Celebrate Recovery–that awkward post

Every Thursday night here in my corner of the world, I participate in a church service called Celebrate Recovery–it’s a church service and small group time aimed at helping those with hurts, habits and hangups. Yes, it’s for those struggling with staying clean, but if we’re honest, you don’t need to abuse chemical substances in order to have an addiction.  Some of us love our food a little too much. (As I awkwardly look around the room and raise my hand for that very same bad habit.)

I don’t want to use the word addiction lightly as I’ve come into contact with many throughout my lifetime who have lost everything to an addiction–their jobs, their family, their savings, and even their lives.

I’ve not struggled with an addiction like this–so apparently debilitating.  My addiction was much more inwardly abusive, attacking my mind and my spirit. The addiction no one likes to talk about: pornography.

It started innocently enough when I was younger. And then as I tried to convince myself I had control over it, the more I realized it controlled me. And it’s affected a lot.

It affected how I viewed sex. It was so easy to see the women in the videos as objects. As a very-near feminist, this is hard for me to admit.

In addition to this, I can admit that my past obsession with porn and masturbation has to a degree affected my own sex life as a married woman (marriage being the proper context for sex…in my humblest opinion). Because I was impatient in waiting for love, because I didn’t trust in God’s perfect timing, I got hooked on something to try to take the place of the loneliness I felt. I lost out on God’s best for me for a long time.

He showed me that my obsession with sex was an idol that was keeping me from all that He had for me. It took a while, but within a couple of months of this heart-to-heart with God, I finally made the decision to stop viewing porn–Cold. Turkey.

In God’s infinite grace, He allowed me to meet my amazing, God-fearing husband about 6 months after I cut porn out of my life.

Image-1

Roger takes me as I am and loves me more than I could ever deserve. He treats me like a queen. In his earthly love for me, he shows me just a glimpse of the love God has for me.

Tonight, I will be giving my testimony, and this addiction will be included.  Even though I truly believe God has broken this addiction in my life, there are still times where I have to guard myself doubly against attacks of wanting to view it again.  Your mind truly is a battlefield, after all.

I may not know what it’s like to lose my job or my family over my old addiction, but I do know what it is to miss out on God’s best by chasing what I thought was best for me. It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s not something I share lightly. But maybe if you’re reading this, and you’ve struggled or are struggling with pornography–maybe this will help you to know you can change. Things can be different. But it takes a reorientation of your thoughts that can only be done by God. Lord knows I didn’t have the strength to do it myself!

PBA2015-Lindsey-44

Advertisements

Life is Beautiful

Hello Blogging fam!

I’ve missed you, and I vow to do a better job at being a more involved blogger.

What I want to tell you requires some sort of prologue, so bear with me.

Roger, my handsome, wonderful man, moved to Atlanta just over a year ago in mid-April 2014 in order to be with me so we could start our lives together as one. We didn’t get married until September 2014, but it was always important to me that we live in the same city before getting married.

(Roger’s Texas crew)

Roger, that same handsome, wonderful man, gave up a lot to be with me.  There’s no way to sugar-coat this, or spin it in any other way.  He gave up his job, apartment, and a tight-knit team in Texas to move to the Big Peach (Atlanta). And I’m forever grateful for his sacrifice. But it has been a sacrifice for sure!

Since Roger started working in Atlanta, he’s had a rough go at it.  I won’t go into all the details, but two jobs later, an hour long commute to work, and some less than ideal work teams, we are ready to find a city that is for both of us.  A new start together, instead of trying to fit Roger in to my old life.

(What I looked like when I moved to Atlanta)

I have lived and worked in Atlanta since February 2010.  I left my home in lush Southwest, Florida for a job in the “big” city.  And it’s been a great city for me.  I’ve met a lot of people who have changed my life forever, and have had some wonderful roomies I’m proud to call my best friends.  But it was my city, at best, and even then didn’t necessarily feel like home once Roger moved to town.

With Roger’s jobs (both of them), it was hard for him to take time off to see family. And being a new wife, that meant it was hard to see my family as well…because I wasn’t gonna leave him hanging while I went galavanting around the US with all of OUR money.  Ya feel me?

Also, our beautiful little home (pictured above) is quite the trek from where I work.  And anyone who knows Atlanta traffic, knows the struggle is real!

familywedding

Family is where our heart is. I’m not sure if this is a recent development as a young married couple, but being near one of our families just means the world to us.

I love my family, but it makes more sense to be near his in Texas.  He’s got a beautiful niece and nephew who are growing up faster than what we can keep up with.  We’ve been missing birthday parties and big events in their lives.  So, we’d like to be closer to them at the end of the day.

We started praying for this back in February…to be nearer to family.  And God came through in a big way.  A God-sized way.

Roger and I were both offered jobs at the same company and city in Texas.  And not only jobs…but a place to live and a car to drive.  I don’t know if I’ve fully explained Roger’s car, but we call it the green booger for a reason.  As you may remember reading, we’ve been saving for a truck. Well guess what? The same exact truck we’ve been saving for (a Toyota Tundra), is the “car” that we will be driving in our new city. What?!?! God got it right down to the truck?!

So needless to say, this is not only an answer to prayer, but allows us to find a city with a slower pace (which I feel I desperately need), gets us closer to Roger’s sis and her family (only 1 hour and 45 minute drive), gets us a more reliable second car (the truck to replace Roger’s car), and give us both jobs so that we feel will use our individual talents.  It’s literally a dream coming true in many ways.

I’m not naive enough to believe that a new city won’t come with it’s own trials and tribulations.  I’m giving up my entire support system, after all.  But I do believe it will allow us to have “our”city, where we both can grow and flourish as a couple and as individuals.  I don’t think this new city has everything I need.  No city does.  For that, I’ve got to rely on God. And that’s a good place to be.  A place where I have to rely more on Him, than what I’m familiar or comfortable with.

If any of you guys are praying folk, please lift Roger and I up in prayer! If everything continues on the path we’ve been planning for, we will be moving in JUNE!!!! That’s next month!!!! WHAT?!? Literally crazy.

Thanks for taking the time to read today! Life is a beautiful, crazy thing full of incredible surprises and I’m glad to be experiencing it with my sweet, sweet man of mine!

LindseySignature2 BreakLine Bloglovin_sidebar_button

Just call me a worry-wart

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Here’s why I don’t handle change so well:

1) I hate getting used to something new

2) I usually have a routine down that change necessarily interrupts.

3) I can’t just be on autopilot, I have to start giving thought to how things are done and handled (ok, so obvs this isn’t a bad thing…it’s just that I get lazy!).

4) A door is opened to either worry or trust God, and I usually make the wrong decision.

Even just talking about changing makes me anxious and fearful.  Because change is an unknown.  A big unknown.  And I don’t know how to hang.  Talking about possible changes brings up all of these “what-if’s,” and I’ve always been superb about worrying about every little possible thing that could happen.

But here’s the thing about worry:

And ya know, I’m tired of being drained about the future.  I’m tired of disappointing myself by choosing to not trust God in the midst of impending changes.  I just want to let go and let God handle this.  Even though there’s no possible way that I see how God can make the way for these changes.  But I should have more faith than that, because He’s already in the future.  And He knows how these changes will work themselves out, even if I don’t.

Yeah, sorry for this cryptic post.  God is good. But I worry.  I am a worrier by nature.  Hereditary.  Ha.

My husband and I are just facing some crossroads and a little unsure of the future and how things will change, but we know it’s coming.  We just don’t know when.  And in the waiting, it’s tempting to worry.  Ya feel me? Anyway, say a prayer for us!

Thanks loves,

LindseySignature2 BreakLine

Bloglovin_post_button

The Mondays

Well folks, it Monday again…which means, I’ve got the case of the Mondays, right?! WRONG!

Here are things I can’t complain about:

1) My job.  It pays the bills, and for that I’m forever thankful.

2) Getting up early.  It give me enough time to make myself coffee AND get to work on time!

(My actual travel mug…may look boring, but it gets the job done. Plus never had a spill!)

3) Driving by myself to work.  The 14 mile, 50 minute commute gives me time to pray and think.

4) Being busy all day at work.  Gives me something to be proud of at the end of the day–a sense of accomplishment.

5) Having to eat salad for lunch. It provides awesome nutrition and will help me reach my weight goals.

 

Here are things to celebrate:

1) I made my own salad dressing for today’s lunch, and it was on point!

(click for the recipe on Pinterest!)

2) I found a new creamer I love: Nestle’s Chocolate Chip Cookie.

3) I actually worked out yesterday…instead of just complaining about my weight gain! :p

4) I have decided to let a few things go this week that weren’t so good for me to dwell on.  Holding thoughts captive, y’all!

5) I found this quote that keeps me calm, so I choose to celebrate it:

LindseySignature2 BreakLine

Holding every thought captive

title_blogpostI don’t know if I’m the only one guilty of this, but I definitely have a green-eyed monster of jealousy inside me.  It rears its hideous head during some of my weakest moments.  Sometimes, I can look at a FB post and get jealous at the drop of a hat, blindsiding me with emotions that are hard to swallow.  Only unhappy people get jealous, right?! Only those not satisfied with the circumstances in their life?!?

Well maybe that last part is right.  I am a perfectionist, and so I always think something could have gone better, or be done better.  And when I see people who have done “it” better (whatever the “it” is), I hear the roar of the inner beast reminding me that whatever I did wasn’t good enough.

I truly don’t think jealousy in it’s earliest stages is a sin.  Because I can’t help my first reaction. I can’t help how I feel.  I can only help how I deal.

Philippians talks a little bit about this in chapter2, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…”

Vain conceit. That’s not specifically jealousy, but I think jealousy falls into that category.  Because we I get jealous over vain things. Things that have no Kingdom significance.

James talks about nearly the same thing in 3:14:

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

Yeah, I can harbor envy and ambition, but I’m not supposed to let it affect my decisions.  And the best way to accomplish that is to not be jealous. And how do I go about being jealous-free?

By holding my thoughts captive.

That’s it.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. {2 Corinthians 10:5}

Jealousy reveals ignorance of the truth Christ wants me to know: that I am enough.  Period. No need to be jealous because whatever my flaws or imperfections, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and more than that, fearfully and wonderfully loved by a Creator who doesn’t make mistakes.

Take that jealousy!

LindseySignature2 BreakLine Bloglovin_post_button

Just a thought…

I was at a Christmas Party last night for the adult members of our church.  I was one of 4 attendees under the age of, I don’t know…70! lol.  (Only a slight exaggeration! )

Anyway, there was a small devotion given about wrapping paper, and it made me think, cuz, ya know…I’m obsessed with kraft wrapping paper from now until eternity:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

We are the wrapping paper of Jesus.  (lol, but really…)

Ok, so basically this:

If we claim to be Christians, then our actions, how we love one another, our words to one another…those things may be the only representation of Christ some ever sees.  So the question is, am I a good representation or not?

I fear I haven’t been lately.  And by lately, I mean like in years.  So if you’ve come into contact with me, and I haven’t been a good representation of the Christ I claim to have inside me, then I’m truly sorry.

And Jesus, I’m sorry too! lol

Also, this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 2.25.31 PM

(actual Jesus wrapping paper…Haha.  can you imagine?!)

LindseySignature2 BreakLine

 

Bloglovin_sidebar_button

Hope

{WARNING….I get personal in this post, y’all!}

For those keeping up with Advent, this past Advent Sunday was the first of the season, and as it always is, was themed “hope.”

hope

I work in a building where every wednesday we have “Family Time.” Everyone is invited for devotions followed by refreshments.  It’s pretty awesome, but I don’t often go because I get busy with work.

Today I went because the Advent Family Times are usually wonderful.  And it helps me to refocus throughout the week on the coming of Christ, and what His coming really meant for us.

So hope.  Yeah.  It’s tricky.  As I sat in the devotional, I realized I don’t have a lot of it.  I want to.  I want to believe things can be different, but I’ve been so defeated of late.

I’m down 90% of the time because I’ve gained a lot of weight since Roger moved to town in April.  Instead of being in awe of the blessing that Roger was able to move here before the wedding and we could have that time, I end up pouting that I did not make better eating choices from April till now.  I’ve gained some weight, y’all. Makes me want to cry thinking of it…of how hard it will be to get off, of how unhealthy I’ve become.  I have no hope that things can change (#dramaqueen). Though I know I’m the only one with the power to do so, which makes me feel ever more depressed and mad at myself for allowing myself to gain so much weight!

Rogermovestotown

(Easter Sunday this year…the weekend after Roger first moved to town!)

I also feel hopeless about Roger and I’s community.  For some reason, even with all the people we know in the area, we feel very alone at times.  We have each other, and don’t get me wrong, that is a blessing! I love getting to spend alone time with my hubby getting to know him even better.  That’s what the first year, and really your whole married life is about, right?!  Well anyway.  I miss “community”–friends to hang out with without agenda, who just genuinely enjoy being around one another.  Heck, friends to hang out with at all! I know most of that is my fault.  My house is a mess, and I hate inviting people over.  And I’m the budget nazi, so going out a lot isn’t an option for us. But I think it just means we need to be more creative in how we hang out with people, and we’ve been lazy.  lol.  AND we just seem to be really busy ALL THE TIME! (Which I also hate.) So, sorry friends.  We fail. And also, I miss you! Let’s hang out!!!

rogerandI_murdermysterydinner

(who wouldn’t want to hang out with us…don’t we look awesome?! lol. From a murder mystery dinner!)

I feel sad that Roger and I weren’t with parents for Thanksgiving.  Maybe it’s tougher this year because it’s our first married year, but it was sad not to be with family, family.  I was with some family, and it was good, but wasn’t the same.  There’s something about being with  your parents that is so nice during the holidays.  But we live in Georgia, and his parents are in Texas, and mine in SW Florida, so it’s hard to get together, especially when my husband can’t really get extended time off for the Holidays.

Turkeydone

(I guess our parents were with us in spirit as they coached us on our first turkey!)

Instead of being grateful that my husband has a full time job, when many others don’t, I sit and contemplate the negative.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve become a cynical, depressed, bitter person.  And I hate that.

Today’s devotional reminded me that things can change.  There is hope.  And I don’t know what the timeline for these changes is, but things will change, I will change.  Over time.  By God’s grace, and not in my own strength–because that’s one thing I’ve learned…I can’t change on my own!

And don’t worry friends, it may seem I’m really depressed, but I’m not.  Life is really good for the most part.  There’s just those days, and maybe you’ve had them, where I just focus on all the bad things instead of counting my blessings, and with Thanksgiving not too long ago, a day of eating and family, I’ve been a little more down about my weight and not being with family than usual.

familywedding(can’t wait to see all of these lovely faces again!)
hopegiraffe(alright, how can I be in a funk when I can see this pic and know that giraffes make the world a better place…and so does Roger!)

LindseySignature2 BreakLine