Friday, July 25, 2014

And then it hit me!

Friends, it's been a while since I have been feeling led to write. Today, I have a message. I've been suffering inside. I've been feeling, discontent, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, stress overall, just miserable. I kept moving forward, day by day, keeping that smile on my face and my optimistic perspective, but deep down, it's been less than desirable.

Things in life are getting in my way of happiness, or so that is the mask that I've been allowing myself to believe. Until today. I have some clarity. The enemy wants to pull people away from God. The closer you get to God, the harder the enemy tries to get between you and the TRUTH. Until this moment, I was allowing that to happen, through confusion and chaos, I was leaving a door wide open to allow darkness to come in and steal the relationship I have with the Lord. My guard is up again and I am holding on to my faith. It's a daily choice, lightness or darkness. I have found I can't let my guard down for even a second, because Jesus is the only way for me to see TRUTH in each day. A walk with the Lord is a faith filled walk, but it's a walk that must be committed to with the help of the Holy Spirit.

"The enemy is like the weeds in a garden, if you don't tend to the flowers faithfully, the weeds sneak in and overtake the beauty of the garden. The weeds are always lurking and creeping, if they aren't uprooted they flourish and they overtake what's been planted. But, it's never too late! You can clear the weeds and the beauty of the garden comes back looking better than ever! Just like with God, every day is new." -Karrie Viscogliosi

You see, I wasn't always so close to God. I didn't work to build a relationship with God until about 5 years ago. And, that's when my life changed. I was so enamored with a life that was filled with the Holy Spirit, which has been and continues to be such a blessing! As with everything else though, I go all in and my reality and logic gets cluttered when I am excited about something new and now, the realities of day to day living have once again snuck in.

God is so good about holding my hand through this life and I am so thankful that no matter what I am feeling, I always have Him to lean on. He's been gently urging me to read my Bible and I humbly admit, I have ignored the gentle urges. The Bible has been the missing link. It has all of the answers I need, the answers I have been seeking from places outside of the Word, the Scripture, the Life Book.

No wonder I've been missing a key piece of my happiness, I've been allowing life and all if it's hectic busyness to keep me away from The Word of God. His whispers have turned much more audible and honestly, I finally picked up that Holy Book. One night I wasn't able to sleep, I was filled with anxiety and I just needed some peace. I picked up my book.

Once, a few years back, I was told, if you don't know where to start, when you read the Bible, start with getting to know Jesus. The books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are a great place to start. So I have.

God is always there for me, he always knows just what to say, and He always knows how to get that loud and clear message to me. I will hold on to that, and trust in the Lord with all of my heart, and with all of my soul and with all of my mind. (Proverbs 3:5)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

God moments

I like to think that my heart is open to whatever God needs me to do.

To back up a little bit. One day at the beginning of this school year, I was driving home. I happened to pass a woman I know that was walking her dog. It was raining and I had a spare umbrella. I did what came naturally. I parked my car and walked up to her to offer the spare umbrella. She looked a bit surprised and confused by my presence, and then she refused my umbrella offer. We did stand and talk for a few minutes to catch up and then I went on my way. I left the experience feeling a bit embarrassed. Then, I ran into her last week and she came up to me to say that she had been meaning to tell me how much of an impact on her that little meeting meant to her. She went on to say that she had a lot going on in her life and she was deep in thought and then I showed up. She said, my presence reminded her that God is always there. God used me.

Today I was in the car driving with my family. I noticed an unleashed dog and then a boy and his mom approaching it. The dog had the look in his face like he wasn't going to be an easy catch and as we drove by, I saw him run across the street and then the owners ran after him. I knew I had to stop to help. I pulled around the block and parked my car. I got out and walked towards the side walk. He was running right to me. The boy yelled to me "Can you grab my dog?!" I let out a whistle and he came right to me. I grabbed his collar and praised him for coming to me. The boy and his mom caught up, breathless and shaken. God placed me in that moment to help.

At church tonight, we were walking out. Two girls approached my husband. He sent me and the kids to the car. He stayed with them for a few minutes and then walked to the church with them. When he got in the car, he informed me that one of the girls had run away from her home a few days ago. They were 30 miles from home and they had no place to go. She was scared and didn't know what to do. He said he knew someone that could help, and then he brought them into the church and introduced them to our Pastor. I went in to check on the situation and to see if there was anything else we could do to help. We offered to drive them home. The church is such a great place to bring someone that is feeling lost, they are trained to handle these exact situations and I was honored to see that training unfold.

I love nothing more than to help others. God takes regular every day people like you and me and He uses us. I truly feel if your heart is open to this mission, He will place you in the right place at the right time. Ask Him what you can do to serve Him. He will guide you through His work.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Utterly mortified!

Ouch! I am embarrassed to admit what just unfolded before my very eyes, but in order to own up to it, and perhaps enlighten someone else, I will share what just happened.

The way our house is, the front NEVER gets used. We enter and exit through the back door, and the front is merely there for drive by appeal. There is one person that faithfully visits the front of my house every day except Sunday. That is the mail carrier. We live in a neighborhood that has walking mail people. Just to paint the picture for you.

Our front steps are in bad shape. We weren't going to fix them because our house was up for sale, but guess what, the sale fell through and they have further declined. In fact, word to the wise, don't use them if you are visiting, I question their safety. We are getting this fixed this spring, it's on the top of the priority list. Just waiting for the carpenter to have free time in his schedule to come do the job! To add salt to the wound, I was HORRIBLE about keeping them clear of the snow this winter, and when we received a notice that we must keep them clear or our mail won't be delivered, I took that as my personal challenge to keep them clear. Since then, each time the white stuff has descended upon us, I have made my way outside to sweep my steps and put salt on them to boot!

Now, I must confess, I don't get my mail everyday. Call it pure laziness if you will. In my defense, there is just nothing fun about the junk mail and bills that we receive, so when I notice our box getting full, I get out there and bring it in to weed through and recycle 99% of it because it's all garbage.

Today, today, today. The day that has prompted me to write and share my embarrassment. My dogs barked, and I noticed the mail carrier at the steps, I happened to glance at her and see sheer disgust on her face. Oh no! She left my mail, it didn't fit in the box, so she just put it on the floor underneath the box. I was about to go get it all in, infact, I had unlocked the door and even opened it. Then I was overcome with the fact that she makes her way back up the block when she's done delivering and I was mortified so I figured I would wait 5-10 minutes to let her leave the area. I thought I was so clever. Until a minute or two later, she was back on my porch. And about 30 seconds after that, my mail was gone! Every last piece of junk mail, my box was empty. She TOOK IT ALL! Disbelief took over me! I couldn't believe what just happened! I had put her over the edge, on this cold March day and I don't even know her name.

I am almost positive our mail carrier HATES us and I am the world's biggest JERK!

In true Karrie fashion, I am going to make it all better! I am going to write an apology out to her and try to win her over. Just wait until she sees our brand new steps when the job is complete! Maybe I will name them after her! :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014- My word

I really enjoy choosing one word to work as my learning theme throughout each year. It's a tradition that I started a few years ago, when given the idea on KLOVE. Resolutions can be daunting, but ONE WORD is manageable. I am introducing my word for 2014. That word means a lot to me, and it's been showing itself loud and clear to me. I need to be quiet and still and LISTEN to those around me. My family, my friends, my acquaintances. My 2014 word is Listen.

  1. 1.
    give one's attention to a sound.
    "evidently he was not listening"
    synonyms:hear, pay attention, be attentive, attendconcentrateMore
  1. 1.
    an act of listening to something.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Articulate

My word for 2013 was "Articulate". I can't say I accomplished what I meant to accomplish when I chose that word. I did however, learn. I learned that to be heard and understood, I need to hear and understand. Choosing the word "Articulate" was perhaps a tad bit amateur. A little backwards. That is true to my personality, I do things backwards quite regularly. Pulling the cart before the horse is sort of the way I've done things all along. I've been working on changing that though. Sometimes it's great to be ahead of myself, most times it's not and there is logic to why things are the way they are. Articulate is a word for down the road, but for now, I have settled on a more practical word for 2014. One I am thrilled to announce....
Tomorrow. The first day of the new year. In the meantime, best wishes and many blessings on your New Year!

If you would like to catch up on my "One Word" posts, here they are!


2012 (Previous posts often don't show the pictures I added, a technology blip that I don't care to fix)

2011 (The first year I participated in "one word")

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mixed messages

Have you ever thought you were following God's will, but then suddenly thrown a curve ball that makes you not so sure how to act in the face of new circumstances?

This is my life as of late! We have had our house on the market for close to 6 months. The things that have happened in that 6 months have left me completely lost as to what our next move needs to be. I won't put you through all of my thought processes, but there are HUGE differences in a few different paths and honestly, each one of them could be deemed "God's will" because I have worked to quiet my heart to hear God's message. Tried is the key phrase. Each time I have what I think is a clear direction, another perspective comes in and I am left wondering which is meant for my family. I am one that looks for "revelations" in my day. I am always thrilled when one appears to me because it usually makes my next move crystal clear. That to me is God's voice. I have come a long way in figuring out the "whole picture" before jumping into something that I can't get out of, I am diligently riding this one out as the whole picture is made clear, but my head is spinning with all of the possibilities!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Doula tid bits

I am a Doula. My heart and soul bleed for mothers and I want nothing more than to be there for each and every one of them! I take my job very seriously, I work to be supportive of the choices that you have made and I work to help you and advocate for the decisions you will make in the future as well. My job begins the moment I have been contacted, and I am available to work with moms as they establish a nursing relationship with their infants. It's my calling!

What does a Doula do? A Doula is a crucial part of your birth team. Not to replace a spouse or partner, but to be an asset to the birth experience as a professionally trained, hands on support person. Simply speaking, it's helpful to have dedicated people in the birth environment who's only job is to help the laboring mother stay comfortable and focused on bringing her baby into this world. My favorite quote regarding Doulas: "If Doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it" -Dr. John H Kennell. To me it sums up the work of a Doula. Doulas are calm, objective and purposeful. We have been trained to seek cues from the birth parent(s) as to what they need. We are trained to seek ways throughout birth to keep birth moving and to keep the mother calm and focused. We have been trained to work as the liaison in stressful situations and we are here for you. The question is not "Do I need a Doula?" The question is "Which Doula is right for me?" There are many different types of women out there who have devoted themselves to the sacred work that a Doula does. We all have different backgrounds and we all have different offerings. Think about what helps you and comforts you as a person, and think about what you would need in those struggles and then seek out a Doula that will compliment that need for you.

I have written up a little "theory pep talk", hopefully it will inspire you! Think of it as "free professional advice" :)

Did you know giving birth is normal? Did you know anxiety about delivery is also normal?
That's right! Women, have been designed to have an egg meet sperm, and with that, to create and grow a human life within the womb and then yes, give birth. There are many ways to give birth. There is a right way and a wrong way for each and every woman that experiences pregnancy. That way is a personal experience and one that works with instincts as well as desires. Please know, when the plans are all laid out, the baby decides to be born, and guess what? Plans change. Oh yes they do! Each and every single birth is different. Reminds me of snowflakes. Each one unique in it's own special way. Just like women. I'm sure you've heard before that women are made to give birth. It's a fact. There is a lot of fear linked to giving birth. Most every birth has some level of anxiety related to the thought of having a baby. It's completely understandable. It's not everyday that our bodies partake in a marathon that is unlike any other. All of the preparations possible, and there can still be surprises. Birth is unpredictable. But, what if I told you I think I have something that can help. I bet you've read through some great pregnancy books! I've experienced two pregnancies of my own and that's always the first thing I go for when I get that positive pregnancy test. I want to sponge up all things birth related for the next 9 months and I want to eat, sleep and breathe the miracle that is growing inside of my belly. (excuse me, for the more technical folks out there, the miracle that is growing in my uterus)

Would you find it a little odd if I told you, along with those pregnancy books, to pick up a book on anxiety? You see, I have a long history of dealing with anxiety. There are a few things that helped. One was reading about anxiety and one was finding out how classic my symptoms were. It was like I could check mark each and every symptom that was listed in those books and I felt like, “Wow! If I am feeling this way and feel so alone right now, there must be many others who feel this exact same way”. Most importantly, I learned that my anxiety could not hurt me. It was unbearable at times, but I lived through it. I learned to embrace it, without fighting against it anymore, to just accept that I am a person with anxiety and that I have the tools necessary to coast through it until it passes. Much like labor and delivery. Each and every contraction is like a “wave” it works it's way through and then it vanishes. I've heard many women say they attempted to give birth without medication and then they panicked and then they made quick decisions based on relentless fear of what was going to happen next. Panic and birth simply can not work together. It's a disaster for anyone that's experienced it, because you are shaken. Your confidence runs to hide in the corner and you are left to feel helpless and in dire need of something to make it go away. Panic is a very real emotion. Panic almost always will get a person to want to get up and just run away without looking back. Anxiety has taught me though, you can't outrun it. And you certainly can't outrun birth. You are there, you have no choice, when that baby is coming out, there is no stopping it. How will you deal with that? It's helpful to be prepared for these feelings of fear. If you have ever felt fear before, which I can assume we all have. What did it feel like? What calmed you? Do you remember? If not, I am hoping you have some time to search that one deep in your soul.

Birth and fear go hand in hand, the more you channel what calms you and empowers you, the better you will be suited to seek the birth you desire. When all else fails, let go and give in. Rest in the fact that you have done all you can to prepare, and now, it's just time to journey through it and make it out on the other side holding that little one that made it all worth it!