All posts by Shannon

I am a sinner that spent years of my life putting other people in God's place. Through some very painful life changes, God used those moments to refine me into the person I am today. This blog is my personal testimony, my story and the truths I learned along the way and continue to learn as a follower of Christ.

It Takes Two by Katy Perry

Everyone that has been in a negative relationship should listen to this song. Although it is hard to admit, we all make mistakes and say and do things we later regret. There are times when in an attempt to prove a point, we blame the other person for their bad choices and behaviors instead of taking responsibility for the only person we have control over, ourselves.

If you are reading this and happen to be in this kind of relationship now, hear this…YOU CANNOT CHANGE HIM OR HER!!! I don’t care how hard you try or what you try to do to accomplish this, they won’t change until they are ready. You can’t love them more or be a better husband/boyfriend, wife/girlfriend, mother/father, etc. Trying to save their soul is not your job. That is God’s job and we are not God. I didn’t learn this lesson until I was going through my divorce. I was still seeing the counselor we saw as a couple because I wanted to fix me. So I asked the tough questions and the one that I couldn’t figure out to save my life is where I went wrong. My counselor looked me square in the eyes and said, “You were trying to be his holy spirit and by doing so God couldn’t do His job.” Wow! That one took me months to process and he was right. I was so afraid that we were heading down a path of demise that I was doing everything in my power to ensure that we never reached that place. I shared scriptures, songs, testimonies, anything I could to open up my spouse’s eyes to the path he was taking in his own life. At the time I really thought I was doing it for his well being, but after some soul searching I discovered I was simply trying to fix him so that I no longer felt the negative effects of his sin. Because in my mind, if he was healed everything else would fall into place. I was wrong. I needed only worry about me and my issues. And after closing that chapter of my life, that is exactly what I did.

Sadly, a majority of us learn these lessons the hard way. But there is good news!!! It is never too late to change. Start by taking responsibility for you and your choices. Go to your Heavenly Father and ask for guidance and clarity in the areas you went wrong or could’ve made a wiser choice. Ask Him for forgiveness and apologize to those you wronged if that is what He says you need to do as part of the healing process. Let Him refine you and mold you into the image of Him and remember that He loves you more that anyone else in the universe!

God Grant Me the Serenity

There is a man by the name of Solomon that has always intrigued me. One night in a dream, God came to him and asked what he wanted. He could have anything he asked for and he chose to ask for wisdom, the ability to discern between good and evil. God granted that request and he was known at Solomon the Wise.
“So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”1 Kings 3:9
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to have the kind of wisdom that the bible speaks of. Not book knowledge, but the ability to have Godly insight. To know and recognize what is true and right.
When I was in drill team in high school we said the Serenity Prayer before every performance. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Oh how that prayer has changed my life and guided me through situations that I had no control over time and time again. Who knew that all those years ago God was preparing me for what He created me for.
I probably should have had a clue about my destiny when I realized that my name, Shannon, means small, wise one. Through each bad decision I ever made to every time I had to make life altering decisions, God taught me wisdom through prayer and seeking His wisdom. Without Him, all I would have is a library of stories in my head with knowledge that is absolutely useless.
My point in sharing this story is first to lead you to seek wisdom in everything you do. Second, open your eyes to the mission that God created you for. You may have no clue what that is so start by praying that He reveals it to you. Think back to the stories that moved you as a kid before the world told you that you weren’t good enough to be used by God. You are a daughter/son of the King and He created each and every one of His children for a specific purpose. Don’t waste another day trying to mold yourself into someone that you are not. Think of it this way: God created every animal for a specific purpose. If a hunting dog spent his time and energy trying to climb trees like his friend the cat, that dog would think he is a failure because he is trying to be something he was never suppose to be good at. Get alone with God and discover the greatness that lies within. Once you discover who you really are, you will be unstoppable!

WARNING: More is Caught than Taught!!!

WARNING: More is Caught than Taught!!!

http://youtu.be/L11s56ALon0

Today as I was preparing my daily posts for my Facebook pages, I ran across this video. As I watched it, my heart was pained by the fact that we all have made stupid choices in front of our children at some point in our lives. As Christians we teach our kids to listen to what we say, often forgetting that our actions speak louder than our words. As my children get older, I have noticed some of the mistakes I made during the most painful years of my life have taken root in their hearts. Luckily God gave me His eyes and His heart during that time and made me aware of my own issues. Without that, I would still be indirectly teaching my kids behaviors that I would never want them to learn. Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way perfect now, but my heightened awareness allows me to see the areas where I need to grow and heal so that my kids don’t imitate my bad behaviors. If you are reading this and wonder how you can know if you are guilty of this, study your kids. They are mirror images of you. If they have a bad habit of being impatient, I would bet that one of their parents struggles with patience. If they have a low self-esteem, odds are a parent possesses that same trait. If your child is negative and sees life with a glass half empty mentality, they learned that from someone close to them that they watch every single day.

I know this is not easy to hear or to accept. As parents we want to raise perfect kids, but in reality that is not possible. No one is perfect and the ugly truth is that we all have baggage and bad behaviors that we caught from our parents, and them from their parents. But we can be the one who decides to make the necessary changes in our own hearts in order to foster an environment that encourages positive behaviors instead of passing on negative ones.

If today, for the first time, a lightbulb came on for you, know you are not alone. God is on your side and is right there waiting for you to ask him to start the healing process in your life. Trust Him!

Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. God will be with you and will never forsake you.”

Dear God,

Thank you for sharing with us in ways that get our attention. As we strive to be better parents, give us the strength and courage to get honest about us so that we can model YOU to our children. We know that we can’t give away what we don’t have so fill us with You.  Help us replace our old ways with Your ways. Thank you for giving us children and entrusting them to our care. Use them to reveal to us our hearts and open our eyes to the damage we are doing without even knowing what we are passing on.

In Your Precious & Holy Name,

Amen!

Maybe you can’t find a solution to every problem at the bottom of a prescription pill bottle

This very subject matter has bothered me for years. Back in 2010, when I was at rock bottom due to several losses in my life, I was told I was depressed and needed to get on an anti-depressant to help me through it. My doctor said it was no big deal and the dosage would be small. He then explained that we would try it for 30 days and go from there. But…that but told me what I already knew. There was a catch. Take the pill and come back so we can wean you off of it. Really? If I have to go through a detox program, I am out! At that point I am just medicating one problem with another set of problems.

If you have read my stories, you know that I went against my gut instinct and took the medicine anyway, or so I thought. I let Satan convince me that I would be fine and I accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills in an attempt to numb the pain God was using to refine me into the person He created me to be. Luckily, God wasn’t done with me yet. I have no doubt that I died that night, only to be saved by my loving Heavenly Father, not a drug!

Now every time I see commercials for medication, I cringe. I wonder at what point did we as a country decide that fixing one ailment was worth accepting a long list of side effects that are actually worse than our original problem? I agree with Matt. Sometimes a little pain is okay to experience. I am not a theologian, but I vaguely recall Jesus purposely placing a “thorn” in the side of Paul, causing great pain. The purpose was so that he would need Jesus and rely on Him for everything.

So what if your current thorn was meant to draw you back to God and instead of going there you turn to medication?

The Matt Walsh Blog

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I haven’t been sleeping well.

I’ve never slept well, actually. I’m up late, even though I’d rather be asleep, and I wake often during the night. When I do sleep, I sleep restlessly. I don’t dream. I’m always tired. Sure, this could have something to do with our 8 month old twins, but my sleeping issues developed long before the little ones arrived.

I tell you this in order to explain why I was Googling tips for curing insomnia. I don’t want drugs. I won’t take them. I just wanted some advice. Specifically, I wanted better advice than “count in your head until you fall asleep.” I tried that one a few nights ago; I got to 3, and then I started thinking about Pi. And then I tried to list the digits in Pi, but I could only remember 3.14. And then I started thinking about the movie Pi —…

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I Choose To Refuse

I have to admit that there are days when insecurities from my past resurface and it quite honestly shocks me. I guess I think because so much time has passed that I should no longer get triggered by anything anymore, but that is not the case. And sometimes I feel that since I have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father that is so deep, I shouldn’t have those fears anymore. But I do.

They live below the surface, buried so deep that I convince myself they are gone. That is a lie. They are still there and with them lives fear. A fear that is a big fat lie that Satan uses to trip me up. He attempts to imprison me. To take me back to the past where I felt unloved, unwanted, and unworthy of anything and everything God promises to those who love Him.

Today, I choose to refuse. I refuse to listen to the voice of the enemy, for he is a liar. I refuse to believe the lie, for he is the father of all lies. I refuse to let my past invade the present, for God has revealed the truth. He is with me. He loves me unlike anyone has ever loved me. And He will protect me from anything Satan throws my way.

If you find yourself being attacked by the enemy, remember that God is bigger. When He said, “It is finished” he meant it. We don’t have to live as slaves to our hurts or fears. We can choose to REFUSE!!!

Have You Prayed?

Over the past couple of days, I have had several conversations with people about how they are stressed out and can’t seem to find a solution to their problems.

I think God decided to teach me a little lesson so that I could turn around and share that lesson with others.

Yesterday there was something that had been bothering me that I had been trying to fix for months. I had done everything I could think of on my end with no success. When the issue arose again, I decided it was time to call on my prayer warrior. I shared my request and not five minutes later the prayer was answered. I felt so stupid for not praying months ago. I thought it was such a small issue that God didn’t have time to deal with such a request, but He revealed that no prayer is too small and every request is important to Him.

The lesson here is this:

1. We can do nothing apart from God and when we attempt to, we only end up frustrated and worn out.

2. Prayer is powerful! Not only does it save time, it lets God know that we rely on Him for everything.

3. God is ready and waiting to provide for us. We just have to be willing to go to Him and let go of our need to do everything in our own power.

What have you been killing yourself to accomplish? Maybe it is time to hand it over to the One that truly has the power to make miracles happen!

Dear A&E, congratulations, you just committed suicide

The Matt Walsh Blog

phil

Dear A&E,

I read that you are indefinitely suspending Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty after he quoted the Bible and said that the homosexual act is sinful. I get it, guys. I do. You punished the Christian guy for being a Christian because you got some angry emails from a bunch of whiny gay activists who lack the spine and maturity to deal with the fact that there are still people out there who have the guts to articulate opinions that they find disagreeable. In so doing, you’ve kowtowed to a pushy minority of vocal bullies who don’t even watch your channel, while alienating the fan base of the one show that keeps your entire network afloat.

Makes sense.

You’ve got standards, after all. You wouldn’t want to be associated with tasteless and inappropriate things. The people on Duck Dynasty can’t be allowed to run around being all Christian-like. It…

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Christmas Miracles

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. God knows our needs and the needs of others and aligns everything to work for His glory. I have story after story that I could share with you, but I will save you hours of reading and narrow it down to just a few!

A couple of weeks ago, I met my father for lunch. He gave me a gift that brought tears to my eyes. He handed me this hat… Image

Now I have not received a gift from my dad for no reason for as long as I can remember. And although I would probably never wear this, what he said when he gave it to me is what pierced my heart. He told me that when he saw it, it reminded him of me. It was at that moment that everything came full circle. He told me he has been going to his church every time the doors are open and that he feels so much better when he is there. Then three days ago, my mom and I were talking on the phone and she mentioned that she saw a mailer from the church I attend and she wanted to go to the Christmas service with my family. I have been attending church since I was 15 and my mom and dad have each only been to one service during that entire span of 21 years. My dad came to watch me sing in the choir one Christmas and my mom came when my middle child was baptized.

I spent years trying to get my parents to discover what I had found all those years ago. Little did I know, they may not have been attending any service but they were watching me. This Christmas He allowed me to see the seeds that had been planted begin to sprout to life. He never ceases to amaze me and I can’t wait to see what comes of this Christmas miracle.

So if you have been praying for someone in your life to find Jesus, keep sending up those prayers because he is listening. You may not see the fruit just yet, but one day the big man upstairs may just surprise you and reveal the work He has been doing all along.

Merry Christmas!!!

Does Santa Belong in our Christmas Celebrations?

I shared one man’s take on Santa. Here is another that may help you decide what is best for your family in regards to how you approach it. Both bloggers make good points, which honestly makes me feel good about my choice in one regard and bad on the other. Looks like I will be taking this one to my Heavenly Father in prayer for clarity!

The Judgmental Christian

santa

Many of us grew up believing Santa Claus magically whisked down our chimneys and left us gifts below the twinkling lights of our Christmas trees. Some of us have even carried on that tradition with our own children. There are also plenty of families who have opted out of the Santa Claus myth altogether refusing to lie to their children. Some families also remove Santa Claus from their families traditions because they fear this mystical character takes the focus away from the celebratory birth of our Savior, which is a valid concern.

So who is Santa Claus? The legend of Santa Claus begins with Saint Nicholas, a man who dedicated his life to serving God and giving generously to the poor. Saint Nicholas was born in a village in Patara, which is the village now known as Demre, Turkey. His wealthy parents died when he was a young child…

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Jesus wants you to judge

I’d rather have you hurt my feelings as you help me get to Heaven, then protect my feelings as you usher me right along to Hell. Amen!!!

The Matt Walsh Blog

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the Ten Commandments. My favorites is the one that says “Thou shalt not judge.”

Oh, that one isn’t in there, you say?

Sorry, it’s easy to forget nowadays, especially in this country where many Christians carry on as though the entire Bible could be summed up by the phrase, “it’s all good, bro.”

In actual fact, there are a lot of urgent truths and important moral lessons in the Bible. Interestingly, almost all of them have fallen out of favor in modern American society. Here are just a few verses that aren’t particularly trendy or popular nowadays:

(WARNING: Politically incorrect truths ahead)

“Whoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone where tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean.”

“Before I formed you in…

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