chose required me to live them out in different circumstances.  

As I prayed and pondered what my word for 2017 should be, it came to me quite quickly and I never second guessed it.  My word for 2017 is:

I'm not 100% sure how this word will play out this year.  I know that there are big things ahead for me this year.  And I look forward to finding the places in which I can belong.  The places I can help others belong.  And finding where my skills, talents, beliefs, gifts, and love belong.  

Faithbox

Have you ever gotten a piece of mail that was just so uplifting you couldn't handle it?  One that put a smile on your face for days to come?  

That's exactly how I felt the day that my Faithbox arrived.  The box alone was super exciting to me!

(Let's be real, I was SO excited when I got the e-mail that I had been selected by Family Christian to do a review on this product that I may have squealed out loud in my office.  Super professional, right?)

 

As soon as I got upstairs I had to find a scissor to open it IMMEDIATELY!  

And when I did, it was filled with so much joy that I could hardly contain it.  

 

I mean, how adorable is that scarf!?!?!  And the leather bracelet?  The beverage mix they included was absolutely delicious.  

But the best part?  That was the devotionals they included.  Every box has one and it's a huge blessing.  I truly believe it can be used with those who have been believers for a short time or those, like me, who may have become believers long ago.

Though I was selected to review this product by Family Christian, it is definately one that I will be purchasing in the future.  I'm excited to buy it as gifts for the holidays coming up.  

Want more information on how to get your Faithbox, at a super reasonable price?  Check out:

http://familychristian.com/faithbox?utm_source=Facebook+Group&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=November_Blog_Opp_Faithbox

This would be a super holiday gift for a loved one!  

Need other gift ideas?  Check out:

http://www.familychristian.com/?utm_source=Facebook+Group&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=November_Blog_Opp_Faithbox

Secrets Are Lies

I can remember, quite vividly, my grandmother, Jean, saying just that.  "Secrets are lies."  That phrase came out of her mouth often during her time on earth.  

My grandma has been gone, from this earth, for 14 years now and those wise words still ring in my ears and mind nearly every day.  

I've spent a lot of time recently thinking through secrets and what they mean/don't mean.  I've contemplated where they've played a role in my life and where I've let them run my life.  I've explored the idea of keeping secrets as a safety mechanism and a way of avoiding the reality of it.  I've wrestled with whether secrets are kept out of fear of the truth or fear of having to own the issue.

And in all of this thinking, it also hit me that we all have secrets.  Even if they're small, we all have them, at some level in our lives.  

At some point, it's important to find someone you can share the secrets with.  Someone you can trust and you know will hold that secret like their own.  So, what do you do when that person pulls away, after they've learned so many secrets?  

You have to believe in them and believe that they are honest, trustworthy people.  You must have faith that what they've been told is just as sacred to them as it is to you.  

And then you must also ask yourself, after you've told someone your secret, how will they look at me?  Will they still accept me?  Will they laugh and walk away?  

I have been very blessed that as my secrets have come out, I have been loved, accepted and honored.  I've been given so many gifts of forgiveness I've lost count.  

If I've learned anything over the years, it's that, in time, secrets come out.  The hard, gross secrets become reality.  

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And then you must be willing to look at that secret.  Straight in the eyes.  And tell it it no longer has power over you.  

That is exactly what I've spent some time doing these past few weeks.  God brought me to a point of being willing to confront some secrets and bring them out into the light.  I've felt so much lighter since they came out.  (In fact I was told by a group of dear friends, just this past Friday night, that they could see the weight had gone.)  

But it also hasn't been easy.  My family has been there to support me and for that I could never say thank you enough.  But I also didn't realize that when things were brought out that they would create this deep crevice of darkness.  I didn't realize that the spaces that secret used to fill would become holes that hurt and burned.  

Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club talked about how it's important to clean out the infection.  I am now an official believer that secrets create deep, dark, gross, smelly, yucky infections that hurt to clean out.  

But I'm also here to tell you that it is possible to clean them out.  I'm not at the end of the road, by any means.  But I am willing to stay on the path and keep cleaning it out.  I can only pray that at some point the hydrogen peroxide that has to be poured into the infection won't burn quite as bad.