Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I have always been a push-over, someone who is real easy to control or give in to things that give others the authority to take advantage of me or what I have to offer people! I get tired of always giving into people's demands or expectations. I have some friends who always take charge of planning events for a group of friends and we are usually included into the group! We normally just go with the flow of things and not make a big deal of things. I am starting to get annoyed when the planners of this group of friends will expect us to do things without ever asking us if we would like to do what they want. They think its okay to demand help if we want to be involved in certain events or activities that are planned. I am okay with helping where the need is, but I am less eager to be involved period when I am expected to do things without any consideration of what we would like to do or what we can even offer. I always used to think that if I didn't raise a stink or say anything and just let it go than I am doing the right thing by allowing them to be in control of me or what I am to do for them during these certain events. I think that type of thinking has given them permission to continue this same kind of behavior. It takes a lot of guts to stand up for myself. I find that it is a lot easier to just give in and let go of how I really feel. But, that is the pattern of my past and I am no longer going to allow people to push and shove me around just to get their way. I am not even sure they even realize that they are doing this, but there is a time where we all have to face our own giants, and right now, I am in the middle of coming face to face with one. Finding confidence in myself has always
been a challenge for me, but I am learning how to stand up for myself and not allow myself to be a push-over!
Posted by Nicole at 5:26 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I have a hard time accepting what is inevitable in life, something that we humans have to face on a consistent level. Change. This blog post has nothing to do with President Obama, nor anything that has to do with politics, but what it does have to do with is normal personal changes in life that occur on what seems to be on a regular basis; Disappointment in life, losing a loved one, moving, losing friends, finishing goals and accomplishments. Changes seem to happen when we least expect it, and there are times when we do see the change coming and have time to prepare, though it is still hard sometimes. The hardest ones are when they happen out of the blue, and we don’t even see them coming. They have a way of putting us back in check of reality. It is scary sometimes, because this can cause us to be caught off guard and make us feel insecure. At least that is how I have felt before…
This weekend Jonathan and I went to visit my family in New Mexico. Things were different this time. Before we left, I got a call from my brother who had news that his wife miscarried their second child they were expecting. We found out about the pregnancy about three weeks ago or so. It was a huge disappointment for them and for the entire family because they have been trying for several years, and it comes down to not understanding why God allowed this change to take place. It seems that Father always has a bigger reason behind it than what we can see, and to me, that is a change that is hard to accept and swallow, and I tend to think that Father knows how far our understanding goes but I still have to trust Him even through the hardest unexpected changes occur. Another change that we see coming is my great grandmother who is 94 is not doing well. She is not expected to live much longer. She is a big reason why Jonathan and I came down here for the weekend so that we could spend time with her, although when we did, she was different. She is a fanatic card player and loves to play games with her grand kid’s, but this time, I couldn’t see her enthusiasm and excitement, and she was different and didn’t talk much at all. It was so hard to see her like that because I have never seen her so out of it before. They say it won’t be long until she is gone, and that change breaks my heart. I know she has lived a very long life, but seeing a person change right in front of you like this is unbearable and hard to accept. I was reminded of other changes that have taken place in my life. One of the biggest changes was when my husband and I got married. We both graduated college at the same time, and we had a huge graduation party, and three months later we got married and immediately moved to Colorado two days later. It all happened so fast. I remember once our honeymoon was over, my parents came up to Colorado and helped us move in and I remember the day they were leaving, it was so hard to let them go. I was caught off guard by how many changes took place all at once and I was left devastated. Not that I didn’t love my husband and loved our new home and where Father had put us, but, these huge changes hit me like a brick wall, and I was stunned for about three months. I finally got established and accepted my new life and where I was, but it wasn’t easy. Father seems to know what He is doing through it all. I have come to accept what seems unacceptable at times, which are these changes that we cannot do anything about. I think I have hated change since I was young, and I think losing my father at a young age has triggered the hatred towards it. I look back at my childhood and all I remember thinking back then is how fast I wanted to grow up, but once I experienced change after change, and the disappointment and/or unexpected occurrences throughout the years, I have found that I want to put the breaks on my life and stop to realize what I have now, in this moment, before any other change happens. I want to ponder on what Father has given me and learn to accept what I cannot change even in this moment.
Posted by Nicole at 11:07 PM
Monday, January 19, 2009
I find that if I stay up super late, I seem to find some inspiration, just waiting in the dark silence of my small studio apartment... I think I found some.
There are series of events that take place in a life time that seem to have some correlation or attachment to one another. Either in the way they happen or, the outcome of the events that occur seem to relate somehow. I am reminded of when I got my first tattoo and where I was at the time. I was visiting my childhood friend in Texas over the course of a week, but through series of that event, I was only there for five days, and was sent home. I have to wonder why things happen the way they do. Why did I decide to get a tattoo of the word freedom , when she was holding me tightly to comfort me as a friend would, but then to find out days after that things between us would go so wrong? Freedom was put on my foot as a reminder of my relationship with Father and how I have been set free from the obligations of religion and man. I got my tattoo on election day, and two days after I turned 25. Though, it was not even planned to get it done on election day, it just happened that way. I think I actually decided out of the blue to get a tattoo on that day and wasn't even thinking about getting one. People haven't really asked me why the word freedom, but a few. I tend to think they speculate its about living in America or
something. Well that freedom is amazing and I am privileged to be an American, however, the word touches me deeper than I ever imagined, and is affecting me on a spiritual level more and more. Father has used freedom in my life to close doors to relationships and open other doors that lead to where He wants me to be. At the time I was tattooing freedom to my foot, I had no idea that I would be where I am today. Freedom to me, is something I am learning in all areas of life. Its a process in which takes me places where I never been or would have imagined going. Even before the tattoo, Father was using freedom to guide me in His direction and out of the direction that others had for me. Strange, but that seemed to happen between my friend and I. Though this story is yet to end, I find that through the course of my life, freedom will play a huge role according to Abbas grace that He continually is giving.
Posted by Nicole at 2:59 AM
Monday, January 12, 2009
Any form of relationship can be probably the most messy and complex thing to ever experience. Sure, you could have lots of friends or ‘relationships’ with people, but never become vulnerable and expose your true self without the fear of getting trampled on. Today was very interesting, because I was actually doing some ‘blogging’ and reading other blogs on my list and came across 3 blog posts that had the same topics, relationships. It was very remarkable to me because once I read them all; they seemed to say the same type of things but were expressed of course with different words. A real friend is hard to find, but even the real ones can become undone especially if those relationships are self-based. Why is it that I have invested so much time, energy into one person and I ignored all of their flaws and didn’t want their personality to be known for what it was really doing to me, and that I played along for so long, and loved for so many years, to find myself now internally injured with wounds that aren’t easily ignored. I got the title of this blog from a quote from Kent Burgess. (I hope you don’t mind me using it Kent!)”The deeper the love goes, the deeper the bruising”. I truly believe every word of this quote. It is scary to love, it is painful to love, and though I am still learning this, I chose to become vulnerable and allow my heart to be walked on just for the sake of loving. My intentions were not to gain anything, although my hope of course was to experience the same affection and dedication as I gave. If I would have known from the beginning of this relationship that things would have ended like they did, I am not sure if I would have had the strength to endure in a friendship for so long to make it last as long as it did. Was it worth the pain? I think it was definitely worth this growing experience that I am going through. It has taught me a great deal of things, which I am compared to who I was, and learning how to deal with regret alongside the loss that has been experienced. Is it truly growing my character? I hope so, I now know what NOT to do in similar circumstances. Do I still love? I do my best, though I know I am still growing in Father’s love, but I believe He is teaching me daily how to love the way He loves even though there are times where I am far from mastering it. I believe Father has experienced the same kind of bruising from many who have disowned his love. His love has no bounds, though when His love is rejected, I bet He feels that lingering pain that is similar to when we are disowned or rejected. Though, He still finds a way to continue to love the same way He did before He was rejected.
Posted by Nicole at 10:57 PM
I haven’t had much to say lately. I find myself in a blur, and in that blur I feel nothing. Is it a faze? I hope so. I don’t like being like this. I love to feel, and know what I feel. I love to know what Father is showing me, but right now I can’t say that I know what He is showing me, for I don’t feel anything. I wrote a blog post about not basing everything off of my feelings, but, I think Father will use our feelings through our hearts to get something across to us. I love straight direction from Father, and a clear picture of what He thinks of me. I haven’t seen that in a while. I know in grace that Father loves me unconditionally, but sometimes it is really nice to actually see that. It’s not that He isn’t blessing us or anything, I am not referring to what He gives me, but I am referring to His affection and desire for me that I guess I haven’t seen in a while! Intimacy, you know something that is just known to be so personal and one can’t even explain it because it draws out things that only is between me and Him. It is something deep and intense. I know relationships in general aren’t meant to be on FIRE all the time. I guess I see my relationship with Father like this. It isn’t always hot and steamy, but it’s more normal than what some think. I guess I just am in that weird place right! I don’t think it’s bad, but rather I see this to be a very normal way to live with Father. I am reminded of going to Acquire the Fire Youth Seminars when I was growing up and remembering getting really pumped up about going and getting there and everything is so intense and extremely amazing, but once I got back home to my normal routine, the fire eventually went out. I think that whole system is a total set up for failure. Some give you this idea that if your relationship is not on fire all the time, than something is wrong with you and you need to figure out why you are not on fire for God. That is frankly a lie, because our relationship with Father isn’t only based on the ‘good times’ we have, but rather, it is a time of learning even through the blurry and numb times we go through. There has to be a reason why we go through these times and even if we don’t see or feel like we do other times with Father, does not mean something is wrong with us. I find while I write this post, I am becoming really passionate about this. Growing up and thinking only one way about Father can really leave one stricken and left alone with only one answer that I am the problem and reason why Father is not close to me. Bull SHIT. I think we can contribute to this, but, there is a deeper reason why we feel what we feel and it isn’t just something that is surfaced based which is strictly our fault. I find that new horizons of possible blog posts are popping into my head. Hopefully these thoughts will produce more provoking thoughts that will soon follow this post!
Can anyone explain their numbing feelings when it relates to Father? Thanks!
Posted by Nicole at 12:36 PM
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I started this transforming blog on December 30th 2007. I think it was probably the best thing I have done this whole year! It has truly been a tool that Father has used to build me up and teach me according to His graceful ways. I have all of you to thank who have shared your voice with me this past year and have carried the weight alongside me in tough times. I enjoy and appreciate all of you who have cared about me and shown me great wisdom and encouragement. I am eager to share this coming year with you all as we enter into 2009.
I’ve been hesitant to invest the time to write this blog post, but, I think for my sake it’s necessary. Last year around this time my husband quite his job. Actually it was December 21st 2007. That was the beginning of our financial struggle and probably the beginning of the most stressful time in my marriage. After Jonathan quite his job, as we both agreed to, he began to do some contract work for a guy in California via telecommuting, however, the guy who was paying him for the work did not pay Jonathan on a regular basis and that almost made us go under financially. Luckily, our AMAZING parents helped us out financially that got us through that hard time and prevented a lot of bad that could have happened. I was still a nanny at the time and we still lived in Golden, but there were so many complications that prevented us to move or find my husband another job at the time. Right after the New Year, Jonathan’s Grandmother past away and we drove to Louisiana for the funeral. It was like a family reunion. It was a good experience for me; because I was able to meet Jonathan’s extended relatives and developed a great appreciation for the Deep South. I truly loved that trip and enjoyed learning more about Jonathan’s family. Once we got back, Jonathan started applying for more jobs and started talking to a guy who was developing a business on The Big Island in Hawaii. He was really interested in Jonathan and in April he paid for both Jonathan and I to go to Hawaii and seriously consider the possibility of moving there and working. It was to say the least, extremely exciting thought of this possible opportunity. We stayed with the guy and his wife who was interested in hiring Jonathan for about 5 to 7 days. They were like our tour guides and took us to every part of the Big Island. We went to so many beaches and experienced amazing food! I will never forget that trip. We got back and Jonathan got a call from a company in Durango that he applied to and wanted to interview him and over time became very interested in Jonathan. Then in May, Jonathan got an offer from this company in Durango and he took it. I was a little disappointed about not taking the job in Hawaii, but now I understand that it was such a better idea to move to Durango and be close to family than live in the middle of the ocean away from everyone I know and love. We put our condo up for rent and began to make arrangements to move down to Durango Colorado. Jonathan was going to start his job in May and moved down a month earlier than I did. I had to stay in Golden to finish off the month of work. I then moved to Durango in June and immediately started looking for a place to live because Jonathan did not do this prior to when I moved. I remember sitting at a coffee shop and looking in the paper for places and getting apartment ad numbers to call. I think I looked and called places for like two days and on a Saturday Jonathan just opens the paper, see’s an ad for a place in town and calls and we immediately go over and look at it and talk to the landlord and right then and there we sign the lease. Wow, I wish it would have been that easy for me to find a place. Well, Father really opened the door which I was very excited to start getting a little more settled and our landlord is AMAZING and is now my good friend. A couple of weeks later my parents and Jonathan and I go back up to Golden and get all of our stuff, and move it all down here. Once we got settled and moved in, that is when I started my walking. I walked almost every single day from the middle of June until the end of September. It was weird, but I just became obsessed with walking; it became such a great stress reliever and brought me closer to Father. Through that time, some surprising things started developing and I gained a friend who I met through a blog and we started talking over the phone and we became really close. Around the same time, I lost a friend who I stopped talking to as well. It was a weird time for me, but I was learning how to balance other’s expectations and learning how to use healthy boundaries as well. This friend and I were not particularly close, however, there were some hopeful expectations that things would progress in that direction, but there were too many complications in the mix that made the entire friendship awkward. We now do not talk on a regular basis and I guess things don’t work out the way we imagine them to sometimes. Around the same time my landlord and I started a cleaning business which took off right away and we started gaining some local clients to clean for. It was such a nice job transition for me going from being a nanny for children to a house nanny. That is what I like to call my cleaning business. I care for homes instead of children. It has been such a nice experience and the money is really nice. Father has truly blessed me with these opportunities and is continuing to do so. In November, I went to Texas for my birthday to visit a childhood friend who I have been close to for 20 years. I know I have already written a blog about this, but through some unfortunate circumstance, we are no longer friends. Someday the door may open for us to share a friendship again, but now we are keeping our distance and let me just say it is for the best for right now as Father is leading me in this direction.
So those are the major events that took place this past year, and through it all, I can see Father teaching me, growing me and most importantly through it all, He still loves me. It has been a good part of my journey and the events that occurred will never be forgotten, for everything happens for a reason and hope to someday learn that even if bad events take place, Father is working them out for the good of those who love Him.
Posted by Nicole at 1:37 PM