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Lucky

When I was a kid I was always told I was overly sensitive. Well, I couldn’t help that I was born that way. A coping mechanism I’ve learned from being a highly sensitive empath is to steer clear of news (TV and internet) and violent or highly emotional shows or movies. Empaths FEEL the pain and emotions of others and over time it had become too much to bear. I am not exactly sure when I stopped watching TV altogether or reading the news…it was a slow process. Over time I just began to feel the desire to NOT know about all of the bad stuff going on all around me. It just hurt too much. I couldn’t handle it.

I would hear a story about a dog or cat being burned alive or mutilated by some sicko, evil humans and I’d end up having to take migraine medicine from crying so much. In an instant I would go from a normal emotional state of mind to a depressed state of mind by something that had nothing to do with me.

I do scroll social media so I feel like I know some things that are going on in the world…however, I try to only follow “happy” pages, people, accounts, etc. Is this irresponsible? Probably so. But taking responsibility of protecting my heart has been a relief.

This morning I was looking at Instagram and a friend posted that she found her neighbors cat dead and frozen in her yard. She posted pictures she had taken of the cat when it was alive and healthy and playing in the grass and amongst some plants in the yard when it came over to visit her. He was wearing a collar with a purple heart shaped name tag with “LUCKY” inscribed on it. When I read that Lucky died outside due to her neighbors neglect, I began sobbing. Not just for this poor cat but for all of the cats and dogs freezing to death outside at this very moment while I am in my comfortable warm home. It is winter now and will be cold for several months. Do I stop looking at social media now too?

No. Isolating myself from the entire world is not the answer. Yes, there is so much pain and suffering going on at this very moment while I am typing and you are reading. But there are also beautiful things happening. The beauty makes me an emotional wreck sometimes too.

The key for me to remember is balance. Everything that happens is happening according to God’s plan. I think He allows suffering to make us understand and have gratitude for the beauty. Lucky is in Heaven right now where it is beautiful all of the time. He isn’t cold anymore and he is frolicking in the grass chasing bugs again. That thought gives me peace.

Thankful for all of it because both the good and the bad things make me feel alive. They make me realize life is so much more than my little cozy isolated world I create to protect myself and not feel anything. I am thankful to be an overly sensitive empath in a hard, cold, sometimes scary world, for it is also beautiful and I am lucky as well.

Please help spread awareness to bring pets indoors if at all possible or provide proper shelter when it’s freezing outside. RIP sweet kitty…you were loved by people who never even met you.

Blessings,

Stacey ~ iamalive

Photos courtesy @alesha2381 <3

 

Wilderness ~ Day 30

I’m still reading from Genesis and today I read chapters 20-24. A LOT happened with Abraham in these chapters but the part that stuck out with me was Hagar being cast out into the wilderness with her son basically because of Sarah’s jealousy of her. Hagar (the servant) bore Abraham’s son Ishmael but now that Sarah (wife) had a child with Abraham, Sarah saw her as a threat.

So wandering around in the wilderness with her son, Hagar was desperate. Her son was crying, starving, and dying from dehydration and she wept loudly. She was out of options and felt hopeless. Her ONLY option was to cry out to God for his mercy.

I cried when I read this passage. It is amazing how the Bible comes to life when you really get into it. I have heard this story many times but I never really HEARD it. When I read it today I put myself in Hagar’s shoes and I was reminded of how I felt in back in July 2013 when I found myself alone living in a travel trailer when my husband walked out. And more recently December 2016 when I found myself homeless again when my last relationship ended abruptly. I cannot recall ever being more desperate for God in my life than those two specific times.

Hagar’s situation was rock bottom but God answered. God heard the boy crying and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the boy crying from the place where he is. Get up, help the boy up, and grasp his hand, for I will make him a great nation.”  Then God opens her eyes, and she saw a well… Genesis 21:17-19

He quenched their thirst and answered her desperate pleas…even in the wilderness.

Oh how I have been there! God answered me when I was at my lowest point in 2013 as I rode my bike through the Fuguki trees in Okinawa. He found me in the wilderness and he revived my soul. When I found myself at an extreme low point again one year ago…I was desperate but I had faith that I would get through it because I knew what he had already done for me three years before.

I was talking to a friend last week who is not a believer. She asked me why I started going back to church when I explained that I had strayed away in my 20’s and 30’s. My response was that I NEEDED him. God sees everything and he answers when we call.

I am thankful for the wilderness.

Blessings,

Stacey ~ iamalive

I Refuse ~ Days 28, 29

I heard the song “I Refuse” by Josh Wilson on the radio this morning and it’s still playing in my head so I thought I’d share. (Click below so it will get stuck in yours too! 🙂 )

I have been praying for my joy back and God is answering in ways I never expected. I have also been praying for direction in ways to serve, give, and volunteer. Sponsoring a child has been on my mind for quite a while. When you ask God for something and he gives you a clear answer, do it. That constant little voice in the back of your mind is steering you in the right direction. So I started sponsoring a child through Compassion recently. The process has barely begun but I already feel SO MUCH joy from doing this.

I will be blogging for Compassion in the near future and sharing here as well. What are some ways God has been moving in your life and in what ways have you responded by giving back? If you would like to share…please do so in the comments below. Thanks so much for following me along on this journey! 🙂

“I could choose not to move but I refuse…”

Blessings,

Stacey ~ iamalive

 

Sin ~ Day 27

I read Genesis 18-19 this morning. You know, just some light reading about Sodom and Gomorrah??? My goodness.

“Sin is a violation of the very character of God, and because He is just, He must take action against it.” (From Foundations 260 reading plan).

None of us is free from sin. We are ALL sinners. Temptation is all around us every single day. Last night I was looking at movie trailers online and I stumbled upon one that is opening soon. I am not going to tell the name or the premise but my reaction when I saw it was to be drawn into the story…however it was about a sinful relationship. I won’t be seeing that movie.

Have you ever done something SO sinful that you literally held your head in shame? I know I have. We know something is wrong but it feels so good while we are doing it.

When we purposely put ourselves in sinful situations we are letting God down. Just because it FEELS good and everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it is okay for me to do it. Jesus walked with sinners but He was connected to God at all times. He was living in the world but not of the world. That is the goal of this journey…to become more like Jesus by taking notes and following his lead.

Since I began this journey I’ve realized my selfish desires to live IN the world is what has held me back from living the life God intended for me. A specific example for me is my past relationships with men. MOST of the men I have dated in the past expected sex early and I obliged pretty much every time. I thought if I gave them my body they would love me.

At 45 years old and single I FINALLY understand that sex is not love. Giving your body to another human being who doesn’t even respect themselves is not a relationship. I have had more restraint in the last five years than I have had since I lost my virginity at a young age. I wish I could go back in time and know what I know now and respect myself…living in the world but not of the world. But I am thankful I did finally become aware. My life was out of control. But finally I woke up.

This shift begins to happen when you are consciously aware that God is in all things. When you become aware (as Jesus was) it is easier to not do what everyone else is doing. You have a purpose beyond gratification of the flesh. You are a human being and you will fall backwards sometimes but your life begins to have more meaning. You respect yourself more. You are aware that you belong to God now, but you slowly figure out how to live in a world that doesn’t. You are IN the world but not OF the world because you now see that God is in all things. And it all points back to faith. Without it, it is impossible to please Him.

Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he who rewards those who seek him.

Just sharing my thoughts and what I am learning. Thankful for open eyes and for God’s mercy and grace. #sinnersaved

Blessings,

Stacey ~ iamalive

Thankful ~ Day 23

 

I spent this holiday with my dad at the nursing home. It was a quiet day. He slept a lot and we watched a couple of Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. I cleaned out his closet and his dresser and I decorated his Christmas tree while he was asleep. We ate a delicious turkey dinner for lunch in the dining room with the other residents. And we even played around on SnapChat for a bit. It was a good day.

It was a good day but it looked nothing like the Thanksgivings I remember from the past. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and always will be mainly because of the good food! Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie all just taste better on the fourth Thursday in November than any other time of the year for reasons I don’t even understand. More importantly it’s always been my favorite holiday because it is a day devoted to just enjoying the company of loved ones. But the last 14 years have been different for me.

Since my mom has been gone this day has changed from a day of a dozen people sitting around a gigantic oak table having to stand up to pass the food because the table was so big to a day where I just show up and the wonderful ladies who cook at the nursing home set plates of amazing food in front of my dad and me. I don’t have to cook. I don’t have to clean up. All I have to do is show up and eat and enjoy my dad’s company. Yes, it is different and not how I wish things were but we’ve adjusted as life has changed.

Thank you to my friends who invited me to your family get togethers. 🙂 I love you all and I will take you up on it one day I am sure. For now I am just thankful for one more year with my dad…even though it’s not the same. When you are young, you think things will stay the same forever. You can’t even comprehend things being different. But divorce happens. People die. People move away. People stop talking. Things happen that you can’t even prepare for because you have no idea what the future holds.

Trust that God does though and enjoy every moment of the right now…because the right now is what we need to be thankful for most.

Blessings,

Stacey ~ iamalive