Sunday, July 16, 2017

Random Thoughts

Blog Posts ~ have had many on my mind yet never seeming to find the time to get them written.  Then realized I don't need the internet to write my posts ~ I can write them in Word and then do a Copy & Paste when we have internet ~ you see on our weeks off we try to get away, we take our travel trailer and go camping.  This week we are at Lake Tawakoni, two weeks ago we were at Lake Whitney.  And in a week and a half we will be back at Lake Whitney.

Today, we are sitting in the Family Center and I have been reading Facebook ~ love catching up with friends and family and little gems that come from Jesus just to me!!!

Like this one ~
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And this is what I wrote ~
I wanted to like this but at the same time my heart aches as I read through these as they are so true so that leaves me sad. The hardest part is trying to get others to understand ~ and there really isn't a way for them to understand. Thank you Pamela Richards-Woodall for sharing this. I am going to put it on my wall as well.
I wish I could share this with everyone I know, so just maybe they would understand me a bit more.
So often lately I have wished I could sit with Marla Tuski and just share from my heart. Or sharing with Deanna Walton Griffith so we can cry and then laugh together. I long for the little couch in Pastor Charles Gibson office to just ramble on and know that he would pray with me and for me and not judge me yet encourage me. And YES I am thankful for my hubby, Ron Workentin who loves me and tries to understand me, even when he has no clue what to do.
BUT most importantly I am thankful for Jesus who is always ready and willing to listen to me and wipe my tears.

And found myself thinking this would be a good lead into a blog post ~
I have found myself emotionally all over the place the last few weeks, dealing with anger, love, frustration, uncertainty, angst, happy, excited, scared, joyful, anticipating and dreading.
The list could go on and on.  
Struggling with finding time to be with the Lord,
be in His Word,
praying ~ I have prayers in my heart but can't seem to voice them.
Wanting, no needing some girl time yet my bestie is not here, emailing is not the same;
missing my talks with Marla, emailing is not the same;
wanting to just sit and drink coffee, solving the worlds problems, emailing is not the same;
Missing my Pastor, his seriousness and his jokes that only we understand, emailing is not the same;
And then I saw the post above, shared by my friend Pamela.  

Pamela is an author, we have so much in common and she understands and reads between those emails, yes the ones that are not the same.

I want to do so many things ~
write,
speak,
encourage others,
love my hubby in ways he deserves that I just can't seem to do,
make a difference in women's lives,
don't get me wrong, I love our boys here in Waco,
love that we are building relationships,
seeing positive changes in their lives
yet they are not the audience I believe God wants me to share with,
at least not the only audience.

I shared with a friend a few weeks ago via a video chat
what my heart desires are.
She encouraged me,
made me realize I have the best of both worlds.
Work one week, have off one week.
But that week off is just not happening like I dream about ~
time to write,
time to study God's Word,
encourage women in their daily lives as they struggle to deal with issues from the past,
sharing how God has healed me from such pain
because
I also want to spend time with my hubby,
enjoy the area we are in,
check out the new places we go,
work on crochet projects,
and I really need time at home ~
time to clean out closets and totes,
organize notebooks ~ write those notebooks into the computer, to lighten the load of stuff.
Do things with friends, make new friends, get involved in a church ~ so hard to do when time and circumstance don't allow for that involvement.
Build friendships but remembering and respecting boundaries of co-workers.
And SLEEP ~ I really do a lot of sleeping during our off weeks!!!
If you know me, you know I don't function well on 5 to 6 hours of  sleep and about day 7 of short sleep, I am ready to crash and sleep to get caught up and to plan ahead.
I want to have conversations with friends about "Hot Topics"
because emailing and Facebook are not necessarily the best way to do so ~
tone can't be heard, facial expressions can't be seen, dialogue just doesn't happen back and forth in a timely manner.
And then I read something, like above,
and the tears flow
and I write
and find peace inside.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Reflecting

After a long day of travel, 
a trip to the Post Office and grocery store
and then eating Chinese food
we are back home in our little apartment.

Ron is napping so I decided to read through some emails.

First one up was my daily devotion from Guideposts Daily Devotions

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. . . . ”
1 Peter 3:15 (niv)
John, how do you always stay so calm, even in the tough situations?” a colleague asked.
I was sitting across the desk from the division president of my company for one last meeting. We were chatting, wrapping things up, before I formally retired. Not expecting the question, I rambled, mentioning my faith and that I hadn’t always been calm. I talked about reading Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s books in my younger days and how they had helped me.
Later, I felt disappointed that my answer hadn’t come close to capturing God’s work within me to overcome the biggest struggle of my life: crippling fears and anxiety. I asked God to help me overcome all of my turmoil and inner conflict. I learned ways to live my faith. I began to pray and read the Bible daily. I used many of the action steps that Dr. Peale outlined to deal with daily life and to practice peacefulness. From that beginning, God guided me on an incredible journey, step by step, to a life of deep tranquility and quiet confidence.
I wasn’t prepared to give an answer when the question was asked. I missed an opportunity to tell firsthand what God had done for me. However, the conversation may have been another step that God intended for my journey. It caused me to look back and see more clearly than ever His presence and faithfulness throughout my life—and that He is “the reason for the hope” I have.

Digging Deeper: 

1 Chronicles 16:9; Psalms 13:5–6, 71:23
Dear Lord, help me be ready to boldly share stories of Your faithfulness whenever an opportunity comes. Amen.    
by John Dilworth
**************
I immediately went back to a conversation we had with our 9 year old grandson on Monday afternoon after spending a couple of hours swimming.  

He asked us why would someone choose an animal over their own family.  My heart ached as I wasn't quite sure how to answer him.  I stumbled through my reply ~ I'm not sure.  But what I am sure of is that God tells us in His word,


and even though we might be confused about some things that are said to us and about us we need to just keep putting our


and to remember that Mom and Dad will always have his back and do what is right for him and his brothers and their family.  

And so I sat here praying for him and his whole family 
along with asking God to give me the wisdom and words to share with him
and all those who I speak to 
reminding myself


and that we are never alone.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Home Again

We are safely back here in Waco.

What a great week we had
but like normal it went by super fast!

It was great to see both of our boys,
their sweet wives
and all five of our grands!!!

We spent lots of time swimming, 
played at the park two different days,
ate way too much ~ but the food was delicious!!

Had sleep overs with Grammy and Grandpa,
visited with our family,
shared lots of hugs and kisses!

We said "See ya later"
and can't wait till we see everyone again.

Thank goodness for Facetime!!!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Enjoying the Day!

Feeling Blessed Beyond Measure ~

We are so blessed and sometimes its just the little things that make that so clear in our lives.

A few weeks ago, I was seriously looking for a new job.
We love our boys at MCH but sometimes the administrators drive us crazy!!
But God has a way of showing us we are right where he wants us to be.

You may be asking "how does God show you these things?"
In this case we have had lots of encouraging things said to us and no doors opening on the horizon.
We have applied for about 10 different jobs over the past two months,
one was so promising
and then
doors were firmly closed in our faces.

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a friend encouraged me out of the blue,
an admin called out of the blue,
our boss thanked me for something I thought was trivial
and most importantly,
peace reigned in my heart.

And today I am enjoying the blessings of being with grands!!
And doing something I have not been able to do in years ~~
PLAY on the playground and go down the slide!!!



Loving being with our family here in Gresham!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

God is Teaching Me

I woke this morning before the alarm went off thinking about today 
and all the things that need to be done
~ changeover meeting
~ all staff meeting
~ pick up boys from school (two trips)
~ boys to swim tests
~ house meeting to check in with the boys
~ watch the Survivor finale, something the boys and I have been enjoying 
together the past few months 
~ write daily reports

and then for me personally
~ shower & get ready for the day,
even put on makeup, something I haven't done in a long while
~ quiet time and how I want it to be

and once again God met me right where I am
I grabbed my coffee and banana,
sent Ron to the front porch so I could have some quiet
and opened my devotional

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is the word for the day!!

Psalm 86

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And I took this away

God you are full of compassion, graciousness, abundant in mercy and truth,
You are my strength when I can no longer hold myself up
And because You are these things to me I can be these things in others lives.

Closing in this
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As I prepare to meet the day I am encouraged to be all that God wants me to be.
To consider all who I come into contact with today may be dealing with something I have no clue about BUT with the Lord I can be an
encourager and a listener
~ doing for others for what they need and not for what I can get out of it.

And then this came across my Facebook memories
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and I am encouraged for today I can choose to do the things I need to do for myself
~ eat breakfast (coffee and a banana)
~ drink lots of water, goal is 100 to 125 oz
~ extend grace to myself as I extend grace to others

Most of all be the woman God has created me to be!!!

How about you?
Do you have any goals for today?
It doesn't have to be giant grand goal, just a goal to accomplish one thing today.  
I would love to hear from each of you reading
and be able to encourage you along life's journey.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Accepting the Challenge

The Challenge:

I heard the Lord say
"So are you going to just 
keep floating along
or are you going to accept the challenge
to do something?
to do what your passion is?
to follow where the Lord has opened windows?"

This morning I woke up early, early for a day off anyway, and felt the Lord calling me, to pick up His word and meet Him in my special place.

I grabbed my Bible, my 
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(yes I know I am a pen snob),
and my journal.

I opened my journal and the page is titled
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and I laughed.
"Lord I know I need to be committed,
not having one foot in the door and the other headed down the road!"

There are so many areas of my life where I lack commitment...
...eating healthy?
I found myself thanking the Lord for bringing this to me today...
...only I can get myself healthy, no one can do it for me and I can't do it for anyone but myself.
and I need to commit daily to getting healthy.
For today I focused on drinking water.
I drank 108 oz of water!!!  
My doctor wants me to drink between 100 & 125 oz of water ~
I am happy to say today I did it!!!

The scripture for today was
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And that's how I began my day ~ 
committed to drinking  my water!!
May not sound like much but to me it is one step towards getting healthy.

And then I read Psalm 37
or at least I thought I read the whole thing 
but when I went to write about what I wrote I realized two pages had stuck together
so my reading today
(Ali's paraphrase)

I read this Psalm as confirmation of what and how I am supposed to be
and also found myself thinking of what is it I want to be doing
today, tomorrow, the weeks to come and even down the road.

I want to:
...write my book on surviving, dealing with and coming out the other side of trauma
...encourage women that what happens to you as a child does not have to rule your life as an adult
...that no matter how bleak things look there is always HOPE!
...encourage parents you can stop the cycle of abuse
...encourage those that come from a difficult past that you can move to a positive future
AND
 God can always turn the bad into good!!!

I was encouraged by my friend that right now I have the best of all worlds:
a job that pays well, a schedule that gives me time to focus on my wants and desires and 
tools available to reach my goals.

Please join me as I start this journey
of committing to getting healthy
and sharing how God has led me through some difficult times 
to seeing His love for me
and He can and will do the same for you.



Being Challenged

Sometimes I find myself questioning what I am doing ~ I believe we are where God wants us to be ~ House Parents here at the Methodist Boys Ranch yet then my mind begins to wander and wonder if we should be somewhere else? Doing something else? Seeing only the negative and not acknowledging the positive ~ the positive in "our boys" lives, in our own lives and truly enjoying being in the moment and loving life.

Doing that causes a lot of anxiety in my heart, in my relationships, in my outlook of life and my roles/responsibilities as a wife, mom, house parent, woman, grammy and friend.

And then I question, question the little things, question the big things, question Ron and question God.

The last few months I have questioned so much and found myself doing things my way and leaving God out of the equation.  This past week while we have been off God has really been challenging me in my thinking, in my actions, in my thoughts and words.

I have been wondering what do I want to be doing?  What should I be doing?  Where should I be doing it at?  How do I not lose myself doing for others.  Our work here at the Boys Ranch is filled with lots of change: day to day and over the long term.  Overall I would say most of our time here is positive but when it is hard/difficult it is really hard/difficult.  And that is when the questions really rise in our hearts and mind.

Our work schedule is great as we work 7.5 days, off 6.5 days.  During our off time we have the time and freedom to travel to see friends, family and checking out new places.  And most of the time working those 7.5 days seem to go pretty fast.  Sometimes though some days seem to drag on and on; for instance last week it felt like we had two Sundays, two Mondays, two Tuesdays and Wednesday would never get here.  It is those weeks when we seem to do a lot of sleeping, resting, vegging and zoning out and that is exactly how this week went.

And that's why I think God chose this week to 
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me 
in my thinking,
in what I do
and what do I want to do,
what do I want in my life, 
what legacy do I want to leave for my children and grandchildren.

And then I got a 
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from a friend I haven't talked to in over a year
that she wanted to chat with me.

So we set a time and date
and we chatted via Zoom (like Skype)
for an hour and a half!!!

It was good to hear from her, 
see her smiling face
and reconnect.

We shared about what we are doing, what she is doing,
things in the past, discussed future plans and ideas
and when I hung up

I heard the Lord say
"So are you going to just 
keep floating along
or are you going to accept the challenge
to do something?
to do what your passion is?
to follow where the Lord has opened windows?"


Random Thoughts

Blog Posts ~ have had many on my mind yet never seeming to find the time to get them written.  Then realized I don't need the internet ...