Life’s Puzzle

Realizing what is important in your life…. God, your health, money and believing in yourself enough to find love again. Find the piece to your “life’s puzzle”.
When you find the missing puzzle piece you realize that you can have a complete life it’s not easy but it’s worth the effort.
But when you find it, the missing piece you know when you’ve found it. It feels right and it starts to come together smooth and easy and with out effort. God driven plan that unfolds right before your eyes. It feels good, looks good and is sound, sturdy and solid.
It’s feel complete, satisfied and content. Your happy and feeling pleased with where you are.
Giving yourself the chance to grow from your past mistakes and realize what is worth it and what isn’t! But when you “fit” and you realize the beginning of what you’ve wanted and desired and dreamed of is within your reach if your willing to go for it and move on…
Thank you God for the simple things in life… for the simple life and for the many blessing but mostly for my missing puzzle piece….. I found it when I wasn’t looking but God was looking… I am so very glad!

In a Relationship….

Well when you take that leap of faith and you put yourself back out there and you believe in yourself again enough to put yourself back into a relationship after you have been broken and you know that God has His hand in it and you go into the relationship with an open heart and an open mind and you finally realize that you are worth the effort that it takes to be in a relationship again you realize that you have learned from your past mistakes past relationships and can see and know what it is that you want. It’s now finding out if they want the same things that you do, and how to realize that your a “couple” and it’s not a one sided relationship that it takes two people and God to help you make it as a “couple”… it’s compromise, it’s forgiveness it’s sacrifice and it’s believing enough in yourself to realize you are worth the effort it takes to be in a “relationship” if both of you are ready to trust again and love again even after being broken and hurt but you’ll never know if you don’t try…… you are worth it!

Dating Again

When you take that leap of faith and you put yourself back out there you open yourself up for the opportunity to get hurt again or to feel again or possibly even love again. When you realize what you want in a relationship and your not willing to sacrifice on what you want it’s amazing what your mind tells your heart… God knows what He’s doing even when we don’t.
I am worth being with, I am worth being cared about, I am worth the time it takes to be in a relationship, your with the work it takes to believe in yourself enough to know that you can determine what happens in your life. It’s all in your attitude! If you are open to all kinds of possibilities then you maybe surprised what can happen… There really is the chance to be happy and have fun and smile again and laugh again…. Thank you God for loving me enough to let me realize that I am worth loving and that I can smile again and I can have a hand to hold again and enjoy what ever comes my way……

Being Worth It….

Enjoy the peace and quite and reflecting back on one’s life…reflecting back on the choices and decisions you make in your life and realizing that if you’ve learned anything from the situations you’ve faced good or bad then it was worth going through it, even if we can’t see it at the time. I’ve learned so much about myself. It’s not a matter of being good enough for someone, it’s more about what each of you can bring to each other. It’s respect for the other person and their feelings and not being selfish and only thinking of yourself. No friendship, or relationship can be one sided it takes two. But realizing no relationship is perfect, I’m not looking for perfect, I’m looking for worth it! ♥

Getting Your Life Back…

Getting out side your comfort zone is not always easy…. you have to face the fear before you can move on.. I realized if i want to get my life back I have to go for it.. I have to step out and realize moving forward can be fun! Live a little and smile again and laugh again and be who it is that you are… going out with friends and listening to music and having a drink and realizing it’s okay to have fun and not feel guilty because your living again and getting your life back because you never know what’s waiting for you out there!

My Story.. in My Words…

I want to dedicate this to My Friends who helped me to realize exactly who I am and loved me when I didn’t love myself….
I am just an ordinary woman, who is no different from you or anyone else. But what I want out of my life may not seem ordinary to you at all.

As my life’s many experiences have taught and reminded me every day, each of us has our own journey in this life. What follows is my journey…. in words.

Both of my parents were and are alcoholic’s, I come from a divorced family. At a young age I was sexually abused. I felt abandoned by both of my parents. Not long after that , both my Parent’s gave up their parental rights and I was given to my Grandmother who not only raised and loved me, but she did all that she could do to help me deal with the feelings of abandonment and inadequacy that left me with a feeling of unworthiness, as well. I thank God for my Grandmother for all she did and gave to me—even if she and I didn’t conquer my struggles regarding my self-image—struggles that I have been dealing with and that are rooted in the fact that I was abandoned by my parents. I am not sure if anyone ever gets over the feeling of being abandoned, or sexually abused but acknowledging and addressing those feelings can lead to a positive journey in one’s life—if we allow it too.
I struggle with my weight, and I have for many years, in fact. Food has been and still is my comforter. This was especially evident when I moved here to Illinois 24 years ago. I was barely 21. At that time of my life, I left everything that I had ever known, the church I’d grown up in, my job, my “boyfriend”, my friends, and even my Grandmother. I moved here, wanting to have a relationship, with my Dad who had been absent in my life.
Little did I know something’s aren’t possible!

However, two things I did realize when I arrived here was that I was alone, not just lonely, but that I forgot about leaning upon God as it pertained to all areas of my life. Food became my comfort, my escape and my partner. It didn’t take long before I was gaining weight.
I guess you could say I am a “curvy or big girl”, but the funny thing to me is that I don’t feel like a “big girl”. I still see the young woman I was when I was thinner. She’s still here, and now more than ever, she’s trying to get out. She sees herself happy, smiling and laughing and even flirting. Yes, I said flirting!
In the past 12-18 months, I have had a lot happen to me. These things aren’t what define me, but they do play a part in my story. I am recently divorced, my husband and I were together for 21 years, and I thought he was my best friend and my soul mate. I will never forget the first time I heard the word divorce come from his mouth. I felt abandoned once again, and my heart sunk. I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word “divorce”, let alone think that’s where my future was headed. However, after my husband left me and our divorce was finalized, there have been so many other wonderful people who entered my life, along with some priceless experiences from which I have learned a great deal.

If there is one positive that has come from my divorce, it is that I now truly believe that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Without a doubt, I am sure most of you, at one time or another, have heard and/or spoken the phrase, “God won’t give you what you can’t handle”. Well, I am not too proud to admit that the divorce broke me. My husband told me that he didn’t want to be my “rock” anymore. At the time, I truly had no clue as to what he was trying to tell me–at least not at that very moment. Boy was I in for a rude awakening! Compounding matters was that I didn’t want to be a failure at the one thing I wanted most of all, a marriage! Not just an “ordinary” marriage, but one rooted in trust, honesty, communication, respect and love. Two more painful lessons I was about to learn. The first lesson was that, no relationship, much less a marriage, will work if you don’t love yourself. One person can’t be anything and everything for both parties in the marriage. Second, I was faced with the harsh reality that I had to take care of me, for the first time in my life. Before I could effectively take care of myself, I had to LEARN HOW to do that in the correct manner. Like many people, especially women, I was always good at taking care of everyone but me. I also asked myself some hard, but long-overdue questions: Why is it that I keep giving up on me? Why do I sabotage my own self? Why aren’t I worth it? After taking a long and honest look at Victoria in the proverbial mirror, I told myself that real, genuine and lasting change is never easy, but the reward was and is going to be worth any amount of struggle and pain that I’d endure during the growth, learning and maturing process.

During this process, God and the Holy Spirit not only helped me but came to me, spoke to me and made me realize that I had Him, He had not abandoned me at all and made me realize that even though my marriage was over, and although I felt abandoned and heart-broken once again, I wasn’t a failure. These experiences were merely part of the bigger picture and plan that God had for me and my life. My real journey had just begun…
A few months ago, just before my 45th birthday, I heard Pastor Andy mention that there would be an opportunity to get baptized. I thought about it, and realized that God planted a seed in my heart about getting baptized. I also knew it was time to begin again. I had grown enough in my journey and trusted myself enough to know I needed to show God I was changing from the inside out–so I got baptized and finally realized I could forgive myself for everything in my past that I still hadn’t forgive myself for and move forward.
This path that I am on hasn’t been easy, but sometimes you have to dig deep inside and find your inner-strength and realize you can do anything as long as you have God, good friends and your church family beside you to help you and love you.

I still have mountains to climb, stones to move and pounds to shed. With God ordering my steps, I have no doubt that I will see all my hopes, dreams and goals come to pass!

I really like who God has created in me! To be able to truly believe in myself enough to want to be pretty, to look and be attractive on the inside and out, all while liking and loving who and what I have become! There is nothing ordinary about being a person who struggles with his or her weight. What is really sad is that this is a fact the sad truth, it’s everywhere in our communities and nation. Being overweight, it’s a reality that is hard from which to hide and/or escape. That being said, hiding isn’t going to solve anything, I have finally learned. I’ve come to learn that that my body is a temple. I never saw it that way before in my younger years. Now, with Christ playing a huge part of my life, I get it. He lives inside of me, so I am his temple and He deserves a healthy place to dwell–and so do I. Learning to love who you are isn’t an easy task, but it is a task that I believe we should all undertake, at some point in our lives. It’s like looking at yourself and realizing that you don’t like what you see anymore, and actually making the choice to make that change. I’ve made the choice and I am not going back–ever!

Pastor Erik gave me food-for-thought one Sunday in his sermon, when he mentioned that he walked the parking lot searching for the answers that God had placed on him. It made me realize that it reminded me of a track, a circle of hope; a chance to be somewhere safe and know that it was a way for the community to see our church as a safe haven. Our church was a great place to start “Walk for Hope”, so I took a leap of faith and talked to Mary Elise and Sue Smith and they gave me the encouragement I needed to follow my heart and start and even lead it! Someone, no me, who had long been just an ordinary women, someone who in her past had been hiding behind her weight, and was now breaking out of her shell in addition to having already lost 100 pounds, came to understand and realize that in my own struggles, I could possibly help someone else with theirs and we could somehow help each other! That was in March, and not only am I leading “Walk for Hope” but another vision of hope, was Made to Crave, my newest adventure, a chance to not only to empower myself but others struggling with weight too.
Most of you here have seen me grow and bloom right before your eyes, but I couldn’t have done that without each of you, my faith, and realizing that I am better with Christ and Him giving me the strength I needed to begin a new to have that new beginning, that new start.

A relationship is not based on the length of time you spend together; it’s based on the foundation upon which it has been built. And I know now that it wasn’t necessarily wrong to want my husband to be my rock, but what I now realize is that no one person has to be my “rock”.

I know now I can rely on Christ and myself as well as my friends, members of my church family to support and love and encourage me. Above all, I have also have learned that seeking God’s direction, wisdom, counsel, plans and purpose for our lives should be what any relationship should ultimately strive for.

Our lives shouldn’t be ordinary they should extraordinary……

Cross Roads….

Seeing the miles of road fading in the rear-view mirror and with the sunroof open and looking out the window… I just keep driving but where am I headed? It’s my heart I am following this time… There are lots of roads that lead everywhere and no where…how do you know what path to take? What road to choose? It’s called faith, it’s called believing in something or even believing in yourself and trusting your gut… your own intuition.. Trusting yourself and knowing that you may make a wrong turn but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Is it scary yes, but what part of life isn’t scary? How do make all the wrongs turns in life right..how do you turn around and stop living in doubt? It’s okay to realize that life isn’t perfect and that we are going to make mistakes but choosing to learn from those mistakes that’s when you’ve reached the cross roads in your life when you can start to be adventurous and live again and trust again and love again.. love yourself again and like who are even if some of those in your life faded away like the road behind you… you can’t keep looking back and wondering what about the what if’s… you can’t pretend anymore.. you have to face the roads in ahead of you…. and welcome what you find…. the cross roads of life…..

Moving On….

It’s when you realize that you aren’t cured, or healed, or over the pain or the hurt of having a broken heart… it’s the reality that they may have left you, but it’s when you realize maybe they have moved on…. to someone else… and your not prepared for the reality that you’ve been replaced. That you weren’t their last…not their last thought or desire or love… It’s more of how is it so easy for them to move on? Why doesn’t it seem that easy for you?! Because we’re still healing, grieving and remembering what it was to us… it’s still important because feelings were involved and we have emotions that we simply can’t throw away as easy as they find it..
We’ll never really know what pain they felt, if any.. that’s between them and their God.
I know, God knows my heart and where it lies and that although I was not a perfect wife I did the best I knew how to be… No one can ask more of you then that. Does it make it any easy? NO! It just you have to pick yourself up, and move on not for them but for You! Your worth it, worth caring about yourself and realizing that your marriage wasn’t a failure it was a journey and that journey have come to an end and a new one has already begun.. so it is time to move on… just take God with you because when we need strength we can rely on Him

Storms….

Have you ever just thought about the different storms in our own lives….I have heard of the saying there are many “seasons to our life”… but I think there are storms that “roll in” that we have no control over… we can hide from the storms that rage around us or can we pretend that they don’t exist. So, when we think we are about to battle a storm remember that we have shelter, we have a place we can dwell in that will help us with the storms that seem to be in our paths… we can take cover in God and He will keep us safe. He knows when you are afraid, and when you are scared to try and if we simply ask Him to help us get through this storm He will… we hear the thunder and see the lighting but that just means we’re alive… and sometimes in the storms we have to find the peace of the rain showering us and helping us to realize that with every storm there is a silver lining or a rainbow that let’s us know that God is there and He will guide us through the rough storms that we face……

Walking For Hope…

It’s more then a group I started at my church it’s more of a promise of hope to myself to know that I believe in myself enough to know that I can change me and my life as well as help others along the way. But how? By walking… just walking… getting off your duff and actually walking, turning off the television and getting out of the house and putting on a jacket and a pair of sneakers and taking a chance on you and your dreams.
Remembering what it’s like to be free, not having to answer to anyone but to God and yourself and remember that you do matter that you are important and not to give up on yourself.
Life is short, after yesterday the attack in Boston people who were running a marathon in some cases for someone else or possibly for cause or to better themselves were taking a chance on living a life that they love… feeling the wind in their face, their feet beating the payment and being satisfied with the feeling of finishing a race to make a difference… but you can’t stop just because a tragedy happened, other wise we are always going to look for the tragedy in our life to let us know it’s okay to quit… but is it really…is it okay to quit on you, aren’t you worth it? I am worth it, and that’s why I am walking for hope… a hope that I will find myself beneath… what’s kept me safe my weight… it’s time to move… and walk for hope…