• So

    Beautiful quote! How happy I am to resonate with gratitude for this meaning. I would have not known the depth of His love and beauty and grace had I not had endured so much on top of what I had already over a 50 year span. I awoke this morning Colleen thinking, ah, I am actually a testimony to your previous blog posting with your friend, in the way that you are able to list powerful insight and sensitivity awareness to open others hearts to understand and accept what beneath the outer appearance, but to truly lilsten and care for one another, and this is exactly why I would be a testimony because of how you by example acted in exactly these loving caring insightful ways, with listening ever so carefully, and responding with such grace and caring love of another. It is honestly remarkable to me. I pray for your friend to have this remarkable friendship of God working through your hand and heart that unfolds her pain and sorrow and fear and blossom in a Spring of hope and new awareness to move forward again.
    I wanted to share today that I was able to locate the post that you provided suggestions of those connections to contact for my interest of Christian Counseling training? and pursuit of what I believe God is leading me. And I read again your thoughtful caring message and it speaks so gracefully and genuine and I am filled with what is like a warm embrace for how your thoughts expressed how thrilled you were for me and how supportive you always are with genuine care for me and my journey. I am still away from my house but I had the chance to look up a few of the websites and became ultimately excited and there was so much information I could not process instantly but continue pray and for the quiet moment I can call and see where God is leading me through these wonderful most delightful suggestions. The website of the International Assoc of Christian Counselors and Rosemeade I was able to briefly scan and I am so grateful for these suggestions, and will be praying for our Lord to show me the way with this process of screening what or where He wants me to be and where it is that will grow and possibly have the training I think He wants of me to pursue this type of work. I am truly ecstatic how far as you have expressed that I am coming along and God so much leading me to what I would be passionate and ever so content in my heart to serve in this way if this so be HIs will for me.
    I will look forward to updating you more about this process. All at my moms house I have let go beyond our expression of hurts and know God also has a plan within my family that is occurring during my visit, and I know and trust our Lord so fully that it is of His work and wisdom I will follow as I remain clear and focused on Him.
    Have a wonderful afternoon Colleen,
    I will be praying for you and yours,
    with love and care,
    Sand

    • Sand,
      We all live moment by moment…not knowing what is ahead but resting in the promises God provides in scripture. You continue to follow Him in a most amazing, trusting way…He will reward you for this. Sometimes people think “rewards” are tangible, monetary, or in some way measurable. I’ve yet to see how to measure God’s peace, abundance, grace, and wisdom. Yet, when He fills us with His strength, blessings, direction, and call to action; there is nothing that satisfies our human souls like that. So keep the course, stay connected to Him and He will never let you down. I’m so delighted for you, my dearest friend. Colleen

      • So

        Hello Colleen,
        How remarkable you are always! All of your thoughts are always feeding my heart and soul. This is so well said and it is as if I say to myself I am for the first time knowing what this means, to live moment to moment for the first time ever trusting and perfectly stated “not knowing what is ahead but resting in the promises God provides in Scripture”. I know what you mean now. as to a measurement beyond all is God’s peace, abundance, grace,and wisdom, even if a moments glimpse, it is seen and known and believed and trusted. and one we treasure
        I was touched by all of your thoughts and encouragement and inspiration shared with my growth and as I am sharing it becoming my personal testimony unfolding. I actually have prayed for you each day, and thought of you just last nite with what I had in mind as if an itch of excitement to share with you an update and yes a confidence I have never truly experienced as a whole without a weight of clutter, so my energy is being lifted as to be lighter and on fire as I have wished and wanted and truly needed to feel for so many years gone by. I am delighted to connect with you and hear your thoughts across the page and your kindness and compassion as always bring me added insight and building my confidence still. This quote I chose to connect to respond to all you wrote to me this morning because this image of girl holding her hands together so very tightly with all she and her heart and soul have in effort to graciously Thank our ever so faithful Lord and continuously pray and know and trust with all we have to honor HIm and HIs word.
        I am filled with an energy I guess it is excitement to say so much today, as I mentioned I had last nite been eagerly wanting to find my way to space so I can write. I am still at my moms. I prayed on any irritation that may have come with the twists and turns God is taking me through my mom and me relationship, from the moment of forgiveness to a glimpse of her disheartened mood and not being able to express herself well, to my letting go and letting her have some time as I went out to visit with others including my Christian friend that lives nearby where I grew up. And incredible scripture my friend had shared with me that came up through a ministry she connects with, the scripture she shared, all having to do with relations as she shared from a sermon some verses of Nehemia, and I apologize for not having the exact scripture although so much of where I am being led by God Colleen.
        Colleen, I am so grateful with hands together as this gal image with your quote that although challenges that God is placing me to form and create my confidence further, to master His amazing truth and honor of His liking “amongst” all people, so I will be so very prepared to be amongst others in what I am seeking by His direction to follow into some capacity of ministry counseling, or some type service to Him. I am grateful that my testimony has an impact that I am not aware through your blog that it has had, as you have emphasized it has. I am delighted that our Lord has placed me and my testimony all for “His glory”, that fulfills me like nothing else truly could, and that every thought I read touched me in ways that were so heartfelt that I almost came to tears with a captured emotional breath building with being acknowledged as you have with me. I am reading each and every thought and cheer and expression of your inspiration and encouragement for me and of me and this path enjoying the image of the openings like tulips as you described so well breaking through the earths surface, a profound unexplainable feeling through me knowing I am fully trusting in ways I never would have imagined I would . I am grateful to God and HIs work in an enormously profound way.
        Through His hand I learned yesterday from my oldest sister who I do not share a lot of time with due to history and her not having optimism in her heart, and of course her now deceased husband who was the main predator , that which she never truly accepted truth of. She visited yesterday and she is inviting all of our family to her place of living next Saturday. At first I lost breath and thought I do not know how I could be present and near my brother in law even if in photo kept and perhaps things still in her presence after his death. I went to my dear middles sister who also was abused and she said my oldest sister moved after he died and she does not recall any photos of him out . I was relieved yet at first honestly discomfort and then today I needed to trust that God is working in ways we do not understand and this is one of them. The mere fact He removed my brother in law from life living and my sister now in a space of living that was not with his presence and her inviting “all” the family, has to be acknowledged for the glory of God I believe. I can only act on believing this again another direction he unfolding, I will be with my boundaries, and if too uncomfortable leave early, however for what I have seen unfolding here with my family, and my confidence with being redeemed by our Lord and a renewed sense of being and life as if I say to some very close to me that it feels like I have come out of a coma, Literally. As a whole I feel like every part of what God created of me and designed of me is awakening to ways I never knew or have learned to appreciate with His grace and love the new me. So I will go by driving my mom and me to my oldest sister informal gathering next Saturday evening.
        In meantime my one middle brother and I remain more distant,yet when we see each other have remained soft and loving, and we text here and there. God seems to have placed me most with my mom, my youngest brother a new and first time relationship as he is 10 years younger than me and I fifth child, he sixth. well he and I are most aligned spiritually and in all ways it seems, and with his wife seeking Christ and the choice of redemption before her, and there beautiful three little children who I have shared most time with during visit, playing soccer, going to the boys baseball games, and little neice swim lesson, and just sharing time playing catch or talking. I even took the boys home from their games after being present watching each play . The children of my youngest brother range in age from 13 and younger.
        The other update I wanted to share was I am itching with excitement the suggestions of Christian counseling organizations you shared with me, I have contacted one and waiting to hear back. I went to a beautiful Memorial Mass at the cemetary my Dad is buried, I went yesterday for both, and the Memorial service was beautiful and I prayed, and I prayed and I prayed for all and for if this His direction to show me the How, with my finances, the house, the further certification and/or degree? and it was as if our Lord spoke to me directing my thought and desire to be a Chaplain, it came to me that would combine my working with end of life with Alzheimer and dementia and those that passed before me, and the tender compassionate part of me that yearns to apply myself in a way that would be of God design for me, and as seemingly directing me to some type counseling, Psychology? and/or maybe what popped into my head as a Chaplain? As you are aware I have the house repairs still, all in process with my attorney, and not working, not having the finances to support the education right now to pursue, yet I keep praying that God will show me the way at HIs will. And I trust fully He is going to. I came across miraculously a Christian university local to where my mom lives, and happened to take a peek to just look and I was astounded that I opened a link that had a Job opening of Admissions Coordinator , and I began thinking well maybe God is leading me to look at these universities that you suggested with option that if I were to work there would they train me or classes be reduced? or even free? if there was an arrangement of some kind? I am like an open Chapter Colleen, I have no idea where God is leading me, but the information He is directing to come to me is astounding and promising and I am trusting completely and if it takes me to any state of the :United States or outside our States??? wherever He will lead me that is or will offer this kind of opportunity, I must follow His path being laid out before me for HIs glory completely now.
        This is so much I realize, for a change I am delighted it is some miraculouos relief and some really good happenings to update with, as if the tulips all popping up out of the soil with strong lift of God hands, having been provided all the nourishment they needed to grow and the sun and water only of our Lord grace and will ,for its needs in His timing being balanced to thrive seem to be magnificent in Gods hands working miracles.
        I am so happy to hear your thoughts and encouragement, and to simply connect with you today, I look forward to any thoughts you may have as to my approach ,to help organize my thoughts and/or insight that can be helpful in approaching what I believe is God direction for my purpose.
        With Love and Care
        Sand

        • Sand,
          I’m so delighted to read your note here. Sorry I didn’t reply right away and I thank you for your prayers. I’ve not been feeling well lately and I know God directed you to pray for that reason.
          I totally understand stepping back into a system that was once hurtful and is in the healing process. There is no doubt that you will feel incredibly uncomfortable at times because you are walking into new territory. Your brain has to make the adjustments of moving from fear to confidence and that only happens when we courageously choose go into the uncomfortable space, trusting God’s sovereign plan and in His abundant strength. He promises to provide strength, Sand; you have experienced it already and will continue to as you lean on Him. I’m glad to hear you go with strong boundaries…a plan that if something is too uncomfortable, you are free to choose what to do. You can’t change or fix the other’s but you have full control over where you choose to be and how you choose to be treated. That alone is MASSIVE growth for you, Sand. The relief must be beyond words. Another idea that helps me gain strength…and I’ve taught this to my kids…is to carry something memorable in your pocket. I have a rock I keep in my work bag-given to me by a woman who knew I was struggling a while back. She said, never forget, it only took one stone to kill the giant. When we face “giants” in our lives…whether they are people or circumstances that have wounded or abused us…something to keep us grounded is very important. That is what my rock is to me. My daughter carries something I wrote her on paper in her pocket. My son has his “strength” pieces in a masculine necklace which has “charms”…which sounds really feminine but they aren’t. They are pounded pieces of silver with an icon representing verses of strength, virtures, truth, direction, courage, and the like. Jon has a little bear named “Happy” that he’s clung to in times of huge distress. So there are ways you can empower yourself as you step into these new spaces. God has opened the doors for you in so many ways; He will walk with you and guide you each step of the way.
          Sand, you sound like a new woman! You energy is high, your hope seems to be restored, and you are enjoying the delights of being in relationship with Christ. He makes a way if we allow and you certainly have done that. I will pray about your work direction. I do think He is placing more ‘tools’ in your ‘toolbox’; meaning, as you gain confidence, trust in your own decisions, let God take care of the results, so on…wherever He has planned for you to be, you’ll also be prepared. We never really feel prepared but if we wait to act on “feeling” then we would never grow. You have made so many amazing steps and I can’t put into words how honored, delighted, and overjoyed I am for you! Stay the course, Sand…God is showering you with His care. Colleen

      • So

        Hello Colleen,
        What an odd afternoon it was. I wanted to share that of all difficulties that would occur it is with a 5 yr old niece , how the curve balls come from unexpected places as I practice my response to disrespect. I am not well versed in development. I do know that my small nephews are so well behaved and respectful of all others, their sister seems to have a different attitude. I would love to understand what seems to be anger coming from such a little child, or is this common to see . She seems to want a lot of attention, and she has acted incredibly unacceptable from my perspective, and as you know I do not accept bad behavior. For whatever reason it was coming from this small child today , when I helped her with a wet towel to wash off her face that was stained with spaghetti sauce from dinner, and with a smile saying what is on your face, and helping, she then threw the dirty face towel onto the table with a face of ha ha what are you going to do about it. So without understanding children,is this what is called testing what you can get away with? with her aunt? I know I cannot take personal but all I could say was this was not nice, and the table was clean, her face towel unclean. She said well just wash it again, meaning the clean table. . This attitude has been seen before as she will say ha ha I have a cell phone cover ,you do not, and other comments that again I am not sensing I would want to see a child act toward any others. Her parents are good parents and I am not sure where this is coming from? not from her brothers. With your developmental understanding and knowledge and being a mother of more than a few children maybe you can provide me with the insight of how I am best to respond. I certainly do not want to create a rift with my youngest brother that is newly forming, and I do not want to interfere with their parenting, nor my moms when this niece is visiting.
        I did look up online and it seemed to say ask if she is angry and what is she angry about, or to say what is acceptable to do with towel, or what is the acceptable thing to say? to show her what that would be, but I believe she knows very well her actions. Is it attention? she is seeking.
        What would be the best response other than my saying that is not nice to say or do which has not been successful for her understanding that is unacceptable.
        I really appreciate your insight.
        Thank you again Colleen,
        Sand .

        • Sand,
          Great question! I can’t comment yet though because I need to know how old she is. There is a word used in psychological development called “individuation”. The human process of growing up healthy requires we learn how to be okay and separate at the same time. It’s usually seen around age 15 months-3 years; then in the early teen years, then again upon entering young adulthood…18-21. Parents who allow the child to make choices (within reasonable limits during these phases) are allowing the child to develop a sense of self. If not, the toxic parent will force the child to be as the parent wants/needs; not allowing there to be differences. That’s the beginning of many personality disorders like narcissism, borderline, and so on. While it’s a trying time for parents-most just want the kid to be quiet and won’t give room for their needs to grow and be different-it’s also essential for one’s emotional health. That being said, if she is within those age spans….give or take…she may be testing you. Great…that’s the only way they learn what is okay and not okay. So, if she’s rude, that is never okay. You can offer her choices like: ______ (her name), it looks like your face needs to be wiped clean so would you like to do that or do you want me to help?…Then, if she chooses to try herself, it’s a great teaching moment if she misses a few spots. Take a mirror and play a game like how many more places can you wipe clean or let’s count to ten and see if you get all the places cleaned up or what have you. If she is rude during any of this, then you say that she chose to be rude and lost the priviledge of wiping her face. Then, at the next meal, you can try again. This way, she is given power to choose but not to be rude. I hope this makes sense.
          Also, you may ask how her mother handles things like this. If her mother allows her daughter to be rude, then that is not going to work for you and you can simply say I am not going to have a cloth thrown in my face so I’ll need you to do that or however it will be heard. That’s respecting her mother and also you. Let me know if this makes sense. There’s a ton of great stuff on development-phases and stages-on the internet; there’s also a lot of crappy stuff so as you look into it, see what is fitting for her development and you being respected.
          Hope that helps. Colleen

    • Sand,
      You note is incredibly encouraging! To know you are able to move forward with your own dreams and desires in a place where you would typically be less available emotionally is amazing. You really have forgiven and have an open heart…I cannot imagine the freedom you must be feeling!
      If I can help in any way with your pursuit of work or counseling, let me know. It is always a delight to hear from you! Much love, grace, and peace to you today.
      Colleen