It’s Been a While

8 09 2013

I’m back! It has been a while since I last blogged and it feels good to be back. I am hopeful that I will be more diligent about blogging in the future. Life got really crazy for me a couple of years ago so I took a break from some things, including this blog, so I could focus on finishing grad school at Vanderbilt, assume a management position in my department at work, start guitar lessons (which I love!) and focus on building better and healthier relationships with the people that I choose to be in close relationship with. My family of choice.

I am excited to say I completed my MLAS degree at Vanderbilt on August 10, 2012! In May of 2013, I was hooded and received my diploma at the graduation ceremony on campus. The 3 year and 2 month journey was long indeed but it was worth it. I am so grateful the opportunity to further my education presented itself. It was an exciting day for me although there was some sadness. It was very difficult for me to go to my graduation ceremony knowing no family member would be present. Not one member of my immediate family attended graduation, and I am going to be very honest about this situation. It hurt. There are no other words to describe it. My family should be there and be supportive of me on a big day such as this but they don’t bother to show up. The disappointment was tremendous although it was not surprising. This is a reoccuring problem I have in my life. When I am going through difficulties or joyful occasions, my family doesn’t know how to be present or chooses not to be present. 

I was fortunate to have a group of friends who gave me time and assitance I needed to deal with my grief weeks before graduation. When I started to feel the downward spiral arriving once again, at yet another big event in my life, these friends stepped up and supported me. My friends I met in the MLAS program and some of my staff showed up for me at the ceremony to cheer me on and take pictures. My family just doesn’t show up for me at the times when I need them most and it is a painful part of my life that I work on accepting, without really understanding why, each time I want or need my family.

My family of CHOICE has come to mean so very much to me over the past few years and even if my family or origin lets me down, I do have a family I can turn to. I have confidence that my family of choice will be there for me in whatever way I need them to be present. This is the perfect example of how God fills needs in my life in ways that are unexpected. Growing up I thought my family would be there for me but God has brought new family into my life that is there for me when it really counts.

Trust the process. 

Be blessed,

Carolyn 

 





Treasures of Darkness

21 10 2009

Maybe it is the cooler weather that has prompted me to attach the picture of one of the nicest days I have ever had at the beach.  This picture was taken last summer at sunset in Destin, FL and the breeze felt so good on my skin and the sunrays shooting out from behind the clouds made this sunset extra special.  Again, God amazes me with His absolute beauty! 

I go back to this picture often and just stare at the reminders it holds for me.  A good time with friends, a wonderful getaway to a resort and the promise that I have found in Isaiah 45:3 where it says God will give me treasures of darkness and riches stored in secret places.  Notice it doesn’t say treasures “in” or “from” darkness but it says OF darkness.  My thoughts have pondered that maybe darkness IS the treasure itself.  For all of the dark times I will ever face in my life, there is always a treasure to be found because without the darkness I wouldn’t know how good the light really is!  

Be blessed!

Treasures of Darkness





Seasons

29 09 2009

This past Sunday, we broke into groups during Sunday school and were asked which season was our favorite? Most everyone said either fall or spring.  We either like the beautiful fall colors and crispness of the weather changing or the re-birth that the earth goes through and sloughing off all those layers of clothes and feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin! 

Fall is finally upon us and things seem to be slowing down a bit after a busy summer.  This prompted me to think about the seasons I go through in my own life.  Just as the seasons change every year and repeat the process, I realize that my life goes through the changing of seasons as well.  Some years are definitely better than others, which is why I am so quick to say goodbye to some of those years and excited to rush in the hopes and dreams of a new and better year ahead!!  Why?  Let’s face it.  Some seasons are just not pleasant to go through so I am quick to want changes for the better.  Just as winter could represent the death of a loved one, I am sometimes allowed to remain in a certain season for a while so I can become dependent upon God and draw closer to Him.  There are very valuable lessons to be learned in that season.  Spring could signify the birth of a new baby or a dream coming to life and I am allowed to remain in that season a long while and bask in all of the love and happiness!  That’s the beauty of this life God designed.  It does not remain one season all of the time so I always have the hope of my spring introducing itself again and lifting the sadness of my winter! 

Be blessed!

Carolyn





Beauty from ashes

26 09 2009

After much coaxing from a friend, I have decided to join the world of blogging! What I have to say will hopefully shed some insight into my world and the journey that I have been on for over 4 years, now. I have been a Christian since I was a young girl and grew up with the mentality that I was to fear God and worry about that “lightning bolt” from up yonder that would inevitably make its way down to me with decisive radar and zap me for all of my wrongdoings or faults. You know, the live in guilt and fear of everything you say or do because hell-fire and brimstone are just around the corner! Wow! What a way to live life to the fullest! Not. 

By the grace of God, He allowed me to go through the worst experience I had ever faced in my 31 years of living and from that traumatic experience emerged the most beautiful relationship I have ever known!  God, in my absolute weakness and defeat, asked me if I was ready to do things His way and when you are at the lowest of lows what else can you say but “yes, Lord, my way doesn’t seem to be working in my favor”! Then and only then when I was open to God showing me Himself what kind of relationship HE desired to have with me, there was nothing but love, forgiveness, mercy, grace and wonderful peace that I cannot describe with words. The Holy Trinity wanted to know and assist little, useless me even in the depths of my sorrow. What I found was a loving and very personal and intimate relationship with God and not the hell-fire and brimstone that I had always believed in. The moment that I let go of the grip my hands had on trying to control every aspect of my life was when a true and happy life began for me! Amazing that trying to control things sends your world into utter chaos but the moment you let go and just let life happen the better your life feels. That I learned was me allowing God to place His yoke upon me so He could bear the load for me and give me a much needed rest! It is hard to sleep peacefully when the weight of the world is resting on your shoulders but that decision allowed me to sleep like a baby from that point on.

This journey that I started on has had its ups and downs and I have grown to accept that life is just that way. I never know which days are going to be good or bad but I go along for the ride anyway because I refuse to live my life in fear and settle for anything less than the best God wants to give me. I want every single blessing that God wants to give me each day and so each morning during my time of prayer I ask Him to please allow me to receive each and every one of them because I WANT THEM ALL!!! That’s not being selfish that’s called accepting a daily gift that God wants me to have! It makes me sick to think of all of the blessings that I have missed out on because of my foolishness, pride and lack of communication with God but I have the power to change my circumstances, now. I choose to focus on my relationship with God and receive His joy in the midst of any sorrow I may experience. Life doesn’t get any better than that!

God bless you!