home is where your family is found

I have a confession to make.

I love being in family.

I love family in all its quirks, black sheep, & uniqueness through the ups & downs of living life in close quarters.

I have found over the years that when I have been the loneliest, I have not been keeping in close touch with family.

God sets the lonely in families.
Psalm 68:6

Or my translation:
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And much as I love my earthly family, and the family I have made through friendship & church, I have discovered those aren’t the most important family connections for me to avoid loneliness. You can still feel lonely in a crowd of people who love you. Which I know first hand.

Because I have a tendency to feel like the black sheep, and want to hide when I don’t feel like I fit.  I am not gifted like many of my family members, and have felt on the outside looking in for more time than I care to admit….which is one of the number one contributors to my feeling lonely.

When loneliness swirls about me like a fog, I need to press in and draw close to my heavenly family, for:

My Father reminds me who I am to Him… chosen.

Jesus anchors me in the family…. beloved.

Holy Spirit guides me along the journey… pursued.

Together they want me, mold me, cleanse me, shape me, heal me, laugh with me, cry with me, comfort me and make me the best me I can be when i spend time in their Presence.

I am not a black sheep in God’s family…for all His sheep have been made white through the blood of the Lamb.

I can be myself, as God designed, when I am in His Presence.

I have found that sharing my words through writing, worshipping in song & silence, and spending time sinking into the Word, I draw closer to my Family, and somehow I also feel closer to my earthly family.

When we know we are loved, we are better able to offer love to those around us, especially the ones who know us the best – warts, quirks & all!

I want to thank you, reader, for sharing this, my 501st post to my blog!

To celebrate, please let me know if one of the below would interest you to read about by Feb 13th, and as a thanks offering back to you all, I will post about the most requested one on Feb 14th!

1. The Father’s Love

2. Psalm 139

3. The Prodigal Son

4. Psalm 23

Blessings,

Karla 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

alone or lonely?

Which do you feel more like:
alone
or
lonely?

Alone is the absence of people,
while lonely is the absence of connection. – Camerin Courtney

I have learned, the hard way, to listen to my mood within when I am on my own, and how to discern which I am feeling in a solo moment.

It is harder to feel alone in a crowd, but very lonely? Quite common.

It is easy to feel alone and lonely when you are skipped over in a group, or ignored in conversation, especially with strangers in close corners.

alone is a state of being
lonely is a mindset

alone can sometimes be fixed simply by being with other people, where loneliness can be harder to cope with

There are two truths I use to combat when I feel lonely, or all alone:

Deuteronomy 31:6
God will never leave me or forsake me.

With Him, I am never alone.

As a child whose birth father decided family life was not for him, then unexpectedly passed away when I turned three, abandonment & feeling unwanted was an identity I wore for far too long.

The verse above helped me wear a confidence I now have for eternity… I am never ever ever going to be alone.

I am FEEL alone at times,but that verse reminds me of the truth-
I AM never alone, forevermore.

But how do you handle feeling overwhelmed with loneliness?

Do I struggle with this?
Oh yes, too often it seems.
Starting a new job, switching churches, moving to a new neighborhood…
I don’t handle transitions very well at first, on the inside.

In fact, I still struggle with this one more than feeling alone, and recently God reminded me of one of my other lesser known fave verses in His Word…

Psalm 68:6
6A God sets the lonely in families…

And I was instantly reminded of how He answered the prayer of my heart from a very young age… my deep desire for sisters.

I now have the best sisters any girl could ask for.

They are truly additions to my family.

I believe Jesus found the same connection with His disciples.

My sisters help me make it through some days by:
encouraging me to keep moving my hubby & kids & parents,
keep challenging myself at work,
cheer me on when I sing or write,
and love up on me when I need it.

When you laugh, cry,
support & help one another in
both the best & the hard times,
break bread, eat Thai, drink Chair,
share a love of books, music,
and gratitude for all we do have
together…
you become family.

Being adopted by God though Jesus into God’s forever family
has dramatically lessened my core loneliness when I keep it in mind.

I try to use the Word to help me let go of what I want to and replace it with what I need to:

Inviting His Presence into all my nows.

Welcoming His love through those He chosen to show me love.

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Its time to #WordUp & keep the Word close at hand, letting God fill the gaps & strengthening us as we walk out His truth.

We are never alone when we are His child.

He shows me His love through those who love me.

balance

Today, Beth Moore talked via DVD about the temple in the last of our current bible study series.

Knocked me almost out of my chair.

Actually onto my knees.

I, like many of you, have struggled with my weight going up and down. Mine is a combo of hormones, lack of self control and some strongholds/idolatry.

Beth reminded us (me) that we are the temple for Holy Spirit, and we should be doing all we can to make Holy Spirit feel at home in our skin.

We need the stuff that isn’t our individuality or personality, both God given traits, to leave so we have more room for Holy Spirit to move in. Basically, our fleshly wants and desires, along with anything that may have attached itself to them.

Beth gave an example about a gal whose weight has fluctuated between a size 6 to a 14. At a size 6, she found she was consumed with thinking about what she ate all day long, obsessed with staying at that weight. At size 14, she threw caution to the wind and gave in to her appetite with anything she wanted, also referred to as gluttony.

Both extremes led her into different kinds of bondage.

Her happy weight for her body, where she is balanced with exercise, taking care of herself and predominantly health eating is a size 10, for her build, height and bone structure.
Asking God to set her free from society’s expectation of beauty & wellness and pressing in to have Him help her maintain a healthy temple aka. body, she is now free to be herself at her natural best.

Which caught my attention, and I had a conversation about it with God, with me mainly listening.

I am on the taller side of the spectrum with a medium build. I have never been, as a teen, below a size 10.   Have been a size 20 after giving birth at my heaviest. My natural weight seems to hover around a current size 12, which is likely the size 10 of my high school days.

My weight has gone out of control for one main reason. I overeat. Along with that comes the lack of energy, digestive issues, and when added to some food reactions and not dealing well with how I am feeling, is it any wonder. When I feel at my lowest, I don’t want to get moving or look at a vegetable.

But no longer.

I re-dedicated myself to God today. Asked Him to tear down the strongholds of gluttony and idolatry, and to set me free to seek my best for His glory. My body as His temple. I want Holy Spirit to be at home in me.

I can’t do it without Him. Been there, done that, not going back to Egypt again.

So the balance I am talking about comes from keeping my mind fixed on Him, my heart pure and worshipping God alone, my body under control, my strength found in deep rooted faith and trust.

One day at a time.

I will be choosing life and freedom. Walking with God.

Does that mean I will never enjoy another bag of potato chips or a coconut chocolate bar again?  No. But I will not be eating the big bag of chips, or the full bar. More like one small bowl or a snack size portion.

I also am cleaning out the other unwanted tenants: Depression, loneliness, abandonment, homeliness.
See you later in Jesus’ Name.
I kick you out, coz I am no longer partnering with you.
It’s time to move out, coz I have a roommate who needs more space for His art studio and garden. This temple is under major renovation as He retrofits His design.

Welcome into your bigger space, Holy Spirit.
I hope You make Yourself at home, and let me know if there are other tenants who need to be evicted.
I look forward to our talks to come over tea, and your words of wisdom as You guide me towards Your best for me. I anticipate unveiling a redesigned temple some day soon.