What do a necklace, a cross, and a book all have in common?

I have had trouble finding my usual  joy the past few months.

I’ve been going to the prayer meetings on Mondays. I’ve been going to Chainbreaker’s meetings on Tuesdays and studying about spiritual bondage.  Like the good Baptist, I’ve made sure to be there two times on Sundays and once on Wednesdays.  Granted, I have missed a few here and there due to sickness and once for being out of town.

Still no joy.

Let me add that this is not me.  I flee from negative people in an attempt to not be contaminated by their aura.  The normal me thrives in light and not darkness.  Do not tell me how horrible your shoes are….: tell me how the holes on them are built in air conditioning.

Christmas neared and I still wasn’t bursting at the seams with the normal holiday spirit. Work was a little stressful. I was dealing with some personal issues.   I was frustrated with other things.  The list goes on.

Christmas comes and I would be lying if I said my feelings were not a tad bit hurt when there was no gift under the tree for me from Preston.  Not even a card.  He had forgotten.   He felt horrible opening his many gifts.  And I had to spend a great bit of time trying to perk him up. It’s a typical day in our lives….. living with memory loss and emotional issues.

I did receive some great gifts from the kids.  Hunter gave me a wooden cross that has ties to Jerusalem.  Chase’s Katie gave me a beautiful necklace with a heart pendant that she had gotten from The Billy Graham Library.   Our Katie had gotten me a journal and devotional book.    At the time, I thought they were gifts of how I was wrongly perceived.   Christian mom.  Christian mom of boyfriend.  And devoted bible studying/journalist Christian stepmother.

My joy was still low.  I was caught up in religion.  I went to church becuase I’m supposed to.  I went to prayer group becuase I started it and I was expected. I went to Chainbreakers becuase Preston looks forward to it every week. He plans his week around it.

During some downtime this past week, the Lord showed me the real meaning behind those gifts.  He used 3 beautiful people(Big Katie, Little Katie, and Hunter) in my life to show me “hints” of how to get back on that lost path. He reminded me how I’ve strayed from His word, strayed from praying.

It’s hard to pick up a bible and just study His word when you haven’t prayed honestly and earnestly.  Then you don’t want to pray when you don’t know the words to say or the shame is so great. So if you’re like me, you get caught up in religion.

In 2019, I’m praying to break free from religion and find that joy that comes from seeking HIS face and can be found nowhere else.   May I reach up and rub that heart necklace and be reminded of who loves me unconditionally.    May I find time and desire every morning to read the devotional, study His word, and write my prayers in the journal.  May the Jerusalem cross hang as a constant reminder to me that my burdens will never be as heavy as those that my Savior bore for me and you.

May I never be so comfortable in my own salvation that I stop sharing His love and His word with others so they may be saved from Hell.

That’s my New Year’s resolution. How about you?

Until next time,

the grateful bean counter








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