GRACE

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7,8a.

When I started this blog, I promised myself and you that I would be honest about my journey then and now.
One of the worst things about Bipolar Disorder is coming down from a high. I have been on an even keel for a long time. A few weeks ago I started going on a real high. Everything was great: EVERYTHING. Nothing was going to stop me from doing anything. My impulses were high. It is like climbing up to the top of a roller coaster and then getting to the top and feeling the rush of the first fall. If you have ridden the Hulk it is like climbing and then being shot out. It is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. You are on an extreme high, yet you are totally out of control. You have the world at your feet and you can handle everything.
But then the cracks open and the dam begins to leak. You have come to the screeching halt at the end of the roller coaster and you hit an emotional brick wall. The little man in your head starts to give you little hints about your weaknesses. NOTHING you do is right or worthy of anyone. You don’t deserve the love of your friends and family. You are so alone in your thoughts. The loneliness is unbearable and welcoming at the same time. It is hard to get out and see people. Paranoia creeps in and you believe everyone is looking at you funny and think something is wrong with you.
If it were not for my job at Alabama Outdoors right now it would be worse. There I am forced to be with people and put them first. It is the best thing for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately I cannot work 24/7. I have a family to take care of. It is harder at home than at work if you can understand that.
I am trying hard to lean on God right now during this dark time. I know just by His grace that I will be all right in the end and this dark place will not last long, hopefully not as long as usual since I have Him, the support of my husband and sharing my story with you. My intention in this post is not to bring you down or feel sorry for me. It is for you to understand that I still battle it. It is something I live with day in and day out. But God gave me the strength to share my battle with you so that if you are one who suffers, or have a loved one who suffers, you know that there is hope that you can get off the roller coaster and enjoy a fun water ride instead:)
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WITNESSES

I randomly opened my Bible this morning and these are the verses that were laid upon me:

“Return, faithless Israel; declares the Lord;I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever” Jeremiah 3:12
“Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding” Jeremiah 3:15.

I have not written lately because apparently I have carpel tunnel syndrome and it hurts very badly to type. But this post is worth the pain:) This will probably be a short post but one very close to my heart.

I have turned my back against God lately and it has shown in my countenance. When I was interviewed at Alabama Outdoors, nothing was asked or mentioned about my faith. However, almost every person with whom I work on the sales floor has a very strong faith in God. It has bowled me over. It has been over time that I have learned this.
All of these strong persons of faith were not blatantly revealed to me until after I received my “God rock” from my guardian angel a couple of weeks ago. Ever since then God has revealed himself in so many ways: especially at work.
One guy with whom I work is an incredible witness to God. He doesn’t walk around spouting off scripture in your face, or judge others about their beliefs or them as a person. He walks around the floor with a smile on his face and a little notebook every time he has a thought or inspiration from God. He writes beautiful Christian songs and plays them over the sound system at work. You can’t help but believe that God exists when you are around him. Each person has their own unique story about their path and it is a treat to hear them.
I have always been told and believed that there are no coincidences; it is God at work always. Look around you and pay attention to the little angels God puts in your life everyday. AND come to Alabama Outdoors and meet all the incredible people with whom I have the privilege of working. We are also having our big sale right now:)
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WHEN I GROW UP

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When I Grow Up

The enchantment in her big brown eyes
As she held my veil mirrored my own
My little girl dreams had come true
I was Princess for the day

I prayed to God
To give me a blessing
Of meeting my soul mate, my best friend
Answered prayers are a gift to cherish

God sent an Angel to watch over me
On my special day
A little girl dressed in white
With big brown captivating eyes

Her eyes showed me
Life is full of promises
God is with me
Every step of the way

 

God’s Little Gifts

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The closing shift at AO can be an interesting at times. A few of my co-workers have been there since 9 or 10 that morning and are ready to leave. We usually begin to do the closing jobs around 6:30 and we close at 7.
Last night was and even more interesting one. It was 6:59 and three people decided that they had to shop at AO. The closing manager was actually about to lock the doors. He was standing at the door with the keys in his hands.
One man walked in looking like he was on a mission. At one point he walked into the shoe department so I followed him to see if he wanted to try on some shoes. He asked about the price of some shoes but didn’t ask to try them on but sat on the bench and reached in his pocket and handed me a rock. He said here, take this rock. I got it when I graduated from Architecture school at Auburn. I looked down at the rock and it had a “G” on it and 2014 written on it. Okay, this guy was a pretty old guy. He could easily been in his mid ’60s. He looked like he had spent MANY years following Jimmy Buffet around the country. His graduating in 2014? Very interesting. I couldn’t just brush this guy off. He was a customer and he was very interesting. Plus he could have been and undercover customer sent by the owner to make sure we treat every customer with the same respect whether they spend five hundred dollars or nothing. That wasn’t the reason I was nice to him. I generally thought he was a neat guy.
He got a phone call so I walked away finishing some of the cleaning and dusting I was doing. Well Rock Guy walked up to me again and asked my name and told me his. He then told me about a dot com in which I should invest. Again, interesting. He eventually left and I told my boss about my rock. We laughed about what the G meant on it. We said it could be a lucky charm and laughed about winning the lottery or other good changes in my life. Then he said he is a praying man and maybe God had “sent” this man and the rock. The more we talked about it the more we decided that possibility held some merit.
I haven’t had any drastic changes in my life yet. I have drifted away from prayer and reading my Bible lately. The past week I have started turning back to God and reading the Bible to help guide me in the direction God wanted. I can’t help think that God sent this man to me to say “hey Lulu, I am listening to you”. This could be one of God’s little gifts that tells me I am going in the right direction.
I am going to change the subject now but last night we had an AO gathering at Red Mt Park. We all did the ropes course and they fed us pizza. It was a lot o fun to see my new friends in a casual setting. I highly recommend taking your family to do the ropes course together. I cannot wait to take my kids and Dennis to do it as soon as Mait is cleared to do it. The staff was top notch. I was very impressed with the caliber of young men who helped us through some parts of the course and the management staff as well.
I hope all of you have a good rest of the weekend and that God sends you each a little gift.

GOD PUT HER TO USE

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She snapped one day
The tragedy hit her hard
She knew something had to change
She had to do something

On impulse she bared her soul
Consequences be damned
Maybe one person would be helped
Maybe God could put her to use

The floodgates opened
Thoughts fighting to get out of her head
and onto paper…
God was putting her to use

She was stupefied by the responses
So many hurting people
Grateful to have someone understand
God was putting her to use

But her own disease
Reared it’s ugly impulsive head
She forgot 5 important reasons
To reign in her impassioned editorials

How can she tell others
“It starts at home”
When she ignored the pain under
Her own roof?

Was God putting her to use?
By nature of her disease
She pushed send
Not thinking about the fallout

God is putting her to use
Her desire to reduce the stigma
Still reigns strong
Reaching out to those who suffer

But her direction will change
Aspiring to nurture her family
To a strong core
Ensuring their emotional health

Her stories will change
The lighter side of life
Will reign
God is putting her to use.