Posted by: An American Expat | May 11, 2012

It’s midnight

Sometimes late at night when all is asleep, I feel the urge to write.  I reflect upon and pour over the past events on my life, and for whatever reason, I want to open them up to the world.  Some of you know what I’m talking about.  Some of you think I’m crazy.  Thats ok.

Even though writting more often was on my goal list for the year (and I thought it would be easy because, and I quote “I love to write,”  I haven’t posted a single thing in almost a year.  I have written a couple things; but not posted.  Didn’t seam right. That is because I mostly want to pour my heart out about how much I still miss the babies I lost, and how I dearly want one now.  But I figure, without going through something like that, its hard to relate and most have probably heard enough of my heartfelt tears.  You can only say “I love those babies” so many times to the ear that never lost one.

Aside from that, I really just haven’t written much.  It may be because there is SO much going on.  And the things that I feel most strongly about, well, I just don’t know if I’m ready to share them.  Or perhaps because, there are real people involved and I just love them to much to write about those situations.  However much of a writer I would like to pretend to be, the fact is; i’m not.  Writers, real writers, can turn the mundane into something special.  They can break your heart, fill your stomach with laughter or move you to dream.  No, I’m not a writer.  But I do like to share.  But sharing involves life, and life involves people and sometimes; you just can’t cross that line.

What I can tell you is that God is awesome and has been doing mighty things in this heart of mine.  Pruning, healing, breaking, mending.  All for his glory, all according to His deep love and mercy.  I have been learning real life lessons of faith, trust, and joy.  Opening my heart for God to open my eyes.  Learning to not be self dependent but instead to be solely dependent on him.  The Christian walk is just that, a walk.  Sometimes, you move so slowly you question if you’re moving at all.  Sometimes its all an awesome blur.  And a lot of times you have to walk the same path more than once.  But God is always faithful.

On a lighter level so many things have happened already this year.  We finished our first year of homeschooling.  We became even more involved with our Church.  Formed new relationships and new friendships.  Oh, and we got a cat, named Leo, whom we love dearly.

As far as the journey towards real foods goes, I’m not sure what to say.  It one of those non-exhaustible topics where everyone feels as if they have the answered.  I found out I can’t have gluten.  I currently think I have an intolerance to corn.  I was really starting to feel much better, and then in the last month have started to feel poorly again.  I’m very interested in the nutritional side of eating, yet, can’t seam put what I know into practice.  I keep saying “once I’m better, I want to study nutrition.”  Maybe I should start with “how to break the sugar addition”.  Sigh

I suppose that’s out year in a nutshell.  A very small nutshell. The summer is upon us which means days of working in the yard, swimming at the pool, and maybe, just maybe writing a little more often.  Hopefully not at midnight.

Posted by: An American Expat | June 21, 2011

Psalm 18

This past Sunday, our pastor spoke on Psalm 18. But me, being the highly distracted person I am, was having a hard time concentrating on what he was saying. Maybe it’s a lack of self-discipline, maybe it’s ADD – Whatever it is, the harder I tried to concentrate, the more distracted I became. I was even distracted by my concentration. Figure that one out for me, will ya?

Anyways, seeing that I had a hard time focusing then, I decide to read the Psalm this morning. Wow! What beauty there is in God’s word. In just the first few verses we learn that God is our strength, rock, fortress, deliverer, mountain of refuge, shield, salvation, stronghold and is worthy of praise. Hitting home that God is All in All.

“Worthy of praise”. The phrase struck me today differently. I’ve heard it, read it, heck – even sung it many times before this day. Yet, it strung a different heart cord as I meditated on it. God is worthy of praise. Worthy of it. Maybe it would help if it used my italics icon. Worthy. He is worthy of praise. See? (Makes it more clear, doesn’t it?) It isn’t that God just gets praised, or that he just wants our praise. He certainly doesn’t need our praise. But he is worthy of it. Sometimes, in my life, I find myself praising other people for the job they have done. I say something like “Good job! That was great!” And I think I’m making the other person feel better, appreciated. I’m assuring them that what they did was indeed good. But God knows he is good,. He doesn’t question if his work is good. He knows he is worthy of the praise. Honestly it’s about time we catch on the fact too.

In verses 4-19, is a beautiful word picture of God, in righteous anger, rescuing David from his enemies. It is really an intriguing thing this “righteous anger”. Whenever I think of anger, I think of me being scared, ashamed, guilty, or burning with hate. I grew up seeing anger fleshed out. Cross and line, even accidentally, and firer-y words spewed out, until I felt undeserving and unwanted. Sometimes I cringe inside when I read about God being angry. Afraid of the wrath. Yet, I have to remind myself, that God is not man. His anger is not that of what I have experienced. It is not out of control rage. It is not derived from hate or selfishness. I long to understand the concept of “righteous anger”. One thing I find interesting is that, in this psalm, God’s anger is in the context of God rescuing David from his enemies. I thought of a mother rushing to the aid of her child. How much I love my children; I would surly rescue them, and if needed, destroy any evil that tried to conquer their soul. Maybe, that is a first step of understanding this anger. And to think, that God would destroy evil in order to rescue us! Now that is something my heart can rejoice in.

Which brings me to the second half of verse 19 “He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Whoa! Whaaaat? God could delight in a human!?! Again, I thought of how much the mere presences of my children brings me delight. And because of Christ, we can be God’s children. I John 3:1 “Look at how great a love the Father has given us, that we should be called God’s children. And we are!…” How much He loves us! The more I learn about God, the more I’m amazed and the more my heart is touched. He is not flawed like us. He is perfection. He can’t be put in a box . The more I discover about him, I realize that there isn’t anything like him. He is the best of all things good. He is the One and only. He is worthy of my praise.

Psalm 86: 8-10 “Lord, there is no one like You among the gods, and there are no works like Yours. All the nations You have made will come and bow down before You, Lord, and will honor Your name. For You are great and perform wonders; You alone are God.”

Posted by: An American Expat | May 4, 2011

The dreaded decision


Today I face a hard decision.  Is it the most difficult decision I’ve ever made?  No.  Not by any means.  Yet, my heart is heavy and my cheeks have tear stains on them.

As I posted yesterday, Zoe got very sick.  Out of nowhere, she was on death’s door.  Monday we were playing and learning to train Zoe, and she was doing great!  I was beginning to feel like we made the right choice about our boxer/bluetick mixed pup.  She was proving to be smart and loyal.  I figured one day we would have the best behaved dog on the block.  Yes, we were finally dog people.

However, Tuesday I posted about how sick Zoe had gotten.  Today hasn’t been much better.  I went back and forth about what to do for her.  Sometime this afternoon,  I finally got the nerve to make some phone calls.  A friend called a friend and we determined that IF I wanted to put Zoe down, we had a place to do it.  The question was IF.  And I was the one who had to find the answer.  If you been reading this blog for a while you know that I’m an indecisive person.  Which sometimes can be comical.  Yet, other times, it’s anything but.  I know what needs to be done though.

The poor thing.  She weakly wobbles about.  She’s just sick.  She looks sick, acts sick.  Without going into a lot of gross detail, I just don’t think she is going to pull out of this one.

What happened?  I don’t know.  She could have been hit by a car.  Eaten something she shouldn’t have.  Have a super bad case of worms.  Maybe this time its parvo.  I’m not a vet and it’s becoming clearer all the time that I’m not well knowledgeable is puppy illnesses.  All I know is she dying.  Right there in my kitchen.

When Jonathan got home today, I broke down crying.  By that time I had decided what needed to be done.  I just didn’t want to say goodbye.  How’d I let this happen to her?  Who can’t keep a dog alive?  Right now, I don’t feel as if we should be trusted with animals. Right now, I feel like a failure.

It was hard to tell the boys of our decision.  Jonathan took the opportunity to talk about how animals are different from humans.  (He reminded ME of the same thing while I was crying, sometimes- you’re just sad over something.  Even if its not eternal.) As we told the boy’s of our decision, Noah begged for another dog.  Jonathan was up for the idea and my heart couldn’t take anymore breaking.  “Sure”, I said, “we can see what kind of dog would be best for us.”  My mom has long been asking me to take one of her dogs, Sandy.  I refused at first, because we were sure we wanted a puppy.  But as we all laid on the bed, Sandy sounded like a pretty good idea.

Right now at this very moment Jonathan is on his way with   Zoe.    The boys and I had our final goodbyes.  Curently I’m unsure of my decision.  Could she have gotten better?  What did we do wrong?  Right as Jonathan was leaving out the door, I asked, ” Do you think this is best?” He replied “Yes”, and walked out the door with my barley  breathing puppy in tote.

Sweet Zoe,  you are a really are a good dog.  We will miss you.

UPDATE: A worker at the clinic is going to try and nurse Zoe back to health.  If  Zoe does get better they are going to have adopt her out through a rescue clinic.  The bad news is once you turn her in, you can’t have her back.  (so we can’t adopt her back )  😦  The good news is she has a better chance then I had thought.  They aren’t sure exactly what is wrong yet.  They said it was not parvo and they only thing they could think of would be a bad worm infestation. But they aren’t positive.   Zoe had worms when we first got her.  I had thought that she had healed from it (she was treated once with a chemical treatment and then I treated her with a natural herbal treatment).    Zoe is a fighter so she might pull through.  It still makes me a little sad knowing we won’t see her again, but this second option is much better than the first!

UPDATE 5/5/11:  Zoe didn’t make it 😦

Posted by: An American Expat | May 3, 2011

No more pets for the Goulds

This morning I heard Zoe yelping.  She had gotten out of the gate somehow.  I put on my shoes, walked out the back door, opened the gate and brought her back in.  When I left the house around noon, I didn’t think much about.

After a long day, I came home and got ready to give Zoe her dinner.  I called her, but she didn’t come bounding up the stairs like she normally does.  I called again.  And again.  Still no Zoe.  Then I remember that she had gotten out and that she probably had gotten out again.  “Oh no!”,  I thought.  I imagined finding her in the streets as I laced up my shoes to go searching for her.  I opened the front door, took a couple of steps out and started yelling for her. ” Zoe,  Zoe”  I called.  I got to my driveway and looked left.  There she was.  “She must have gotten herself stuck on something near the fence“, I thought.  But as I got near I realized she wasn’t stuck.  She just wasn’t moving.

She was alive.  Her brown eyes peered into me as I bent down to see what was wrong.  She tried to get up.  Her hind legs wouldn’t let her and she failed.  Then she tried again, barely making the one step she needed to reach me.  Jonathan had come out by this point.  “I think she has been hit by a car”, I had said.  Jonathan got a towel and I wrapped Zoe in it and scooped her up in my arms.  “Not again”, my heart sank.

As I examined her more, I didn’t find anything that appeared broken.  She was deathly thin though.  “How in the world did you get that thin? ” I kept thinking.  I sat there, just petting her.  She looked liked she was going to die right there, that moment.  I gave her water through  a medicine syringe and she took it willingly.  She probably hadn’t had much to drink today.   I decided to see if she would drink from a bowl and thankfully she did. However, ever once in a while she vomited it back up.  I think she is keeping some down because she is drinking often.  She is also repositioning herself on the towel and every once in a while, will stand up.  But she doesn’t venture anywhere and she definitely doesn’t try and sneak into the rest of the house like she normally does.

After observing her more, I realized she was bleeding from her rectum.  Not a good sign.  And the longer I was around her the more I could hardly tolerate the smell.  It was atrocious.  I’ve never smelled anything so horrid in my life.

As I type this, Zoe is laying on a towel in my kitchen.  I don’t know what is wrong with her, although I have a few guesses.  I have zero dollars to take her anywhere.    I’m not sure that Zoe will get better.  She seems even worse than last time – I didn’t think I would ever have to say that.  I feel a little helpless; so I just call out to God and remind myself that he does what is best for us in all things.

One thing is clear- it will be a long time before we try this pet thing again.

Posted by: An American Expat | April 27, 2011

History of the Cell Phone-as seen by Liz Gould

The history of cellular phones:  by Liz Gould

Cellular phone are one thing that my generations has seen go from, “what’s a cellular phone?” to “only for emergency’s” to “who needs a land-line needed- we just use our cell.”

When I was about in sixth grade my mom got a cellular phone.  It was about five inches tall and about two and a half inches deep. If we wanted a signal we would have to pull out the plastic coated receiver.   I thought it was so cool.  Mom kept it hidden in the dashboard and we used it so infrequently that whenever my mom asked me to pull it out, I forgot we even had it.  Still, when I did get to use it (which were not always “emergencies”)  I felt privileged.

Fast forward a couple years and the “emergency” cellular phone dissipated and my parents each had their own cell phone.   Not many (if any), of my friends had one and seeing that it was such a new concept, I didn’t beg for one of my own.   That is until one fateful April day when my sister and I were driving back from a friends birthday party and got lost.  We were in the slumps of Winston-Salem, cigarette capital of the southern east coast.  In fact, the only way we ever got back home was because we got stopped at a drug point check, where many cars had been flagged and were having their trunks searched through.  In teary-eyed desperation I told the officer we were lost and I need to find my way home.  I prayed frantically as I followed his directions and drove through the dark ghetto streets.  And we finally made it back home, late. When I got out of the car and saw my parents I said, half crying and with a cracking voice, “I want my own cell phone.”  And I got one.

It was all the rage to be able to pull your cell phone out at the mall.  I would act as if I didn’t see anyone else, hold that device up to my ear, and talk loudly-just to make sure those around knew I was talking on my very own cell.  By college their were lots of us who had cell phones.  It wasn’t cool enough to just have one anymore.  We had to deck them out.  You could buy covers and faceplates, and let’s not forget the flashing battery backs.  Oh the memories!  My favorite was a sunflower faceplate with bright orange buttons.  I think I paid twenty dollars for the opportunity of flashing that around.  “Where is it now?”, you ask. Probably a land-fill somewhere.

Almost a decade later and now people can’t imagine life with our their beloved phone.  It has become our most trusted companion.  And we don’t even just talk on it- we text, check emails, buy movie tickets, listen to music, and browse the web.  Cell phones have come a long way.  And we have changed with them.  We no longer just feel special for being able to pull it out of the dashboard- We can’t put the things down.  Everywhere you go, you will see someone on the phone.  Consuming?  Not sure.

Sometimes I feel like joining the one percent of America who doesn’t own a cell phone.  It seems like a burned at times.  Yet, we don’t own a land-line and that does cause a “what would I do in case of an emergency?” attitude.  People don’t usually stop to help the girl with the emergency lights pulled off to the side of the road anymore.  Why?-because she has a cell phone and help is on their way.  Still the “make-life so much easier” aspect of the phone is too powerful for a complete abandonment to the thing.  After all, when I can’t find my way to a new friends house and am lost, I no longer have to count on an officer helping me find my way, I just call my hostess.  Cell phones have good points.

Yes, cell phones have changed and with them my generation.  We have become over-productive, overly networking social-yet face to face time is becoming less and less.  (Have you ever hung out with a teenager before, they spend half their time “with you”, on their phone. ) And along with the availability of the access to everyone we have become impatient when we can’t get a hold of them-trust me, I’m can relate to that one.

Cell phones have changed and us with them, but,  the question remains, “Was it for the better?”

Posted by: An American Expat | April 25, 2011

Zoe (our new puppy!)

I have officially lost my mind.

We have always been quite aware that we weren’t “dog people”.  We would tell anyone that asked us, and some who didn’t, that we don’t want a dog in the house.

The problem is I have this son, who loves animals.  And my heart-strings began to pull a little.  After all, it wasn’t that I didn’t like dogs- I just didn’t want them to be in my house. So we could compromise, after all, we have a fenced yard and a good-sized dog house.  (any of you that have ever had a puppy can start laughing your head off about now.)

I have a friend who’s dog had puppies.  They were cute.  Really cute.  And after all, I have this kid who loves puppies….so we went, just to see them.  And we picked one out….just in case we decided we wanted one.  And two weeks later, we were owners of a new puppy.

She was so small and cute when we first got her…goodness, is she ever cute.  How much work can a little puppy be?  (This is where all dog owners laugh at me.)  E with Zoe- Aren't they cute?!

My youngest carried her around EVERYWHERE for the first day.  It was adorable.  I heard over and over again from both boys “Thank you for getting us a puppy!  We love her.  This is the best gift ever!”  And right about then, I was thinking, “Yup, cool mom points for me.”

Too bad cool mom points don’t accumulate when you clean up dog pee for the 17th time that day.  -just saying

Anyways, just a couple days after getting Zoe, she became sick-really sickI mean, I prepared the boys that she might just die any moment sick.  It was pitiful and I felt helpless.  And even though I felt like a child in sunday school doing so- I asked people to pray for my dog.  Thankfully God healed little Zoe.  Call to Him for the little things, He really does care.

In one week I went from “not really a dog person” to; getting up to make sure she was hydrated in the middle of the night, feeding her through a medicine syringe, letting her sleep in the kitchen, cooking her chicken and rice, and talking about her non-stop to every dog owner I knew-kinda dog person.  Welcome to owning a dog.

Thankfully Zoe seems to have gotten all her zest back.  Too much in fact.  Now, I have a whole new set of problems on my hands.  My littlest boy, who used to not let Zoe’s feet touch the ground, doesn’t want to be around her any more.  Both boys are afraid of her nipping and biting.  And frankly, I’m quite annoyed at the fact that I bought a dog for my kids to play with, only to find myself playing with her out of sheer guilt that no one else does.  And let’s not forget to mention how much fun it is to search for dog poop in your back yard so that you don’t step in it-again.  Sigh.  One more thing added to the to do list.

I have been trying to teach Zoe not to bite.  And my older son has been getting better about being around her.  This was after a much-threatened conversation where I concluded that if I had to “pick them up every time they needed to go past Zoe, we were getting rid of her.”  Still she constantly biting at pants, shoes, and now even skin.  I tried using water to discipline her, but to no avail.  Then spanking -but that seems to only cause more and harder biting.  I am trying to praise when she is not biting; but goodness- I only have so many hours in my day.  I really need to focus on training my kids– not a dog!

So here is my plea from all you doggie owners- help!  How do you train a puppy with kids?  We really do want to keep Zoe, and the kids love her (from far away, that is), I would really like for all of us to live in harmony together.  Ideas?  Please, please someone have an idea! 😉

Posted by: An American Expat | April 13, 2011

RAW food- my experience


It all started when I stumbled upon “The Raw Truth” by Jordan Rubin.   I was intrigued and spent almost half the day on the computer reading and researching the raw lifestyle.   Then I decided, that was it…..I was gonna give this a try.

Just so you are aware people who are “raw” eaters, don’t eat anything cooked.  Nothing.  Nada. Zilch.  So, that mean’s if it can’t be cooked, like chicken, or even beans, they don’t eat it.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they are vegetarians, or even vegans.  You can still have ‘raw’ milk or cheese that hasn’t been pasteurized.  The theory is that when you cook food, you are destroying the nutrients and essential enzymes your body needs.  Therefore, you are making the food an empty food source for yourself.

What I did:

I actually didn’t go completely ‘raw’.  I did a whole week of nothing but veggies, fruit (but only if before 4 pm), raw nuts, feta, eggs, and goats cheese.  I did allow my cook certain things like sweet potatoes, and of course the eggs.  So I wasn’t really following any one particularly label.  I just made up my mind of what I could have and couldn’t have and stuck to it.  (oh yeah, except the very last night my husband bought me a chicken salad -which I ate half of).

What it was like:

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. What was more difficult was a little of the planing.  For example: we couldn’t go out to eat that week (save the chicken salad).  However, because I was eating mostly vegetables at night, dinner was really easy to prepare.  I think a salad was the most time-consuming thing I made. Lunches were a little difficult to think of what to make.  I have been a sand which kinda gal for most my life and not having any bread to make a quick lunch was hard.  I mostly had some type of juice, a salad, or broccoli.

What I learned:

It was disappointing to find out that I really didn’t feel that I had more energy.  This could be due to the fact that we also got a new puppy the same week and it was crazy!  Or there may be something my body needs and I’m not getting.

I was pleased to see that I didn’t wake up with knots in my stomach.  Something that I am going to see if gluten is the cause of-if I can figure it out.

What was very interesting to me is that I didn’t really miss sugar that much.  I have come to this conclusion about my self and sugar:  if I have none-then I don’t crave it that much (I did want it some) , really.    I ran across this blog about a woman who has gone sugar and gluten free.  She describes her story and reasons for her new lifestyle and I could resonate with some (not all), of what she was saying.  She called it a sugar and gluten allergy-but I’m not sure I would go that far.  I would say that sugar must affect different people differently.  My husband said to me this week, “why don’t you just have a little bit of sugar?”  “Because I won’t want just a little bit.  I’ll want another bite and then maybe just one more.  It’s like an addiction.  It really is easier for me to just not have any.” It is no secret that sugar, especially the white refined sugar, is addicting.  That is why so many products have sugar in them. Even in some that you wouldn’t even expect.

I also learned that my body doesnt’ need nearly as much food as I thought.  At dinner I would be satisfied with just one or one and half sweet potatoes (not huge ones).  That was it, no snacks, nothing else.  And that was good.  Now I will admit it took a couple days to realize the difference between ‘satisfied’ and full.  That is another theory of the ‘raw foodists’.  They say that your body will realize that it is satisfied sooner because raw food enzymes travel more efficiently and communicate better with your body.  You will realized that you have had enough before the “full” feeling sets in.

This week I have been allowing rice, all cheeses, beans, and honey in my diet.  I did do a test with a sandwhich yesterday.  But I will have to explain more of that on a different day.

I would say that this has been a very productive week as far as learning about food and the way my body responds to it.   Oh!  And one more thing I forgot to mention.  I think I have lost somewhere around the five pounds mark.  I’m not really sure, because I don’t have a scale, but i have definitely  lost some weight always a plus 🙂

Anyone have any experiences or thoughts you would like to share?  Any thoughts on the was sugar affects people?  Do you think there could be such a thing as a sugar allergy?  I would love to hear from you!!


Posted by: An American Expat | April 4, 2011


Just wanted to stop by and say a quick hello!  🙂

We have been super busy and I have a lot to tell you.

First of all we got a puppy!!  She is adorable and I will try to post a picture soon 🙂

Secondly I found a black widow spider in our garage (which happens to be where my laundry room is!  UGGG……if you don’t know how I feel about spiders read this.

We have been doing lots of house stuff, including spring cleaning this week.  I am taking the challenge to get rid of 5o things.  More on that to come:)

Also, I am doing a special diet this week of mostly veggies and fruits.  Currently on day three, I will post more at the end of the week.

Coming up, I hope to post pictures of my home and tell you the story of how God led us here.  If you want, check out the before pics on my facebook page.

Hope you all are doing well!  🙂  What have you been up to the past month??

Posted by: An American Expat | February 25, 2011


confused.  I think I just might spend half of my life in this state.

Ever since I have had Noah, I have struggled with a tight feeling in my calf muscles.  It started immediately after giving birth to him.  It would go away and then come back and bother me for a while.  And even though it bothered me at times, I didn’t give it much attention.  That is, until a few weeks ago.  The tightening turned into a burning sensation.  At times I felt like I need to move to get any relief. Yet, at other times the moving didn’t seem to help at all.   Being the completely rational person hypochondriac that I am, I looked to logical answers on the internet.  Blood clots, poor circulation, diabetes.  WHAT?!  I started praying that God would spare me a few more years in this life.  Started looking more seriously at what I ate.  Read about different foods to avoid and began to become utterly overwhelmed and confused with all of the information.

During this time I went to a small health store, that I had been eying to go to for a while.  I talked with one of the workers there, who was helpful.  I told her about my legs and she it sounded like I may be magnesium deficient.  (shew- that sounded a lot better than a circulation problem)  I then started talking to her about all the information I was reading and that it just sounds conflicting at times.  Don’t eat fat. Eat fat.  Coconut oil is good for you.  Don’t eat coconuts they are saturated fat.  Olive oil can go rancid.  Olive oil is healthy.  Shewww!  The list could go on and on.

Then I had an “ah-ha” moment.  She said, “No one fat is better. (trans fat aside here, folks), your body needs fats and needs a variety of fat.”   Oh yeah, variety.  I had been so consumed with finding the perfect oil, or “fat”,  to cook with that I forgot that too much of anything, even a good thing isn’t good for you.   Sure there are certain things to stay away from- any oil that isn’t natural.  But there are a lot of good oils that, in moderation, are good for you.  And your body can benefit from the different properties found in each one.

As far as my legs go, the magnesium has seamed to help a little.  But, I’m beginning to think it may also have something to do with circulation.  I may be sitting at the computer too much, seeing that it seems worse when I’ve spent more time doing that.  And I have a super bad habit of always crossing my legs or siting indian-style like.  Only God really knows, and really, only God can heal me.  I will let you all know if I ever find anything else out.  For now I’m going to take a balance approach to my health and try not to get caught up in any one “fad” 🙂

Posted by: An American Expat | February 21, 2011

Upbringing (part two)

Read the first part of upbringing here.

Second Disclaimer:  I want to add that I was raised by good parents and I know that they desired to see their children walk with God.  I don’t want people to assume my faults on them.  I also want to clarify, that I am trying to keep whomever I have spoken about confidential in my posts.  People often make mistakes, and just because they made one, doesn’t mean that they do not love God or are content with their previous choices.  I know that I have offended many with my wrong actions and attitudes in the past and in many cases have not had an opportunity to tell them that I was wrong.  It could be very well that this could be the case with others also.   I may disagree with their statements and behaviors but I do not want to speak condemnation toward them. If you know whom I am speaking of, please do not share your knowledge and bring harm to anyone’s name.

After my failed counseling attempt,   I was lonely and had no friends;  Yet, I remember a peace during that time while trying to seek out God.  I felt God calling me to go to a small Bible College that I lived near.  I had taken a couple classes from them before and hated it.  I was bitter from previous hurts and the students there were unfriendly.  It made for a bad experience for all of us.   However, I knew God wanted me back there.  The week before classes started I cried and asked God to change his mind-he didn’t. And I thank him for that now.

During the first week of college I met a handsome young man, named Jonathan.  He was kind, funny and friendly.  After one date, I was in love.  Jonathan saw the pain and bitterness in me, yet patiently showed me truth from the word of God.  Looking back, I wonder why He even wanted to be around me, but I’m just so thankful he did. 🙂 I remember visiting his church with him for the first time.  They talked about God’s love-  It was amazing.

I am so thankful that God brought me to Piedmont, even while I kick against his plan, he was still faithful.  God is still purging out my wanting to work to please him, my legalism.  I am still learning to read the Bible to see who he is instead of what I need to do.  I am still learning to trust him and find out his character. God is still faithful, after all my mistakes and incorrect thinking about him.  He still loves, guides, and teaches.  Sometimes I still kick against his plan, but lovingly he pulls me back to him.

Now that I have two boys of my own, I am asking God to help me teach them truth about him.  Recently, I had to apologize to my oldest for getting angry at him when he disobeyed.  He asked me “Is God angry with us when we disobey?”   I cringed.  What was my life teaching my children about God?  I’m sure every parent who loves God seeks to teach them who God is.   I want to teach my children that God is loving but that he does hate sin.  That he is always faithful.  He is truth.  His son died as the sacrifice for our sin.  That nothing can separate us from his love.  That he calls us to be holy because he is holy. That our God is the most high God and there is none like him.  Yes, these are things that I want my children to learn.  These are the things that I want them  to think about when the think of their upbringing.

God is continuing to bring me out of legalism.  Pruning me, branch by branch.  It is painful at times, seamily unbearible at others and yet there is a contenment and joy in knowing that he is God and he is soverighn.  I want him to rule over my heart.  Even if it means he has to dig up all the old roots to plant new ones.

Sometimes, people are bitter about there upbringing.  I have struggled with mine as I have seen the effects of bad teaching and counseling lived out in my life.  But like I said before, I am held responsible with my choices, and with how I viewed God.  God gave me his word,  I could have sought him instead of the council of man (however, Godly I thought they were at the time).  God put me where I needed to be, whether I understand it or not.  God is wise and all knowing.  I know that God does not take lightly the misguidance I received, or the sin I chose.  But I also know that God is loving and can make beautiful things come from broken lives.  And I hope to be a broken life for him, to use as he wishes.

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