Choose Life

Yay! It’s Friday, again. Great end of the great week. I’m so happy today because of the children in my class. They have done great choices lately and they are growing amazingly. I’m very grateful to be with them and teach them.

Today is also time to write for five minutes. Here are more details about Five Minutes Friday. The prompt of the day is CHOOSE. What a great word! 🙂

So here it goes…

CHOOSE

choose

I have heard this verse for a week now. After winter break these words have stayed with me. There is always a choice for me to do. I can choose life or death. I can step forward or stay back. I can be positive and grateful or negative and bitter. Whole life is about choices and those are not always easy to make.

In the class I’m teaching I have chosen life. There have been some children with very bad attitude. I tried my best to put them in order but it wasn’t working. I thought surely I can tell them how to behave and it would work. Well, it didn’t. But God. I love those two words. When God steps in it’s always great and will work. Simple words from Him; ‘Choose life’.

I started to sow life to them. There are so many ways I can speak life into their lives. I bless them even though they don’t know it. And this life is now growing in them and starting to bloom and give some fruit. It’s amazing to watch how some so closed and distant children start to get closer and trust and receive love and life. There is always always life to choose. And it’s not so hard if I’m just ready to be open and make some mistakes. If I just know it’s not me, but Christ. He is the Life, not me.

Stop5-minute-friday-1

Click here to read what others have to say about “CHOOSE“.

Five Minutes Friday: SMALL

It’s Friday night and time to join with FMF to write. More details are here. The prompt today is SMALL. There is so much to say about this little word, but I can’t say all in five minutes. Here it goes…

SMALL

I met one friend today and we talked about my life. I told her how hard last few months have been and how I hit a rock bottom. How I felt some people betrayed me. She asked some questions and I answered. Then she took a white board pen and started to draw something. When she was ready she asked “Are you ready to hear one question? It isn’t an easy question, but I really want you to think of it.” I nodded my head.

Is there anything you would like to thank for those people?

images-80

In one moment that small question changed my whole viewpoint. This small question took my focus from what had been done to me into all good what had been brought into my life by those people. Just few words and how powerful they were. Those words were like a big hand which lifted me up from one place and moved me into another. It shifted my whole view. Things which mattered few minutes ago, didn’t really matter anymore. I started to see things via God’s eyes, not via my own. I realized there is always a bigger picture no matter what will happen in my life. God is always faithful and trustworthy. Every season in my life brings something good and something to be grateful for. And whatever happens nobody can take those away from me.

Just a small question and so powerful.

Stop

Click here to read what others have to say about “SMALL“.

5-minute-friday-1

Five Minute Friday: Write

It’s Friday again and time for a FMF. Learn more about it here. Today’s prompt is

WRITE

I love to write. I have been writing since I was a child. Writing was my way to process different things in my life. It was IMG_4529the way to see what I was really thinking. And it still is. Sometimes I just let my fingers write letters. And those letters are forming words and words are forming sentences. And the more I’m reading what my fingers are writing the more I see what’s in me. And what God is speaking to me through my words.

Writing is like pealing an onion. I start from one place and I don’t always know where I am going to end up. When I’m writing I’m following the path I don’t always know before hand. It excites me and brings me joy. I don’t make plans how to write and I don’t have a target. I have thoughts and those thoughts are living their own life.

Writing is a gift. And it’s a gift everyone has. It’s not a privilege for few but it’s for everyone. It’s a way to communicate and express ourselves. It’s a way to tell stories and capture and save memories. It’s a way to come together and share.

Everyone can learn to write and can grow in it. It takes some courage to just jump and write. But it’s worth it.

Click here to read what others have to say about “Write“.

Five Minute Friday: Hero

It’s Friday and time for Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday prompt. I’m happy to be part of this wonderful group of writers who writes every Friday only 5 minutes about one given prompt without editing. The rule is that after publishing you just go and read what others have posted before you and encourage them.

And here it GOes…

HERO

I see this little shy girl. She was too shy to talk to anybody but family members. She was determined and she knew what she wanted, but she didn’t make a number of herself. Her preschool teacher told me she didn’t want to push her to step out if she wasn’t ready. The teacher wasn’t sure how far to encourage her without pushing her.

I thought she would be the one who wouldn’t fly too far out from the nest. That she would be the one to stay close and choose a safe way. That she would never really take risks but go in the middle. She wouldn’t rock the boat, but still live a wonderful and full life.

But she is the forerunner. Yes, she is the firstborn, but that’s not the reason. What she has gone through at her young age, has brought out strength and perseverance. She has a courage to chase her dreams.  She was the one who spent five weeks alone overseas in a  family she didn’t know and who didn’t speak her native language, when she was only 15.  After that she has travelled, stepped out, tried new things again and again. She is still young, only 20, but it seems the world is her home and she is not afraid to face new challenges and new nations, languages and circumstances. I’m very proud of her and I can see where ever she is going to settle down one day, she is going to do it by choice, not by fear.

STOP

Click here to read what others have to say about “Hero“.

5-minute-friday-1

Thought of the year 2014

That’s the thought of the year for me. Many things have defined me during my life. Being a mom. Being a wife. Trying to be the person of the call. Ministry. Expectations of other people. Just to name a few.

At the end of the last year I realized that I wasn’t the person I thought I was. Most of the decisions I had done were either SONY DSCbecause of unrealistic expectations I had for myself or because of what other people said or thought I should do. I realized that I had lived most of my life thinking that I’m the one who is wrong if someone is. If there was a disagreement I was to blame. I didn’t question those whom I loved and respected. I thought even God would be on their side and if I disagreed I would be left alone. I didn’t see myself very valuable and I took all blame on me. Mostly I did it quietly and many have thought I blamed someone else. I don’t think people around me really knew or know how much quilt and blame I have carried inside of me. I never let that stop me and I have always kept pressing forward regardless of my feelings.

During my life many people have rejected me, starting from my dad in my early years. On the moments and times when I the most needed friends around me, they chose to leave and walk away. Perhaps they didn’t know how to handle the situation and it was too much. Or perhaps they weren’t real friends. I started to believe there is something very wrong in me and I myself ended up to reject me. I guess that was the worst thing anybody could do themselves. If I didn’t see myself valuable and important, how could anybody else. I hardened myself and pretended I was okay and would keep walking.

The last year was the hardest of all. In the end of the year I found myself alone. By alone I mean there wasn’t that dearest and closest friend next to me with whom I could talk and share my thoughts. Everything had shifted. At that moment I realized, I mean truly found that Truth that God will never abandon me, I felt freedom. My parents can abandon me. My friends can do it. I myself can do it. But He simply can’t because it’s against His Word and His Nature. Even if I run from Him, He won’t leave me. When I was sitting in that Truth Him revealing Himself to me in a deeper way than before I fathomed how unique and loved I was and I am. And how He really and truly created me to be me. I have thought and read and heard those words so many times over years, but even though some people around me looked for that they didn’t really give me room to grow in it. I knew in my heart that I can count on God.

One person few weeks ago told me that father is meant to help a child to grow her/his wings and to learn to fly. My dad never did that for me because he wasn’t there. I grew up without dad or any man in my life. When I heard it I thought how huge responsibility God has trusted for fathers. And how big is a chance that they won’t succeed in it. But the more I thought it the more I saw that no man can do it without God. And He is my Father to do it. Even if my earthly father failed, God will never fail in this or in anything else. He will help me to find my voice, to grow my wings, to spread them and to fly and soar. There is the voice in me ready to come out. It has been there all along, but I didn’t believe it. This year will be for me to grow my wings, to fly and soar, to find my voice and let it come out.

eagle 2

Time to go forward, but one glance over the past

In the beginning of the last year, 2013, I knew 2014 would bring a shift into my life. I didn’t know what would it be, but I knew it was coming. I had high hopes. There have been promises I have waited for so long and I was hoping that finally something would manifest in my life. But I didn’t know what year 2013 was going to bring with it and didn’t have a clue what kind of shift was waiting for me.

I have been married 26 years and all those years my husband has had an addiction. There wasn’t any third person between us, but this addiction was. I didn’t know it when we got married, but one day it was revealed and it hurt deeply. And it kept hurting me all years. You may ask why did I stay? Well, good question and I am not happy to say that reason was religion. I was taught that divorce is one of those mortal sins. I also made a vow when I was 17 that I would never divorce in my life. I wouldn’t let that happen to my children what had happen to me. When this addiction was revealed I was pregnant and I felt I was forced to stay. I didn’t have any way out. To stay wasn’t my choice, because I didn’t feel I had any options. I was ashamed to tell that to anybody. I felt I was in the prison.

I tried to ignore it. I tried to be a good Christian wife. We talked and argued about our relationship. There was no trust, just hurt and pain. He tried to cure himself and find some help, but it seemed nobody was either willing or able to help. And I wasn’t any better. My attitude was terrible. I still felt I didn’t have any other option so I took it all on him. I had a sharp tongue and unfortunately I also used it a lot. Hurt in me caused me to hurt him. I wasn’t happy and joyful, so I didn’t want him to be either.

During the years I started to know God’s love and grace and it took place of judgment and fire of hell in me. I realized that God wasn’t as I was taught. He was loving and He had good thoughts about me and He would never abandon me. On the time I was getting rid of religion we also hit a rock bottom. And because I knew God now I was ready to separate without any condemnation. Children were still quite young on that time, so we after long talk decided to stay together, but he promised to seek help.

Years went by, he wasn’t free and year ago we hit a rock bottom even harder than before. On the last spring 2013 he moved out and I stayed with almost grown-up children. We talked all through with them and together and I personally felt there wasn’t any other way to go than that. No promises anymore. No empty words anymore. In me there was nothing left to trust or hope. Staying wasn’t an option, but separating didn’t feel good either. I was overwhelmed by feelings like failure, shame, quilt. It brought ‘what ifs’, regret, which was deep. I started to think I was the reason for everything. What if I caused all this and his addiction and all troubles I was going through. What if I never got married? Was I truly so blind in the first place that I didn’t see or did I see, but ignored? I didn’t even know who I was. And even thought I knew God’s Grace I wasn’t sure if God really would stay with me and accept me if I took one more step and got divorced.

Some people around me were saying that I still had to give a chance for him. Others said that I should finally start to live my own life and be free from all pain and hurt and from him. I didn’t know who to listen and even God was silent. I cried, prayed, asked, begged the answer from Him, but didn’t hear anything. Other people were ready to speak into my life what they felt God was saying. I didn’t hear anything. So I started to listen and believe what they said and started to move toward divorce. On the fall I started to deal that in my heart and cut all off which was about him. We took three months when we didn’t talk or see hardly at all. It felt good and I felt I was free. During these three months we had quite great water damage in our apartment from above. Because of it there was great repairs coming and we weren’t able to stay there on the same time. We had to start to look other apartment but it wasn’t easy to find.
And we were in a hurry. We had to move as fast as possible so that they were able to fix all.

Suddenly there was this one amazing apartment in front of us. Big, but reasonable. Good location. Only thing was that I wasn’t able to rent that all by myself. There were two options: take this apartment and move back together OR move into something smaller we had with kids. (We already had too small apartment.) One friend asked me how it was possible that I changed my opinion over night. It was all God. I was getting ready to divorce and move on, but God stopped me. He brought this amazing apartment in front of us and asked if I would trust Him and give Him this year. He had been silent until this moment, but now He asked me to trust Him and have faith on Him. He reminded me that He told me in the end of 2012 this:

chosen 2

So after this encounter with God I made a choice. I chose to trust Him, not man. I chose to put my faith on Him, neither on me nor on my husband. I simply made a choice to follow God and it meant going into this apartment and giving Him a chance. God asked me to see my husband as He sees him, not through my pain and hurt. Just to see him. God didn’t ask me to trust my husband. Just to see him as God sees and keep seeing that way.

With this decision I lost some friends, very good friends. I also lost a dream I thought was ready to take off. It was a price of my choice to follow God. Judgment and condemnation were there again. This time because I chose to build, not to destroy. It took me through pain and hurt again. I can only say that last year was one of the hardest years in my life. I think it was the hardest. Constant pain, hurt, rejection, condemnation, judgment was always there where ever I turned. Shame and quilt was next to me reminding about my mistakes and causing me to regret so many decisions in my life. But it also brought out me. In the end I realized that no matter what I do there will always be those who stay with me and those who won’t. I can’t count on people, not even friends, when it’s about my life, which I’m living. Only those who stay with me through ups and downs and really love me can really speak into my life.

In the end of year 2013 and beginning of this year I realized that all I had was shifted. Everything. My life wasn’t the same anymore. And that brought me peace and joy. I knew all would be great with God. We are still living a short of separation in separated rooms, but taking care of all together. There is peace in the house and we both are ourselves putting trust on God. We are not perfect, but human loved by God. We are building little by little. This is only thing, which is left. And actually even this has shifted. It’s a new year and it brought us into a new place, literally.

Forgive me this was so long. Most of you my readers and followers don’t know me, so I decided to write this to sum up where I’m coming from. It’s all past and I will continue only with the present and the future. It was the hard year and it didn’t dramatically change better on the New Year. There are still days of pain and hurt, but there are also days of joy and peace, which I didn’t have last year. I’m thankful. This is my life and I have learned it’s the best to live my life, not anybody else’s. It’s the best go on with my own expectations, not with anybody else’s.

Reality – my life isn’t perfect

I haven’t been writing in English lately. I have focused on writing in Finnish and if you can read it, you will find it here.

images-47For the last six or seven months in my life, there have been many ups and downs. I have to say, it’s been mostly downs for me. I hit rock bottom in my personal life last spring. Unfortunately it stopped me right in my tracks. Day by day, I lost myself in guilt and discouragement. But what the enemy means for evil, God will turn for good. It doesn’t mean I won’t go through rough times. It means that I’m not alone when I go through them. When I am going through these times, which voice will I listen to? Do I listen to all the lies of the enemy or to the word of Truth from the Lord? Unfortunately, I did listen to lies. I did let my emotion take over. 

My emotions and feelings felt like quick sand. There was no firm foundation underneath my feet. The more I moved, the deeper I sank. The more I appeared to be drowning, the more I focused on myself and my own situation. Life seemed impossible. I simply do anything to help myself. Yet, I tried so hard that it was killing me.

We have everything we need in Christ, yet we are human and many times we react as human beings do. In my past, I tried to be the perfect woman, wife, and mother in a religious way. I had to be up, positive, and always victorious, regardless of what I felt inside of me. I didn’t feel free to be myself, to show my real feelings and doubts. I was hiding behind that perfect facade and people around me didn’t really know me and what I was going through. I have to say I didn’t really know myself.

My perfect facade broke down and I couldn’t hide anymore. I had to be real and admit that my life wasn’t perfect as I wanted to believe. I faced the reality of my humanness. I am not created to be perfect. During those months of pain I became Me, not anybody else.

Up to this day, life is not always easy, but I have to say I’m grateful for all I have walked through and will continue to walk through. I am grateful to God that He opened my eyes to see my reality, clearly. I’m also grateful that I have friends, not many, who stuck with me. They have encouraged me, listened to me and challenged me to keep walking each new day. More coming……