Sunday, January 31, 2016


     There, I said it, the emotion that has been hanging over me for a while now.  It's not a good emotion, it's not healthy, it's ugly, not nice, and just plain wrong.  I honestly don't know why I have been struggling with envy recently.  Maybe I am spending to much time on social media, seeing what people want others to see about their lives.  I know that social media is deceptive and often times people only post the positive things that are happening.  Maybe I am just over thinking things and overlooking the wonderful things in my life.  I don't know why envy has had such a hold on my lately, but this morning, I have declared war on this emotion in my life.

     During my devotion and prayer time this morning, I stopped and listened, really listened, to the things and people that I was praying about.  I prayed for Flint, MI....the whole situation there is just so maddening and sad.  And I realized that I have clean water in my home.  I was praying for the health of several people.  And I realized that I am mostly healthy (other than a few minor aches and pains)...and I have health insurance that will allow me to see a doctor when I am not.  I prayed for a dear friend who is looking for answers about her child that is struggling in school and with her health.  And I realized that I have a daughter who does well in school and who has no major health issues.  I stopped praying and realized that God was speaking to me.  He was showing me my blessings as I prayed for those who didn't have the very things that I have.  He has given me a plan for this war I am fighting on the emotion of envy.

     The first thing that I am doing is to restart my gratitude journal.  Each day, I will be making a list of three things that am I thankful for.  I know that each day I will be able to find three things that make me happy, that I take for granted, that are blessings to me.  I won't be doing this publicly, because the intention is not to brag or make other envious.  It is to remind myself of all the good things that I have in my life.  Because I know that I have so many good things in my life.

     The next thing that I will be doing in this battle is spending time looking up and reading Bible verses about envy.  I will be reading about what God has to say about envy and how I can fight this negative emotion.  This morning I found an article with verses about comparing myself to others.  It will be going in my faith binder to read as part of my devotional time.  I also found another article talking about habits of people who don't get jealous.  I will be reading and working on ways to incorporate them into my life.

     The last, and strongest, thing that I will be doing in this battle is praying about this emotion in my life.  I don't like envy.  I don't like the way that it makes me feel.  I feel ugly and petty even admitting that I am struggling with envy.  But I feel like the only way to fight this emotion is to admit it, to say it out loud, and then to give it to God, really give it to Him.  I have tried, but it hasn't been working....because I have been fighting alone.  I haven't wanted to let Him fight this battle for me.  I keep thinking that I can do this better than anyone, including God, but it hasn't been working.

     In writing this, I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me.  We all have our struggles, this just happens to be mine right now.  I don't want anyone to not tell me about the great things going on in your life.  I really am happy for you!  I want nothing but great things for my family and friends.  I just need to work on counting all of my blessing each and every day.  The one thing that I ask of you, is that you pray with me as I work on overcoming this green-eyed monster.  I am tired of my joy being taken by such an ugly emotion!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Messages to Me

     A few days ago while listening to talk radio, the host asked people what advice they would give to their younger selves.  It's not a new concept, but it started me thinking what I would say to my younger self at various stages of my life.  The messages wouldn't go away, so I thought that I would share them.

Dear High School Nancy:  Be yourself.  You don't have to be loud to fit in.  Everyone else has the same fears and insecurities that you do, they just don't show it.  You are an awesome person, just the way that you are.  Be proud of who you are!  Learn to crochet when Grandma tries to teach you.  You will regret not doing this some day.

Dear College Nancy:  Stop rushing.  Enjoy this time of your life.  These people that you are getting to know see you as you are...the good, the bad, the ugly.  Many of them will be there for you the rest of your life.  You don't need to make all the decisions about your life right now, take time to explore all the options that are open to you.  Don't tie yourself down to one person so soon.

Dear 20's Nancy:  Be Independent.  Don't make decisions based on other people.  Do want you really want to do, not what you think that you should do.  Don't think that you will be able to change people that don't want to change.  Do what you love and don't let others lead you away from that.  You are really good at what you do, don't ever forget that.

Dear 30's Nancy:  It gets better.  You are only as old as you think you are, so don't let thirty get you down....after all twenty-ten still equals thirty.  Get the tattoo that you want for your birthday.  Listen to your gut.  When you know that something isn't right for you, change.  Don't stay in situations that are not good for you.  Think about what makes you happy and pursue it!  Be bold!

Dear 40's Nancy:  Trust God.  There will be some darkness, but there will be so much more joy.  Spend time with the ones that you love.  Invest time in your marriage.  Shut off the computer and get out into the world.  Explore your surroundings.  Stop worrying because worry can't change things.  Get involved with something, anything, that makes you happy.  It's going to be okay.

     Hindsight is always 20/20.  It's easy to sit now and give myself this advice, but I know that I wouldn't have listened.  I made the best decsions that I could make at the time.  The mistakes that I made, the choices that I made, have brought me to where I am now.  And really, I like the person that I have become.  I like the life that I have now.  It isn't perfect by any means, but it is perfectly me!

Saturday, January 9, 2016


"Ask and it shall be given to you;
Seek and you will find;
Knock and the door will be opened to you"
Matthew 7:7

     As I have been  thinking about my word for the year, an old word kept coming back to me, seek.  A few years ago, I was sure that seek was going to be my word.  Instead, Jim suggested a family word for us and I knew that balance was what I needed at the time.  I wasn't sure until this morning when I sat down for some quiet reading and praying what my word would be for the year.  Four different verses that I came across in various readings used the word seek.  How do I argue when God is putting the word in front of me pretty clearly!

     The dictionary defines the word seek as to search or try to find someone or something, to ask for help, to try to get or achieve something.  I do feel that I am searching right now...seeking my purpose, my role in many things right now.  I know that I am always seeking direction for my career, such as it is.  I have been going through some transitions at work and there are many more to come.  Am I where I need to be or do I need to seek some changes there?  As always, I seek balance in my life.  That word, that state of balance, seems to be something that I continually reach for.  Sometimes I am successful and other times not so much,  but it is always the goal.    Asking for help is not always one of my strong points, I like to do things on my own.  Maybe my word will lead me to reach out to others more often when I am struggling.  

     I don't know where exactly I will end up with the word seek guiding me this year.  That's one of the things I love about having a word, I don't know exactly how it will apply to my life, but is always seems to in some way.  Today, I received a pretty clear message that 2016 will be a year for me to seek out new things.  I don't know if I will be like Star Trek, seeking out new life and civilizations, but I do hope to go boldly into the year as I seek!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Back to Ordinary

   Today I woke up and got Delainey ready for school, packed her lunch, made breakfast, and fixed her hair.  We made it to school on time with minimal fighting!  I made a pot of coffee and planned my day off.  I have dinner in the crock pot, the dishwasher running, and laundry in the washer and dryer.  I might go see Jim on his lunch break to visit with him.  Nothing special, just ordinary times at our house.

     Later today, I will be taking our Christmas tree down.  I usually take it down the weekend after Christmas, but this year I wanted to leave it up for the 12 days of Christmas.  Last night after dinner, I gave Jim and D a small gift to celebrate Epiphany.  The gifts weren't elaborate, just a drawing book, ink pens, and highlighters for each of them to put in their "war bags" as Jim calls them.  As I take down the tree, I want to take my time this year.  I want to remember the Christmas's of our past as I look at each ornament.  I want to savor the memories that each one brings to mind.  I want to reflect on why my family really celebrates the season the way that we do each year.  Of course, my least favorite part will be hauling it all out to the shed to store until next Christmas!

     Then it will be time to put the house back in its ordinary order.  Time to move the furniture back to it's ordinary places.  Delainey has been asking me to teach her to sew.  When the sewing machine gets moved back to its home, her first project will be learning to hem the curtains that Santa brought (not sure why he didn't just measure first).  Again, nothing special will be happening, just back to ordinary.  It will be nice to once again have family pictures out that were put away to make room for the Christmas decorations.

     I love the ordinary times that we have in our life.  I love the season of Advent...a time of preparing.  I love Christmas...a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I love the rituals and celebrations of those two seasons.  But mostly, I love the ordinary times of life...the times of making breakfast, spending time with family and friends, being quiet, reading, watching tv, just living life as it comes, day by ordinary day.