Friday, April 29, 2016

Welcome to My Corner!

I'm a firm believer in the fact that everyone needs a corner. Sometimes you need  a corner of the world to call your own, where you can be you.  Sometimes you need a corner to take a dang rest in and collect yourself.

This is my corner of the world.

I'm Colleen.  I'm 40 (what a BIG deal 40 is, ladies.  I'm not even kidding).  I've been married for 17.5 years, which sometimes feels like 1 year and sometimes feels like 100.  I have two amazingly head-strong, bright, funny, caring and compassionate daughters who both delight me and drive me crazy.  I have a 10 year old cat  named Conway who joined our family 3 years ago.  He thinks he's a dog.

And I'm a Christian.

I'll get into my testimony in a different post, but when I say I'm a Christian that both excites and terrifies people.  For me, saying I'm a Christian is as intricately detailed and infinitely simple as this: I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, I believe that He died so we may live, I have invited Jesus into my heart and vowed to follow Him and grow my relationship with Him.

I am also an emerging Christian.  What does THAT mean?  It means it's all relatively new to me.  I was baptized just a little over 2 months ago.  I'm still learning and finding my way.

Join me so I'm not feeling so all alone on this, will you?  I'll tell you stories, I'll share my feelings, I'll share my frustrations and triumphs, questions, concerns, and praise....and I'm hoping that at some point, you'll share yours with me, too.

If anyone else is here reading this  - let me know who you are!  What season of life are you in?  More posts to come!  Thank you for reading!

A Dream, anxiety, and a Life Verse

As I mentioned before, I have two daughters.  One is 11 (hello, pre-teen years, you really blindsided me).  And the other is nearly 8.  I woke up in the early morning hours today weeping and terrified of a dream I had just had.  In it, my sweet baby girl was gone.  No warning or lead-in, she was just gone.  I couldn't find her and I was so, so panicked.

I struggle with anxiety and depression.  A lot of us do behind closed doors.  And when that happens, I so often retreat into myself and try to process it myself.  Why do I do this?  I know that over the course of the past few years, when I have given my worries over to God (truly and wholly - not just for a little while), He shows me a way to work through them.  But when I don't, I let fear capture me.

The Apostle Paul is very clear about what we must do in these situations.  In his letter to the Phillipians, it's pretty well laid out:

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:6-7 NIV

For me, this is my Life Verse.  I refer back to it so often I have it memorized (and memorizing is NOT easy for a gal like me).  What are the most important words in this verse?

By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God

It's not enough to just sometimes say, "God I need your help."  It's such a good start, but how do we feel when the first words out of someone's mouth are "I need you to do something for me?"  We encapsulate the situation with how much we NEED something that we forget about being thankful for what we do have, and about being more consistent in the relationship that allows us to lean on others, including God.

Losing one of my children is one of my biggest fears.  It's my first and foremost "what if."  What if one of them get taken?  What if they get lost?  What if someone hurts them?  What if, What if, What if.  Can we control What ifs?  Not so much - but we can be diligent in keeping our children as safe as possible.  Let's try and hand the rest over to God.

My husband and I think alike for sure.  In our past nearly 19 years together we have proven time and again that we are usually thinking the same things at the same time.  He just sent a message to me that read, "worrying won't help, but being cautious is ok."  I'll take it.