The Rock

When I realize I need to get grounded and spend time with God, I typically turn on my spiritual playlist and start singing and praising him through song. I also love to get outside for a hike back to nature, or a walk looking up into the clouds. I love to look for signs from God, which typically come in the form of hearts, crosses, and affirmations. The other day I was driving down the road singing along with my playlist, and everywhere I looked I found a cross. They were actual crosses, or I saw a cross in a light post on the side of the road, or a cross sign, and even things that weren’t crosses, my eyes found a way to turn them into a cross. It was apparent that God was with me and I felt so blessed. I felt like I could tackle anything.

heart rock

That evening in my quiet time with God I was thanking Him for his presence earlier that day in my journal. I journal to God every day giving Him thanks and asking for His help in areas where I need support, or sending up blessings and prayers for loved ones. On that journal entry, I ended it writing, “You are my Rock!”, and then it hit me and I remembered the heart shaped rock I found a week or so ago while I was out hiking. Moments like that truly stop my heart for a second and I realize what He has done for me in my life and the blessings He is still sending my way! He truly is my rock, my fortress, my everything!

God speaks to us all differently, sometimes we just have to be open to hearing his soft voice or recognizing those signs He sends us. I encourage you to look for the signs, listen for His voice, and reach out because He is always there!

Tough Times? Remember These 8 Things!

8 things Three years ago, after my heart attack, I was preparing myself to come back to work. It was a scary thought just thinking about walking back into the workplace that was the cause of my demise. I had dealt with so much stress at home and on the job my heart could take no more, and yet I was in a position where I had no choice but to go back to work at the end of my long term disability leave from work. I knew that God would not let me down and He would be there for me as He was during my heart attack, recovery, and always! Still the thought would stress me out more from time to time just thinking about it. So I tried to prepare myself for those moments by surrounding my work space with my Signs from God. This particular sign resonated with me this morning when I got into the office for some reason. Maybe because this week has been the third anniversary of my heart attack. Now, I feel stronger than I have in a very long time. Today as I read this message, I can honestly say that my life has changed in so many ways and I’ve followed all 8 things on this list unknowingly.

As I look back I know I have changed in these last three years, and one of the biggest ways was learning to be kind to myself. I’ve learned that I matter, and I need to do what I need to do to make me happy! Granted getting here was not easy; let’s face it, tough times can really be tough times.

When you are facing tough times, remember that everything can – and will – change. This moment in time, is only a fleeting moment and temporary situation. God will get you through to the other side. Thank him for His presence and recognize that some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers! There is always something to be thankful for even in our worst moments. Picture Jesus’ face and remember a time when you felt loved and know that you are God’s child and you are loved! He will not forsake you. Grab His Hand and hold on for the ride of your life!

3 Years Strong

There are certain days in your life that you will never forget. Like the day you got married, the day your child was born, the day you lost a loved one, your first kiss, etc. Well for me, today marks three years since I was admitted to the hospital for chest pains. This day three years ago is where my story of self-recovery began and I was far from strong!

I never knew that stress could effect your body so greatly. The day after I was admitted, I went into cardiac arrest. It was the worst feeling in the world because I could feel it coming on, I heard the nurse call for the paddles, and I saw the agonizing look on my husband’s face before I faded away screaming to myself, “God, I’m not ready to die!”

Luckily, God wasn’t ready for me to die yet either. He still has a plan for me. He just needed to take control because my stress was out of control. He needed me to take time to heal, learn how to deal with my stress, and to take time to just ‘Be Still’. I was dealing with so many different stressors at that time in my life, I guess I just couldn’t handle any more. Thank God for stepping in and giving me the time to heal. God does this for all of from time to time. The thing is though, is that we have to recognize it for what it is – a sign from God.

Looking back on this time and these past three years, I can see so clearly His role in my life, the decision He helped me make, and now the reasons why. It blows my mind sometimes and I feel so blessed to have this relationship with Him. Whenever I am struggling now with even a little decision, I turn to God and He seems to always find a way to answer me. It may be in a scripture I read, a thought the spirit puts in my head, or just finding a cross in my path throughout the day that lets me know He is with me.

This past year alone, I made the decision to separate from my husband, I moved into my own place, and I’ve met so many amazing friends that have helped me through some of my bad days and have been here to share in some of the fun times that give me such hope for my future. My life is now free from so many stressors, yet there is still worry because now I am living alone. Though, I know God is with me and I will be ok.

Despite boughts of anxiety and stress worrying about a high blood pressure reading, or a couple of skipped beats and palpitations from time to time, I have come to rely on the Lord to get me through. I do my best to push away the fear and welcome His presence and loving arms instead of falling into the downward spiral of doubt and fear. When Satan tries to grab my attention, that’s when I reach out and grab the hand of God that is always there stretched out and reaching to pull me closer to him!

1When I look at this picture that was taken a day after I got out of the hospital, I can see the pain I was dealing with, and I feel the anxiety in the pit of my stomach, but I also see the love in my mother’s eyes, but most importantly I can see how far I have come from that time in my life. I don’t wish that experience on anyone, but I pray that everyone learns or gains a better understanding through my writing and experience of the love that God has for each of us and that He is always with us. I wish I could say that you won’t experience heartache or trials or rough times in your life, because we all know that’s not true. Life is full of disappointments, setbacks and lots of tears, but it’s how we deal with these situations and how we learn to change our reactions to the things that scare us the most. The next time you find yourself in one of these unforeseen situations, think back to a time when you felt loved and protected, and then turn your focus to God because He is always with you, loving you, and reaching His hand out to you. All you have to do is grab it!

Defeat Doubt / Tackle Fear

Making decisions is not always an easy thing to do. The worst thing though, is when you start doubting your decision, you start reconsidering, you change your mind several times until you become some confused you just want to throw up your arms and give up! Don’t let the fear of making the wrong decision cause you to not make any decision at all and remain stuck in the same ole rut.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

29-11Do the best you can to decide and then go forward  Even if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world. You can learn from your mistake and try again. When I’m trying to make a big decision I always turn to God for guidance. Sometimes He gives me my answer, and sometimes He let’s me struggle and figure it out on my own. In those instances, it is typically always a lesson I need to learn. Whatever the end result is, I feel good knowing that God will get me through. Whether I screw it up the first time, or together we win at the first go round. Either way, I’m learning and growing all the time! Everything happens for a reason and when we are open to looking for those reasons, it helps us tackle our fears and move forward defeating our doubts and knowing that God is the one in control and with him we can’t wrong. He will always re-route our paths to the road and plan He has for us!

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”                 ~ Psalm 34:4

Looking For God’s Presence

log crossI have found that when I am open to Signs from God, I actually find more of them! To be open to finding them, we need to focused on Him and His presence. He is always with us. Though, when we aren’t focused on Him, our thoughts may wander. We may go astray. When you recognize this, turn your thoughts back to God. Look for the signs. They are there. God speaks to us in many different ways. The signs we receive may be different for so many of us.

For me, the signs I receive that leave me feeling like He is present, are crosses, hearts, butterflies, words of affirmation, and when listening to my spiritual music!

The other week when I was feeling down, I took a hike in the woods and the signs were definitely present. I received many that had me feeling so blessed. Being in nature always brings me closer to God and by the time I got back home I felt so blessed and in such a state of peacefulness.

To many, the picture above would have just lookedheart rock like two trees laying in the woods that had fallen down. To me though, when you zoom in on the picture, there laid a cross. Later on, I stopped by the stream and sat for a while. This is when I found a heart-shaped rock…another sign from God. When I recognize these signs, it’s like I stop in my tracks and I lose my breath for a second. Then I just take a deep breath in and know that God is with me! He cares, and He wants me to know that everything will be ok!

Life can be overwhelming, as I’m sure you know. Stress can be so overbearing and can truly affect your health in so many ways. I’ve learned this the hard way and am still learning how to better take care of myself.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” ~ Phillipians 4:6

After I had a heart attack almost 3 years ago, God has slowly been transforming me into the person He truly created me to be. I’ve found more natural solutions to help ease my anxieties and stress. I’ve learned how to listen to my body, recognize the signs of those trigger points that tend to appear letting me know I need to slow down and just breathe, and I’ve learned to rely so much more on God for everything!  He has shown me how to remove the toxins from my life, and that includes all types of toxins. Yes, harsh chemicals, but also toxic relationships that bring me down. Now is the time for me. A time for healing and restoration.

I realize that I’m not alone in this struggle and the struggle is real, so this is why I share. I want everyone to know they aren’t alone and that there is a better way to live a life with less stress. Maybe not less stress, because life happens right, but managed stress and knowing you are not alone. God never promised us a life without trials. It’s these trials that make us stronger. Recognizing my desire to share and help others through these stressful times, God has blessed me with the ability to be vulnerable and transparent, and I have taken this to another level recently.

stone cross

I’ve started leaving my own signs behind hoping that another believer will recognize this as a sign from God as well. I’m praying that someone walking along the same path may run into the crosses I leave behind and recognize it too as a Sign from God. A cross meant to touch their heart so that they too stop breathing for a second and realize that God is with them in that very moment and that they are not alone.

Blessing another believer gives me such peace and gratitude. Blessing someone who may be struggling with their belief into believing, or even wondering, ‘is this a sign?’, brings me joy and hope for a brighter future for so many more believers sharing their love of God and their story!