Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Politicians Daughter

My father was a politician. He was also a business owner, salesman, public figure and a man who cared deeply about what others thought of him. He was also an abusive father and husband. These two lifestyles were so contradictory to each other that in order to survive at home my mother and I were forced to adopt a certain mentality that not only made home life easier, but it kept us alive.

Now, I can’t speak for my mother, nor can I attest to her struggles in that home, but I learned at a very young age to manipulate, lie and sell myself in order to make others like me. My fathers public image was so important to him that morality and righteousness we jeopardized at the cost of sanity.

No one was allowed to know how things were behind closed doors in our home and if they somehow caught a glimpse or were told about the indiscrepancies they had a hard time believing it. I remember more than one occasion in which either me or my mother went to the police for help and we were turned away as a troubled child trying to exact revenge or a scorned wife who was just crazy. He had a tight hold on his community and on his reputation.

During my childhood I just accepted my fate and went along with the lies. I didn’t go to the neighbors when my mom screamed out for help, I didn’t tell the counselor at school that my grades were falling because I feared for my life at home, I didn’t even tell my therapist whom I loved and trusted what was really going on. I put on a mask that held back years and years of pain and fear. I wore that mask so long that eventually it cracked and shattered into a thousand tiny little pieces.

I wasn’t trained to fix my problems. I was trained to hide them. When they were fully exposed the best reaction I could come up with was to cover them with drugs, alcohol, food, men…I have a slew of vices to choose from and will gladly fall back on any one of them to mask the issues that are really at hand.

As I’ve gotten older and each one of these masks have utterly failed me, I have learned to recognize them and been forced to face them or cover them once again with yet another self destructive vice that attempts to kill me. My heart breaks, my mask falls, my skin is exposed and I falter OR I run into my fathers arms and cry out to be healed.

The healing process is not a fun one. Scabs are itchy and the skin around them gets red and tight. The scar is embarrassing and explanations are sometimes in order, but every time something is healed, it comes out on the other side stronger.

When gold is found it is black and ugly. It is covered in a layer of burnt looking muck called dross. Under the dross is the soft, fleshy deliciousness that we adorn ourselves in. In order to get to that precious metal the dross must be burned off through a process called refinement. The fire must be hot and the process is tedious. But the reward is a great one and well worth all the trouble.

This is also how God’s refinement works. He’s see’s our weaknesses and desires to make them strong, to use them for His kingdom and to radically rip away the old in order to make us new.

Thank God today for refinement. It’s ugly, it’s messy, it hurts, but the freedom and reward are unparalleled.

As we round the corner of this cleanse find a way to refine the junk in your life and open up pathways for new connections.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Hey Shawty, It’s Your Birthday

Today is my birthday. I. Love. Birthdays. They are the one day of the year that is set aside to focus on you. You in all your glory, you born and growing, you, glorious you!!! It is also a day of gratitude and His ultimate Grace.

By all accounts I should NOT have made it to 35. I got sick a couple of times as a baby and to hear my mother tell it, I was close to death on more than one occasion as a baby and she feared the worse. Throughout the years I have given her more than enough reason to, again, fear for my life.

She has picked me up from questionable places, I have been dropped off at her house after being beaten up by my father or having been missing for weeks. She has been there during numerous life threatening trips to the hospital. I am seriously super lucky to be alive. Some Devine power has been carrying me through this life and surely I have some purpose here.

God has been a guiding light through this adventure and He keeps showing off every time I show up. He is an amazing father, a loving friend, my constant companion and the director of my every move…as long as I let him. He is also a stern teacher, a calm storm, a roaring lion. He is all powerful and all encompassing. Ever consuming my heart, whether I like it or not.

You may wonder, “What do you get a girl who has lost everything?” the answer is simple. I have already been given everything that I need. Grace, mercy, love, another day to start another life. When you are reduced to nothing, you sometimes realize that you have everything you need.

Each day we get is a gift in and of itself. Don’t wait for the one day a year that is dedicated to you, celebrate each day as a new lease on life. This is your opportunity to shine, get up and do it.

Happy birthday to me AND to you. You are worthy and loved.

“Awake, O’sleeper, and arise from death, and Christ will SHINE upon you!!!!!!!” – Ephesians 5:14

Today instead of cutting out some of the old contacts, make new ones. Look for opportunity to enhance a new friendship. Smile at everyone you see. Make solid eye contact when speaking to others. Put your phone away during each meal. Use this day to increase His love.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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The Darkest Days

Most of you know that I am just coming off of a pretty horrendous relapse. This one was worse than the last. Darker than before. Just as promised in the 10 or so treatment facilities I have been in, just as promised in those 12 step fellowships I’ve graced, just like my momma said would happen, my disease was progressive.

The things that happened to me weren’t any worse than the last time I relapsed, the consequences weren’t any different or worse than the last time, the same old things happened that always happened and it looked about like the other times, but the was something about this one. Something inside of myself snapped and spiritually, mentally, emotionally I was in way deeper than I had ever been in the past. It was so bad, as a matter of fact, that I decided that I would never try to get sober again and I was going to try to end my life because I was so tired of trying… again.

I relapsed some time in mid-July after a few months of solid sobriety and I moved down to Victoria to get sober in early September. In that 7 weeks, I tried to OD twice, ended up in the ER a total of 5 times, I wrote 3 suicide letters, sent out 37 suicide text messages and had 2 motel maids sent to my room to check on me. Not to mention the thousands of dollars I spent on drugs and alcohol and purposefully injested more than I knew I could handle.

There were a number of people who were key in my getting to where I am now. Some of them were good friends, some of them were perfect strangers and some of them were people just passing through temporarily. All of them were sent by God to protect my life, even though I did not want to be protected.

At some point, after the number of attempts, I realized that as hard as I was trying, God was NOT letting me die and that really, really pissed me off. Didn’t He see how pointless and destructive my life was going? Couldnt he see that I was never going to find a solution to this problem? Wasn’t he going let me die a good addicts death, why not then?

Now, let me just assure you that the using and drinking, the way I was doing it, was NOT fun. I have passed the stage of drugs and drinking being fun anymore. I am THAT girl. The one who gets too drunk and too high and no one wants to be around me, not even my family. Hell, especially not my family.

I tell you all this to say that Gods idea of how our life looks and our ideas don’t always align. We paint this picture, or we just smash through the canvas, of how we think things would be best for us and God doesn’t always agree. He won’t force us to live in His will, but sometimes His gentle nudgings aren’t so gentle and we can clearly see what is right.

I am at a place in life where I have smashed the canvas so many times that my pretty little picture should be completely ruined, but it is not. Somehow there is still hope. Somehow, I have found a peace and a comfort. Somehow God still see’s value in me and calls me forth to do His biding.

Your life may look dark right now. It may seem like there is no hope. I haven’t much to offer you except this…it is always darkest before the dawn. You don’t have to like what He is offering and you don’t have to like Him and you need is to believe. That one little nugget of Truth may just be what brings you back into a life worth living. It did for me.

For the social cleanse today, check your phone for any unused or unwanted phone numbers. Also, highlight and add lists for those you can reach out to in your ties of need. God isn’t always a burning bush, sometimes He is an answered call.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Silence

You may or may not have noticed that I have been absent on the blog scene for the last week. As we traveled through a spiritual cleanse my silence was partially purposeful and partially practical. I believe that aside from the one Truth, a relationship with God is just as personal as a relationship with a spouse, even more so really. God knows your deepest fears, highest aspirations, dirtiest struggles and most ridiculous insecurities. For me to “guide” anyone through that personal of a cleanse would be a farce, with my finite image of Him and my total lack of your personal journey. I hope that you found solace in replacing some of those false images of your creator and replacing them with Light.

Many times I will find myself floating through life with these ideas of a God who is ready to strike me down if I falter. My truth is that Jesus paid that price and my real punishment is in the consequences of my sin, not in the “whooping'” God dishes out. When I drink; I drive perfectly good cars into trees. When I use dope; I lose relationships and belongings. When I cheat on my significant other; I invite a split. These are obvious consequences of blatant sin, but what about the spiritual consequences that I suffer from?

I struggle the hardest with trusting that God’s plan is better than mine. For some reason I forget that He promises us that He will give us the desires of our hearts. What does my heart desire the most? First, pure, unequivcal, unadulterated, messy (mostly on my part), complete relation with Him. Second, the same kind of love and relation with the rest of His children.

I absolutely adore human beings. I like them big and small, short and tall, mean and nice, fat, slim, rich, poor, funny, humorless. I just love people. Where I falter in this area is in seeking God first. I tend to make people my God’s and while our Father is perfect and blameless, humans are NOT! Humans will fail me every time I try to put any kind of assurance in them. Why? Because they are human silly. Made in God’s image, but not God. I place people on pedastols and when they fall or fail, I lose hope in all mankind, get angry with God for not being there, even though I was clearly not seeking Him in the first place and I find a way to comfort myself outside of people. My biggest offenders are food, drugs and alcohol.

These are my spiritual consequences. I place things ahead of God and I lose them. If you have a relationship with God the you may be able to identify with what I am about to relay to you. When I seek His face first and join in Hs plan rather than trying to create my own plan, when I Love Him above all else and share His yolk, things are sweet. Life still happens, but somehow I am able to bear burdens, I miraculously find answers to problems, I am peaceful even in the chaos. But, when I am placing other things ahead of God, making my own plans, following self will and wrecking shit, life really sucks. There is a sweetness, a peace when you are face to face with God and when I am absent from His presence I feel a deep pain, like something is missing, because, truly, it is.

There is a line in the movie ‘Dogma’ (if you haven’t seen it, do it now. Kevin Smith is a genius.) where an angel in telling another angel about the pain of not being with God anymore, of not seeing his face on a daily basis, of not being next to Him. He is our lover, our best friend, our comfort, our steady and constant companion and unlike this angel who had been booted out of heaven, we have the choice to commune with Hm every minute of every day. What a blessing.

Take your blessing. Hold it close to your heart. Use it. He loves you and has given you the most precious gift, His presence. We will all fail at this over and over again, but for this moment, hang on to what He has for you.

Today starts the social cleanse. This is a tough one, especially when you place the value of people above the value of God. Go through your social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc and really evaluate your “friend” list. Are you friends with that one guy who’s name seems vaguely familiar? Do you really enjoy all the political rants from Chic X? Are those pictures that one person posts life-giving or demoralizing? Only you can determine these limits. You don’t have to make public deceleration of it, but you can if it makes you feel better. I’m a people pleaser so I always preface my “housecleanings” with an apology!

I hope this week is rewarding for you and that when it is said and done you feel lighter, free-er, more whole. Happy social cleansing.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

Here is the link to the scene from Dogma that is fore mentioned. Watch it!!!!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CSQYRq8kf4g

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You Can’t Tell Me Nothin’!

I’ve been in the restaurant industry most of my adult life. I started working when I was around 16 and have worked in diners, drive-in’s and dives!!! My history is extensive and I can literally do almost anything in any given restaurant. From dishwashing, which is one of my favorite things to do, to profit and loss statements, which is my least favorite. I can do it all. Really the only things that change from place to place are the people and their preferences.

What I can not predict is clientele and ownership. Those things always change and I have found that every restaurant owner has a very different idea of how they want their restaurant run. Some owners love my big Texas personality and want more of it, some think I am loud and annoying and want me to tone it down. Some love my hands on approach and some want me to delicate more. Some want me in the front of the house and some want me in the back. It’s all just a matter of preference and I have to find my niche each time I change restaurants.

What I am not good at is humility. I walk into many situations and think that I know it all. I know how things run. I can cut fruit. I can brew coffee. I can talk to a customer. I can short order eggs, even. The only difference is, I don’t know how you want me to do it and I let my knowledge/ego get in the way. I have never walked into a restaurant and had the owner tell me to do whatever I want. They have always had an idea of how they wanted things run and they are signing my paycheck so they expect me to follow through with their demands…even if I know a better way to do it.

I have this same struggle in my recovery and ultimately with God. I have experience with my life. I know how to do this and you can’t tell me nothin’! When I honestly evaluate my life my experience really lies in totally f-ing things up. I don’t just break things, I totally destroy them. There is an old AA adage that says, “My best thinking got me here.” I have always regarded that as the silliest of the silly sayings on the wall, but after this last little bout with king alcohol, queen meth and court jesters crack, weed and pills…I am tired of entertaining my own cognition.

Its not easy to “Let go and let God.” another silly saying from the walls of AA rooms across the nation. I mean, really? How exactly do I let go? If I do nothing, I get nothing. If I do too much, I find myself right back to this place of desperation. Alone, having run everyone off and empty, having destroyed everything around me. My heart broken and my mind muddled. It almost seems like a better alternative to do nothing. But the fruits of nothing, as I said, are, well, nothing.

My call from the Lord is to find balance. A happy medium, if you will. A place of working but not working too much. A very wise women once told me that if I try to fix something and a solutions not easily found then its probably not my problem to solve. I had a sponsor once that would give me 15 minutes to try to fix a problem and if I couldn’t do it in that time frame then I wasn’t allowed to try to fix it again. I sucked at that.

God clearly wants us to do the work behind solving some of our challenges, He just wants us to depend more on Him than we do on our own ideas.

Today I take a step back when I know I have a problem to face. I ask God to guide me in the situation, I wait (this is the hard part) then I get to work putting His solution into action. I don’t do this perfectly every time, probably not even 75% of the time, but I get better at it each time I do it. I let God run the show instead of pushing Him aside and stepping on His toes. I have found that when I do that, His plan was so much better than mine.

Today is the last day of the physical side of the holistic cleanse. I hope that you are feeling lighter on your feet and that your dependence on sugars, starches and refined foods has diminished or disappeared completely. Tomorrow is a rest day. DO THAT!!! Rest. Find comfort it he fact that God gave us time to soak in him and love yourself. Our spiritual cleanse will start on Thursday and it should be a refreshing week, full of God’s promises. See you then.

Perspective

What is your perspective today? How are you seeingthe world? After 5 days of cleansing your body and 7 days of cleansing your mind, your perspective should be great, right? Ha! Sometimes after going through a holistic healing process I find that my perspective is more askew than ever. Many times centering in my own mind and giving myself lots and lots of credit. I find that when I am the most broken is when I am having the finest moments of clarity and perspective.

My mom and I have talked about coauthoring a book together for many years. It won’t be an easy book to write and there may be many feelings that are hurt, mostly mine and hers. We have been through a lot of really hard situations together over the years and there is a lot of gross junk that will be out down in black and white. We aren’t set out to destroy each other through this process, quite the opposite actually, but we know that there are two sides to every story and my side may hurt her feelings and vice versa.

You see, my mother was abused by my father. In every way possible. Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially. It was bad and from a child’s perspective I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t doing more to get out of that situation. I blamed my mother for many years and was angry until I became an adult. I learned of the ramifications of abuse, then, as if the sky opened, I felt deep remorse for not having protected my mother more. My perspective changed because I was armed with facts.

I like to tell people that when you are sitting at lunch with your friend. Here are three stories going on. Yours, theirs, and the sandwiches. I’m sure many of you have heard something like this before, but really think about it today. When you enter into an empty room you bring everything that has happened to you in your life.

When I walk into a white room with nothing in it I bring in fear of the unknown, the clamor of silence clenches my throat, the stark white walls remind me of hiding in my closet while my father beat my mother, I hate the white room, there is only a straight jacket waiting for me in that room.

On the other hand my dear friend sees a place of rest. She smells the cleanliness of white, imagines floating on clouds, is in a room where there are no screaming, demanding children, white is her favorite color and that room holds naps and psalms of peace for her.

Now, my day usually starts off with a fun workout, relaxed time with God, prayer, meditation, writing, yoga, deep breathing…it’s all good stuff. Her morning is usually jumping out of bed because she has slept thought three alarms and the boys are late for school, rushing them around yelling for them to hurry, never looking in the mirror, no time to call on God and shoving food in her mouth and in the kids months before dragging them out of the house and into the car.

With those two scenarios in mind, once we made it into the white room, you would think our roles were reversed. She is calm, cool and collected and I am a complete mess. It’s all a matter of perspective.

God has a very clear perspective of our lives as well. He has the perspective of a grieving parent, a sovereign employer, a loving father and an omnipresent king. He loves us, he’s jealous for us, his heart aches for our sin and he cherishes us in ways we will never fully fathom. He sees our heart and he loves us for our desire. He is with us through every hardship, every victory, every lie, every altruistic action. He is everything and yet we disregard His vision as incomplete because in our perspective, how could anyone love us when we have those thoughts, or when we do those things or when we act human.

Today embrace what God believes about you. “You are wonderfully and fearfully made.” “You are a new creatioin Christ.” “You have a future and a hope.” Afterall, His perspective is ultimately what matters anyway.

Continue on with your physical cleanse. Let the old perspective of dependence on sugars and starches be cleared from your body and replace those with the new lenses of health and nutrition.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Perspective

What is your perspective today? How are you seeingthe world? After 5 days of cleansing your body and 7 days of cleansing your mind, your perspective should be great, right? Ha! Sometimes after going through a holistic healing process I find that my perspective is more askew than ever. Many times centering in my own mind and giving myself lots and lots of credit. I find that when I am the most broken is when I am having the finest moments of clarity and perspective.

My mom and I have talked about coauthoring a book together for many years. It won’t be an easy book to write and there may be many feelings that are hurt, mostly mine and hers. We have been through a lot of really hard situations together over the years and there is a lot of gross junk that will be out down in black and white. We aren’t set out to destroy each other through this process, quite the opposite actually, but we know that there are two sides to every story and my side may hurt her feelings and vice versa.

You see, my mother was abused by my father. In every way possible. Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially. It was bad and from a child’s perspective I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t doing more to get out of that situation. I blamed my mother for many years and was angry until I became an adult. I learned of the ramifications of abuse, then, as if the sky opened, I felt deep remorse for not having protected my mother more. My perspective changed because I was armed with facts.

I like to tell people that when you are sitting at lunch with your friend. Here are three stories going on. Yours, theirs, and the sandwiches. I’m sure many of you have heard something like this before, but really think about it today. When you enter into an empty room you bring everything that has happened to you in your life.

When I walk into a white room with nothing in it I bring in fear of the unknown, the clamor of silence clenches my throat, the stark white walls remind me of hiding in my closet while my father beat my mother, I hate the white room, there is only a straight jacket waiting for me in that room.

On the other hand my dear friend sees a place of rest. She smells the cleanliness of white, imagines floating on clouds, is in a room where there are no screaming, demanding children, white is her favorite color and that room holds naps and psalms of peace for her.

Now, my day usually starts off with a fun workout, relaxed time with God, prayer, meditation, writing, yoga, deep breathing…it’s all good stuff. Her morning is usually jumping out of bed because she has slept thought three alarms and the boys are late for school, rushing them around yelling for them to hurry, never looking in the mirror, no time to call on God and shoving food in her mouth and in the kids months before dragging them out of the house and into the car.

With those two scenarios in mind, once we made it into the white room, you would think our roles were reversed. She is calm, cool and collected and I am a complete mess. It’s all a matter of perspective.

God has a very clear perspective of our lives as well. He has the perspective of a grieving parent, a sovereign employer, a loving father and an omnipresent king. He loves us, he’s jealous for us, his heart aches for our sin and he cherishes us in ways we will never fully fathom. He sees our heart and he loves us for our desire. He is with us through every hardship, every victory, every lie, every altruistic action. He is everything and yet we disregard His vision as incomplete because in our perspective, how could anyone love us when we have those thoughts, or when we do those things or when we act human.

Today embrace what God believes about you. “You are wonderfully and fearfully made.” “You are a new creatioin Christ.” “You have a future and a hope.” Afterall, His perspective is ultimately what matters anyway.

Continue on with your physical cleanse. Let the old perspective of dependence on sugars and starches be cleared from your body and replace those with the new lenses of health and nutrition.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Rain and Cleansing

It’s a rainy day in south Texas. For us rain is essential. It gets hot in Texas and we havent had enough rain over the last decade and we’ve been In this horrendous drought. Life is miserable in the dead of summer in Texas already then you add in the lack of good watering holes and lakes that can’t be easily accessed and you have a lot of angry people who are sweating and gross.

This year has been a good one though. Although it would take ten years of rain like we’ve had to rectify the damage done over the last decade, it is still nice to have the amount of rain that we’ve had. Vegetables are still smaller than they should be, lakes shores are still vacant and the bedrock is still hard and brittle, but there is vast improvement.

A few years ago there was a huge storm in the small Texas town that my parents live in. Again, we had been in a drought for so long that everyone was excited to see the rain. “Bring it on!” We all agreed. That was until I got the 4am phone call from my mom.

“Our house has flooded. We are up to our waists in water.” I wasn’t real sure why my mom had called me. I had rented my whole life and never really had to handle any problems like this. It was the middle of the night and I was glad to know they were safe, but what was I to do at 4am and why had she called me? I am the least responsibe child she has and the youngest. What help could I be?

“You have called and woke me up in the middle of the night plenty of times, I just figured it was my turn.” I think my mom was joking when she said this, but the fact of the matter was…it was true. I was my moms wild child and there had been more than enough sleepless nights around her house concerning my wellfare…I’m sure there still are. I’m not exactly “easy” to love.

I laid back down and closed my eyes and said a quick prayer that went something like this, “God, you know what to do, do it.” and I tried like the Dickens to go to sleep, but something was knawing at me. I just couldn’t get my parents off my mind. As the minutes ticked by, I realized what I had to do. I got up, told my husband that I had to go and I went. As most sane people were driving out of the flooding town, I was driving in.

It was the saddest sight you’ve ever seen. The town they live in is known for being affluent. Many of the homes are beautiful half to multi-million dollar homes. The yards are perfectly manicured, the pools are very well kept, the garages hold 3 cars instead of 2 and most people own that many. It’s just your typical upperclass neighborhood turned town. But that day it was like any other disaster area. You couldn’t tell the wealthy from the poor except maybe by their dogs grooming patterns.

I spent the day with my folks and we did some very utilitarian things. We sopped up water, hauled laundry to the laundry mat, took cars to be cleaned, called rug people, got the poor dog groomed, made phone call after phone call and hugged my mom a lot. You see, my mom has this crazy method of organization; throw everything on the floor and find it later. She also has great taste in clothing, very fashionable, so garments aren’t always cheap in her world. Most of her clothes were ruined. I could feel her pain.

Athough that day went down in the record books as the beginning to a long period of rebuilding, being put out of their home, hassling with hustlers who preyed on victims, esspecially wealthy ones, learning more about flood insurance than anyone ever wanted to know, matching paints, adding trenches, losing the cat only to find it months later in the attic, and sleeping in her best friends guest house for months, it was also the day that the house was forced to be cleaned out…weather mom wanted to or not.

I love this story. I don’t tell it enough. I have had to do “house cleanings” before in my own soul and they aren’t easy. God has shown up to tear down every wall I have built, destroy those false bridges that I’ve tried to patch, rip away the comforts of home that I lean on instead of leaning on Him. It hurts. There is a long road of rebuilding to be had after each one of these “floods”. I dont always like the discomfort and agony that come along with it, but in the long run I find great peace and a better life than the one I had tried to build on my own.

I found this to be true about my moms house as well. She was forced to clean up some rooms and messes that she had been putting off for a long time. They dealt with some issues in the house that otherwise may have never been dealt with, their cars were cleaner, their rugs got washed, the house got a make over. They even got some cool new stuff like a wall they had been contemplating putting up for a while. The house looked and felt like new, even though we all knew the damage that had once been done.

I find peace today in this kind of rebuilding because I know that God is doing a great work in me. Is it always easy? No. Does it always feel good? Almost never. But the benefits far outweigh the pain.

I’m hoping this is how you are viewing the cleanse this week. Embrace the pain, look into the eye of the flood and tell it to “bring it on.” know that at the end of it all the results will be worth this temporary pain.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Fruits

Last night I was able to sit in a discussion about the difference between fruits of the spirit and gifts of the spirit. I love this topic because I have a tattoo on my wrist that represents the fruits of the Holy Spirit as they are outlined in Galatians 5:22-23.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

I used to think how nice it was for God to give us these great attributes. I needed them after all. But it was pointed out to me that fruits aren’t given they are cultivated. God doesn’t just hand over these things, He makes them readily available for those who seek Him first in all situations. I don’t wreak of peace, but when I give up stressful situations to God, I am peaceful. I don’t find great joy in all situations immediately, but when I tell God how grateful I am for everything that I do have I see the joy that can come from all things. And that pesky old self-control, now there is one I struggle with constantly, however, if I turn my eyes and thoughts to God, then why wouldn’t this one be as evident as the others.

That is a dilemma that I face each day. I have the self-control not to cuss out customers that can clearly see I am working hard to make them happy. I have the self control not to cry and plea with my husband each time he calls. I have the self control not to run back to a life of drinking and drugging BUT only because I have given those areas over to God. At any moment I could easily take back the reigns and tell him that I know better than He does and end up right back where I started; Addicted, alone and jobless.

So why is it so hard with the whole food thing? Someone presented this scenario to me once; the food struggle is so hard because you have to take the tiger out of the cage 3 times a day. I have to learn to get along with the beast?? This really takes some God dependence. I must lean into Him even harder. No one puts a glass of wine down in front of me and says, “You must drink this or die.” as a matter of fact, the people that know me well say things like, “If you drink this, eventually you will die.” Maybe not physically, but spiritually, for sure.

So depending on God to cultivate a sense of self-control in these moments is a great and attainable goal. Seek Him in these situations and use Him as a tamper.

God we look to you to shape us and refine us, give us new ideas about food and let us become more dependent on you.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Success, Failure, Courage

I could start this blog the same way I started my blog on day two of last weeks cleanse. Were you a total rockstar at the whole cleanse thing? I was not! That 4pm headache set in and I ran to what I knew would make me feel better; sugar, caffeine, starches. Ugh, and I paid for it overnight. But I woke up this morning and decided that I would try it again today.

I feel like this is how a relationship with God works too. We are SO human. Frail, unbelieving, untrusting, focused on justice, ready to quit, sinners…to say the least. But god waits for us. He cherishes these moments when we can lay down our shame and our guilt and come boldly to Him and ask for a fresh start.

Today is my 4 year wedding anniversary. Now, before you go congratulating me on making it this far, you should first know that after a year of dealing with all the pain of being married to someone in the throws of addiction, my husband left our marriage. Let me follow that up by saying, he had every right to go. Biblically, morally and emotionally. I failed him and God in ways that are unimaginable and I choose to cop out of the marriage a year prior, then begged him back only to destroy it again.

So, today is bittersweet for me. There is so much joy in the memory of what my husband and I built. He is an amazing man and I have learned so much about love and the sacrificial heart of Jesus through him. I look back on our wedding and our honeymoon and I still get chills. My heart skips a beat when I think of the first time I went missing for a couple of days and the grace he showed when I pulled into the driveway. I’m sure he slept very little the night before and I can almost guarantee that he was angry, but when he saw my face the sighed a huge breath of relief that I was alive, he embraced me and told me how much he loved me. He was the love of my life and in that very moment I knew I was safe.

That was a defining moment for me. It was the first time that I experienced what I imagined was how Jesus felt as he was dieing on the cross for us. I was reminded yesterday that God forgave us the moment we asked Him to and accepted Him into our hearts. He loved us so much that all we have to do is ask that one time and our salvation is insured. I forget that sometimes. I would rather be punished. I would prefer God to reign down His fury on my because truly, that is what I deserve. I deserve death, but dog-gone-it, He keeps offering me life. I want a good lashing and a fierce scar to prove that I’ve taken it because, it’s so much easier to be beaten than it is to be loved.

Have you ever felt this way? My human mind wants me to give up. It wants me to say that I am not good enough. That I deserve death. But god has taught me something much greater. He has shown me that His unfailing love comes at the most in opportune times.

Today as I venture out into this world of cleansing again, I will remember that God loves me enough to accept where I am and how I’m doing. He accepts that I have been a horrible wife over the last year and he embraces the fact that I came home and he loves me. He saw my weakness before I did. He knew I would drink that coffee and eat that sugar. He knew that my life would look exactly the way it is right now and although I deserve the worst, I am getting the best. If you saw the shape I was in 6 weeks ago and the redemption that I am receiving today, you too would be shocked.

Keep on going with the cleanse. Even if you don’t make it through one entire day, even a meal or two has benefits for your body. I will resolve to push through the hard parts and if I fall, I will get back up and try again.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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