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Steadfast: My Word for 2020

It has been quiet over here in Blog Land. I've been asked a lot lately if I am writing. I've been writing alright. I've filled notebooks and journals and Bible margins with my thoughts. But to actually sit down and just say what the battle is all about and to try to explain it seems unfair. You don't actually need to know someone else's turmoil, assuming you have your own to work through.

Words should be seasoned with grace that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29  I very much believe that and was waiting to get through to the part where I might benefit the listener. I don't have much, but a few things I am learning I feel do praise God and bring glory to the name of Jesus.

A good writer blatantly says it like it is...or at least there is simple clarity and no beating around the bush. You have no idea how I would love to do that. Yet, Grace. Grace matters and respect and love and kindness. And so I hem around the edges in my attempt to extend those things…

When its Hard and Life Hurts

I've been given the privilege to teach Sunday school at our local body of believers. It doesn't really frighten me, the ladies are so gracious and kind with their thoughts, but it does overwhelm me going through the Epistles of John. Because you see, it caught me in a most vulnerable time in my life.

Vulnerable times are growing times... so they say. I will tell you that being vulnerable and honest it is also hard and painful. My point of vulnerability is all this talk of Love and me realizing I'm not very good at it. Or at least my weaknesses make me feel I'm not very good at it. 

It is no fun to unearth a truth you have worked long and hard to avoid and smother. Especially when you didn't realize that was what you were doing the past several years while you were climbing a mountain somewhere else, figuratively of course. Also those mountains that consume you for periods of time are not bad, in some ways they grow you up in other areas. But after, when you come back…

Gorgeous You

I just wrote a new "About Westwoods" post and decided after trying to summarize our life and the changes our lives have made, that there is something very startling about our family picture compared to the old one that was on my page for the past three years, and that maybe I should do a post about some personal changes to my appearance.

This post is for my girl audience only. Not that I know of any men that read my blog...but just saying, this could be a bit boring for you.

In the last four years or so you may have noticed my hair color and my weight gain. Or maybe you didn't but I thought I'd tell you about it anyway. I also thought I'd share a few personal ideas about health and beauty and overall self care.

this is me currently...

and this was 2017 

When I was nearing the age of forty, the same year I started my school teaching stint, I made yet another valiant effort to reach my goal weight, to be fit and toned, and to be brave to life's challenges. I preache…

I Have Many Things to Say

Did you know that it isn't always right to be honest and real with a person? I have very recently learned this in a new light. I knew it was best to stay on the side of kindness in attempting to saying things honestly and I knew that sometimes it's much kinder to just out and say it, because no one likes to be made a fool. The kinder thing in those cases is to at least warn honestly. I digress.

I did attempt to introduce a truth I had discovered to someone I love recently, and it did not have the desired effect. Instead of a conversation that flowed with milk and honey, I noticed a major shut down. The one I was attempting to love put on proverbial running shoes and fled the scene as fast and hard as they could.

I've discovered that people hurt deeply in some areas of their lives. And it often depends on their experiences in relationships that determines at what point they have been hurt. No one is going to process life's scars the same way you do. You might be great at …

Purpose

I live in a world of overachievers. Although, who's to say what that is? Just because I think it, doesn't mean it is so. It is possible, I am an underachiever. Whatever it is, there does appear to be a conflict of application. 

Enough with the generalizations. It is my opinion that many of us (good Christian citizens) put too much stock in 'doing' and good works. I'll start with my own. I taught school for four years while my husband did four years of nursing school. There were varying opinions on this matter, whether what we were doing was praiseworthy or just plain stupid. 

Mostly people were supportive whether or not they completely cared or understood. But it didn't keep opinions away. It was kind opinions, all positive in our hearing, but because I would prefer to remain anonymous or at least partly incognito about my life, even this was a bit painful. To all of you who thanked me and encouraged me during my four years of teaching, Thank you! I am not saying…

Dash It All

I've been on a pretty good kick about quietness and being still, trying to recover from years of living the fast paced stressful life, {at least this was my excuse}and I am gaining ground on this front too... but then I go to Sunday School last Sunday and Jesus pretty much shot down my whole quietness issues with His resurrection. See, when he rose from the dead, the earth could not be silent. It was loud and extreme and sudden; all things that make me think I have PTSD. However, Jesus being resurrected should make some noise in my life. I do believe finding quietness is a thing Jesus did and it is a good and healing and needed thing to do, but maybe I was taking it a bit too far?

 I don't know. But I do feel I am ready to stop preaching about quietness so much, at least to others. I guess what I am really saying is, yes, there are times a body needs quietness. But I am now a little more open to the fact that not everyone needs the same amounts of it and rarely at the same time…

Our Earthly Kingdoms

Sometimes you just have to start writing. I have tried so many different starts to this blog post; each one gets deleted. You see, I am trying to say it nice. Or say it diplomatically. Or gentle it down a little. None of it works. But I don't want it to be simply a rant. And I don't want to  be offensive. But I really want to say it. Also, it really isn't as big as deal as it feels to me...probably. 


I really do think we build our own earthly kingdoms, which ends up with placing too much importance on things, people, or problems. Earthly kingdoms to me are whatever worshipful thoughts we have about 'important' people or 'modern' ideas. I'll get to what some of those are in a minute. We tend to make earthly kingdoms out of anything. 
The problem with earthly kingdoms is how they take our eyes off Jesus and His heavenly kingdom. We lose the part of the Lord's prayer that says, "Thy kingdom come...thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"…