03 January 2019

A New Thing

Like so many other people I have tried to change. I am a messy person, yet when things are cluttered I cannot focus or relax. I desire to maintain something resembling health/wellness, but I'm quick to grab sugar when I'm in the emotional dumps. In addition to those minor flaws; I have a horrible temper, I tend toward selfishness, and I have made more than one wrong choice in my life. When facing a new year I try to focus on my flaws and how I can change them. I recently discovered that I cannot change ANYTHING...

I am approaching this year from a different posture. Instead of my feet planted, fists balled, and head high to fight against myself. I am on my knees, hands open, head bowed surrendering myself to God. I've tried and failed for nearly 40 years - it is time to face the music and let go. After studying, praying, and asking God to HELP ME... not asking... begging... begging God to "help" me (still thinking I can do it and he's the cheerleader)... I gave up and changed my prayers to "Father, Change Me." Before you click "next" and move to read something else. Give me just a few minutes of your time.

So far so good - our Father provides encouragement and direction in the Word. All we have to do is submit and follow the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

So, how do I know if I am "in" Christ? I know HE is in ME, but have I given over to His leadership or is He still in the backseat of the car waiting for me to shut off the GPS and ask Him for directions? How do I know if I am living IN Christ, and allowing the Holy Spirit to have control? Am I a NEW creation, or am I still living the "do you" lifestyle and missing out on His plan for me?

Well, here's some food for thought..

Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.  

Indulge the flesh? Ok what exactly does that mean? Well, Galatians 5:19-21 defines it pretty clearly:
  • sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures.)
  • idolatry and witchcraft
  • hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy
  • drunkenness
  • orgies
I don't know about you, but jealousy? fits of rage (losing my temper), envy.... drunkenness? Guilty. Oh and idolatry? When we hear "idol" most people think of a singing show OR some random statue that people pray to. Well, an idol isn't just entertainment or a physical thing... and idol can be anything that you give your joy to, your money to... your thoughts and time to - keeping that praise and attention from God. 

Now let's take a look at what it means to live IN Christ - walking IN the Holy Spirit:
  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • forbearance (patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.)
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control
So, how do we surrender? How do we give over to the spirit. Let's take another look at Galatians 5:13 we are called to be FREE. We have the FREEDOM to choose our way or His way. As I approach the new year I will do so with intention. I'm not going to resolve to get fit, get rich, or get even - no... I resolve to GIVE UP EVERYTHING to God. 

Feeling angry or frustrated? I will know I am in the flesh and giving myself control. I will pray, I will read, I will fast - until my heart is turned back to the Holy Spirit. 

Feeling sad or lonely - envious? Back to the Word. 

When I KNOW there are are tasks I need to accomplish? When I know I am UNFOCUSED or DISTRACTED? I will ask the Holy Spirit to give me Self-Control. 

Need some encouragement? Reassurance that God has it covered:

1 Corinthians 2:9

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human has conceived - are the things God has prepared for those who love Him. 

I've tried it on my own. I've failed.Time and again... I am looking forward to the year GOD has planned for me, and TRUSTING that HE can make all things new. 

It's a new year and I'm giving up. 

Xo Xo & Stuff, 


16 November 2018

Picking it up... again

I am not a consistent blogger... I mean there are literally YEARS that go by that I don't write. I cannot really say why. Perhaps I get distracted, maybe I lost interest, perhaps somethings are too much to capture in words and I'd prefer to let the past capture them instead.

So, here is where we stand today.

The kids are doing well. Bubs is still getting As Kadee too. Luke is making his best effort and we are THRILLED with that. Oh... and he'll be getting glasses soon (and you'll be getting pics). We are in the throws of adolence and all that accompanies that. Pimples, pissy attitudes and pitty parties about chores and homework - but... we are also laughing more, thriving in our new community, and counting our blessings.

We've stepped away from federal govt life. I no longer work for fed and don't miss it for a second. I've started a new chapter working business operations for gas/oil, and we've opened two small businesses in addition to my art hobby.

Big Sexy is out exploring the world of natural gas and oil... I'm not thrilled that he is AWAY, but you don't know until you try right?

We are in a busy season, filled with blessings.

But what have I learned through all of this?

God. Is. Great.

I always thought I was smart. I was strong. I COULD DO IT - man oh man have the last few years taught me how wrong I was. I am in control of NOTHING. My ONLY purpose on this planet is to love people and when they ask why? God. Do the right thing. Why? God. Give generously and encourage constantly? Why? God.

There are lessons in every struggle. Every obstacle and that lesson is simple; trust Him.

I'm learning. I'm growing. I'm a child of God.

Xo Xo & Stuff,


20 August 2018

10 Ways Being a Military Spouse is Just Like High School

10. Ramen noodles just sound right for dinner

9. Your significant other plays video games... no no no... as in the same amount of time as a 16 year old

8. Bonfires, beer and BBQ are a great weekend

7. Cliques

6. There are times you eat pizza 3 days in a row

5. South Park (ugh)

4. You get excited about babysitting money

3. Neeeeeeeeeew Driver's License & ohhh goody you even get to take the test... again and again and again

2. You have team colors & Rivalries (GO ARMY!!!)

1. You still get all fired up for homecoming

If your butt hurts over this list please go look in the mirror and write OSMW over your face.

XO XO & Stuff,


24 March 2018

Swamp Bubbles

Image result for Saga of the Swamp Beast
Scooby Doo - Saga of the Swamp Beast
See that picture to the right? I'm Shaggy! Well, at least now I am.

Ok, so let's talk about my jump into the swamp and SWAMP BUBBLES. The swamp to me is any level of corporation or government when the ambition of the entity or individuals over-shadows integrity. I believe that a "swamp" is comprised of people working angles to get ahead. Go to a meeting, work around (not with) the opposition, get what their group wants done instead of finding common ground. Get ahead for their group or party. Get ahead for their organization, and at the end of the day get ahead for their own selfish reasons. In some areas, there are so many opportunities for personal advancement via contracts, federal positions, lobbying, that everywhere you look "opportunity" is knocking. While that may seem like a bastion of hope and  motivation, unfortunately we have the swamp.

In an environment pooling with avenues for MORE influence MORE access MORE power, a dirty little seed can get planted inside some people and the SWAMP BUBBLE begins to grow. Instead of seeing people as coworkers they are viewed as competition. Instead of taking someone at their word they take them down so they can climb higher or protect their perch. Instead of recognizing an asset they identify an adversary to their current position or future advancement.

This is the swamp, and SOME of the people in it are DEEP in the SWAMP BUBBLE. Their perception of others has been perverted for so long by selfish ambition (their own, or because they've been the victim of someone else), that they no longer treat people with dignity or even the benefit of the doubt. These people for whatever reason will manipulate a situation to their own advantage, they will fabricate small truths into large lies to damage professional reputations, and they will do so while convinced they are "doing what is right". (((doing what is right for who? and by what standards?)))

I have spent a very long time living in a simple bubble of "I am who I am"......I assumed that I had a similar work bubble and my bubble got BURST.

I Yam What I Yam taken from the movie Popeye made in 1980 starring: Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall - Songs written by Harry Nilsson

My bubble isn't unicorns and puppy kisses, its actually a pretty rigid place. This bubble? Integrity. Awareness of Strengths and Limitations (see Integrity), Communicate Clearly without Ulterior Motives (doggone it Integrity again), oh and believe in people before you don't believe in people aka TRUST. Inside my bubble lives a big personality, my personality is BIG because I know that I can stand behind my actions because.... Integrity and Trust.

Here is what ISN'T in my bubble. Ambition or Envy for anything anyone else has. I don't want your job. I don't want your influence. I don't want your money, house, kids (no seriously, I'm good), I don't even want your dog. Do I want to HELP YOU? Heck yes, and I don't even want any credit!! I just want you to feel awesome that some of the work got done.

A friend of mine's late husband had a simple saying "Do your *** Job". That is my work bubble. I do my *** Job. I don't care what that job is, I do it. You can work me into the ground, I will work. I thought that was the norm. I thought that was what professionals did. I was unaware that would be threatening behavior. I went to the swamp, and my bubble got burst. My eyes are open. BUT - don't worry. I have learned some valuable lessons.

1. Old sayings are true: No good deed goes unpunished
2. Its a good thing DOD taught me my email skills
3. MOST of my co-workers are the most amazing, virtue driven, compassionate people I have ever met. I am blessed to be in their company, and I know exactly who I can and cannot trust. 

Back to my Bubble!

XO XO and Stuff,


30 January 2018

Dear Kid in the Marines Sweatshirt, Victor Quinonez

Everyone is talking about that video you shot, actually videos. I'm sure you know which ones I'm referring to, but in-case someone in the general public skipped the "trending now" here's the short version...

This kid shows up to class wearing a shirt the teacher doesn't like (it says, Marines). The teacher then chooses to jump up on a soap box about how horrible the military is, how service members lack general intelligence - or are the product of bad parenting. How they lack discipline or ability to complete their mission. The videos, shot in a classroom - are dripping with profanity and general disdain for those who protect and serve - as well as anyone who would support them. Here's a link CLICK HERE

Ok so here is where I can go into a rant about how awesome the military is, and what a belligerent jerk the individual speaking on the video is; I could explain that MOST TEACHERS ARE AMAZING - but I'm not this guy...

Dear Victor

I'm sorry you are so uncomfortable in your SCHOOL that you feel you have to make a secret video in order to bring to light abuse in the classroom... but when a teacher who has been suspended before  just keeps coming back, I can understand why you did.

I'm angry and disappointed that so many of us who stand in the way of tyranny, have spent the better part of two decades fighting oppression in other hemispheres only to have it take root like a malignant tumor to the point students in our high schools are bullied by those who should be encouraging you to follow YOUR dreams - whatever those might be.

I'm sorry I knew this guy's name before yours. You are walking the hard road and are appreciated by countless Veterans and Service Members who BY THIS ACTION ON YOUR PART - have been defended against this individual's slander and lies.

I'm sorry no other adult in that building stood in the way. I'm sure this isn't his first tirade - and I'm sure it isn't a secret. You're a kid. The biggest thing you should have to worry about is getting your homework done, and a prom date, and annoying siblings.

I'm livid, disgusted, and heartbroken that your family's sacrifice and father's service have been disrespected in such a brutal way. The bearing you displayed - to receive that abuse - and NOT take the bait? You're stronger than I am.

I'm encouraged by your actions.  You stepped up. You sought help. You didn't keep silent. I'm going to tell my kids about you. You're a role model.

I'm hopeful there are more kids like you.

To the kid in the Marines Sweatshirt, 

Thank You. 

Jinger A. Brinkley
US Army Veteran