Thieves Don’t Break into Empty Houses

Someone I don’t even know randomly sent this to me on LinkedIn as a congratulations on my new career.

Clinging to this promise has gotten me through one of the toughest seasons of my life, and this is confirmation the Lord has been listening to my prayers. I am grateful for my struggles. I am grateful for my trials, because they give me the strength to bounce back so much quicker than before. I am grateful for life. I am grateful for happiness, and the discovery that the outcome of my life is solely my choice. Nobody else’s. Mine. I am grateful that I’m choosing life, and life in abundance.

The Box Called ‘Normal’

Have you ever had a narrative in your mind, you know, the one you tell yourself about how your life should turn out? The one that’s full of a sense of just getting by, passing through, and essentially keeping everything as normal as possible. Your safe place, where nothing is difficult and everything is perfectly aligned. A place you created in your mind to keep it at ease, where you’re allowed to dictate everything and make decisions that always have the best possible outcome. You can avoid all situations that don’t appear or feel good, as if they were never there in the first place.

Everyone you encounter welcomes you with a heartwarming smile. Each person keeps their promises. Life is captivating. The winning cards are in your hands at all times. There is peace everywhere you go. A blissful soundtrack plays in the background of your never-ending happy medium.

liveyourfairytaleOkay, so maybe your version is a little different, but you get the picture. No one really wants to have their lives already written out for them. Yes, of course, I want to have a sense of assurance that what I’m doing and the route I’m taking is right. But we live in a world full of inconsistency, where we have no control over what is to be or not to be. I constantly find myself frantically trying to meet normal halfway in the middle. Reaching out to grasp the story I’ve played on repeat in my mind – you know, the Instagram feed of someone else’s happily ever after – only to find it’s just out of my reach.

Well, first of all, this is real life – not a fairy tale. And most of the pictures you see on social media are only the highlights of other broken people’s lives. Don’t get me wrong, we all have fairy tale moments and a happy ending here and there, but everything of this world is fleeting – it will not last. So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect? I mean, I take photos on repeat until one is taken that I actually like the way I look in it. I bet you already knew that, though. When I look at myself, all I can see are my flaws. But God sees his fearfully and wonderfully made daughter. His precious diamond in the rough. 

But then… I say I trust God, all the while working my fingers to the bone until I find myself in a puddle of emotions – usually because I’m still trying to control every outcome of my life. I tend to praise God when my normal looks how I thought it would and question Him when it doesn’t. I have even blamed him for the dismantled life I have laid out in front of me right now. Do you know why? Because I consistently have premeditated expectations of what God should do, only to find myself let down over and over again when things turn out completely opposite than I had anticipated. Then He whispers to me that I was not meant to control my life, I was simply meant to live it.

Over the last few years, I’ve ran from heartbreak after heartbreak in my marriage, my career, my family, my health, my friends, my faith… My life is not at all how I pictured it would be right now. You may be in a similar situation, where you were expecting to be somewhere completely different than you currently are. But God has a bigger plan then we can see, a bigger plan than we could ever imagine.

So I continue to hold on. Because I still have hope in the fact that although I can’t predict my future, I can have faith that I will be okay. Better than okay, and always better than normal. I know this because we were never meant to settle for normal. We were meant to be loved, whole, and free!

Whether we like to admit it or not, everyone wants their heart to be full. Well, the Author of the story of our hearts wants to live within the core of our souls just as much as we want it to be full. That is how I know there is far more to all of this than anything normal could ever bring. Plus, normal is boring, frustrating, and full of heartache and pain. Normal is not real, it is simply a story. A story so many of us have conjured up in our minds. A story of perfection and normality intertwined together as one. A story that could never be anything more than fiction. So I’ve chosen to let go of my stories and let God finish this one out.

So, what does your ‘normal’ look like? Is it helping you grow closer to God and live a peaceful life, or is it hindering all that is planned for you? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Don’t Let Your Thoughts Defeat You

Have you ever felt as if nothing ever goes right, like someone follows you around all day making sure nothing good happens? I’ve spent several years feeling inadequate, unworthy, unloved… you know, any bad feeling I could have towards myself and others. Well, since I was never good enough, nothing else was good enough for me.

My poor husband has put up with a bitter, hostile, and negative wife for way longer than anyone should ever have to. But being the amazing man that he is, he chose to never give up on me. You see, he knows the real Tricia. The Tricia that would travel across the world to help the people she loves. The Tricia that brightened up the room anytime she walked in. The Tricia that chose to see the positive in the most negative situations. But somewhere along the line, I began choosing to see the darkness instead of the light.

I can’t tell you exactly why, nor when I took a turn down the wrong road. But it was that same road I’ve travelled down time and time again. The road that has deep, dark potholes that I always fall into. I’m talking about the potholes that seem nearly impossible to climb out of, even if you have the strength to try.

alone bed bedroom blur

I was defeated. Lost inside a nightmare that I couldn’t seem to wake up from. There were many days that I would waste, sleeping for 14-20 hours straight. All of this simply because I did not want to continue doing life. I was extremely unhappy, and my therapist couldn’t seem to fix it this time.

Then God stepped in and pointed out that I am choosing to feel this way. It is literally my decision to be hiding in a miserably dark place, or brilliantly lighting up the room. I’ve heard this, or something similar, many times before. I mean, I’ve even said something like this to someone else! And I’m sure you’ve heard it too. But I haven’t actually heard it and wanted to make a change until recently.

urban decay naked palette

As you may have read in my past blogs, there have been many changes in my life over the past several months. I have taken these life changing events and turned them away from the negativity and shed light on them to be resolved. I have accepted them for what they are, instead of shoving them away until I am wallowing in self-pity because that’s seems easier. Yes, I just admitted that I am weak. But where I am weak, He is strong. He can and will bring me out of my dispair and everything will be good. I will feel good. I will walk higher and talk better. I will look good. All the good things will become reality, for anyone. If it is spoken, it will be.

The Unexpected

Following my last blog, Life Inside the Box , I’m going to tell you the series of events that occurred over the next month and a half. This will, of course, be over the course of a few more posts. But, just to give you a bit of insight on what you are about to read, I was not living in faith. I was living in a state of fear and uncertainty of what was to come next. I believe this is the sole reason as to why I had to go through the unfortunate, yet eye-opening circumstances I am about to unveil to you.

After I was let go from my job, I immediately found another one. This new job came with a substantial pay cut, along with a totally contrasting environment than I expected to be in. You see, I was grasping at straws, trying everything in my power to put the broken pieces of my life back together. Little did I know that if I only had faith that God would provide for my husband and I, things would have worked out a tad bit different than they did.

I had just got off work and was on my way to see a friend, when I was in a car accident that totaled my beloved Jeep. When I say beloved, I mean that I absolutely LOVED my Jeep. But, here’s the kicker: I did not realize that I had put my vehicle (a materialistic possession) before a lot of things in my life. Most importantly, I put it before God and His people. However, in the moment, I did not see it this way. I saw it as the devil pulling me down into the unknown. First taking the highest paying job I had ever obtained, and now the nicest vehicle I had ever owned?! Why was this happening to me, and why, of all times, now? What was I doing wrong? How could I fix this?

My downward spiral began to get out of control. I didn’t know who to turn to or where I would go from here. I had no idea that this was only the beginning of many more life changing events. Though I am telling you this in my present circumstances, please know that I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. Although I may not know exactly what the reason for all of this is yet, I believe that it will all make sense one day. I will know, without the shadow of a doubt, why each and every hardship I have been through came and met me in the midst of my own personal nightmare.

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Life Inside the Box

It was a beautiful Monday morning as I walked into the office towards my cubicle, and, once again, I began thinking, “there has got to be more than this”. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this same, or similar, thought as you walk into your own office or cubicle. It usually starts off small, with a pang here and there, causing you to slowly begin loathing your “box”. Then your boss (or yourself, if you own your own business) is standing over your shoulder, demanding impossible deadlines, and the stress starts to take over. You feel anxious, frantic, worried… the list goes on. I get it. I’ve been in your shoes. I have wanted out of what I perceived to be my cage. To be released into my own world – full of all the things I love to do. Things like reading, spending time with my family, having girls night (without being completely exhausted), and… well, you get the picture. I simply wanted to live my own life, not dictated by anyone or anything.

About a year ago, I decided I was tired of spending 40+ hours slaving away in my cubicle: scattered with paperwork and endless to-do lists. So, my husband and I began our own company, in an attempt to free me (and eventually him) from our 8-5 grind – A.K.A. working for “the man”. Fast forward 10 months later. Although things didn’t go exactly as I had planned them to, I am currently job-free. Friend, I cannot stress to you how serious I am when I say things didn’t go as planned.

At the end of October, I was laid off from my long-term position as an Office Manager for a small family owned business. It was unexpected. It was hard. It was… AMAZING. As I drove back home, a 45 minute to an hour commute, I was overwhelmed with joy. I was crying, but not tears of fear or sadness. These were tears of pure bliss. Until that very moment, I had no idea just how badly I needed out of that painful place I called my box.

Once I got home, the fear set in. What were we going to do? What about the bills? How would we be able to make it through the holidays? I immediately got on my laptop and began cancelling, or pausing, auto-drafts. In the moment, the very first auto-draft I paused was my tithes to the church. That makes sense because I would not have an income coming in, right? Well, it depends on how you look at it. In the following blog posts, I will tell you how I overcame my lack of faith in the unexpected.