Web Development: #2 – What to Learn First?

One of the most popular questions most people have when they first start on their journey into web development is which language to learn first? There are many options out there and the quick Google search can be absolutely overwhelming. So let’s look at some common themes that tend to run in the beginner’s circles of web development.

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Blessings From The Lord

A Perfect Life

I think we have all heard the message that the Lord will bless us once we come to him. Once we surrender, give it all to him, and obey him. Somehow, in our minds we think, everything will be made right. We paint this beautiful picture of a life without tears, struggles, pain, even worldly blessings. A perfect house, a perfect job, a perfect family, and a perfect life. Then when go through the storm, we cry out to him asking, “Why are you doing this to me? I thought you were going to bless me? Where are you?” From here, our mind can often travel to, “I am lost. He doesn’t love me. I am worthless.” These thoughts can even lead to us turning away our faith from him.

The Deceiver

We often miss the bigger picture. We have been lied to by the biggest deceiver. Jesus never promised a perfect life with no hardships , no troubles, no sorrow. Jesus never promised a wealthy paying job with a big ole’ mansion on this earth. He offers something greater. You see, we all face troubles, struggles, pain, suffering. A big wallet doesn’t make those issues go away. Often times, we see the wealthiest people are often the most unhappy.

So if He doesn’t promise these grand things, what’s the point? You see, He does promise blessings but they are not the blessings we often think about. Jesus always talks about spiritual things. His concern is not if you sit in the highest seat, what label is on your clothing, how big or even how small your house is, or your social status. He is concerned about your soul.

But He does give something the world can not: understand during our times of struggle, turmoil, and sorrow. This is what He offers. His word is true and in His mouth holds no lies, so you can trust in Him.

The Truth

Comfort. He is our comforter. He provides comfort during our hard times.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

Hope. When the times look so bleak, He gives us hope in things we can not see.

 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) 

Faith. A faith that His promises are true. A faith that is tested even to a point we think we may break but it gets us through. I’ve included just one piece of Hebrews 1, but the whole chapter talks about faith….

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11: 1-3)

Love.  We learn to true love by His ultimate sacrifice. While we were still dead in sin, He was nailed to the cross for all the wrongs we have done. He said you’re worth it. An unfailing love.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. (1 John 3:16)

A true friend. A friend that has seen us at our highest and lowest but still loves us for who we are.  Many of us have had those friends that we hold so dearly to our lives. They have failed us at times. Then we have had friends that showed their true colors leaving us feeling deceived. Even if you’ve never known a true friend, you can. You will never know a greater friend than Jesus.

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15: 12-13)

Peace. A peace that is brought to us in the biggest storm even when our world is falling apart. A peace that the world can not give us.

….and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Light in the darkness. I know as a kid, I was scared of the dark. The darkness can be scary especially to children.  But as we get older, our darkness can be those dark times in our life…. One of our homeschool lessons, I took my girls into a closet and turned off the lights. At first, you could only see the darkness. As our eyes adjusted, we began to see this little sliver of light coming from around the closet door. We tried to snuff out the light using duct tape around the door, rolling up clothing around the bottom of the door. But what was so eye opening, no matter how much we tried to snuff out the light, even the smallest amount of light could still be seen peaking into the darkness… He provides a light when we are on a dark path.

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105)

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Strength. There comes a point in all our lives when our knees hit the ground. We feel weak, broken, and shattered to pieces. If we look up, He can renew us.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Security. In times of fear, we can put our faith, hope in the Lord.

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:10)

Never alone. No matter how lonely you may, He is there with you.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Forgiveness. We have all made mistakes. We all have regrets but He gives us mercy, grace and forgiveness even while knowing our deepest darkest secrets.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,  having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,  that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,  that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

(Ephesians 1:7-14)

These are the blessings He gives us in this lifetime. These are the things that the world does not have or comprehend. But we have an even greater promise. If we believe in Him, follow Him, and obey the gospel, we will inherit a mansion up in heaven. A land so glorious that we often cannot comprehend it but we have that hope, faith, that points the direction. A place where there are no more sorrows, tears, pain, and all the things that trouble us in this lifetime. That is where our hope rests. We know deep down, His promises are true. We see not through our eyes but through our faith.
Even if we have strayed, or have not obeyed the gospel, there is always hope in Him. It’s never too late to turn it around.

And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”  Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.  Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.  Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,  and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. 

(Acts 2:40-47)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The past year

My Journey Through Last Year

It’s been a while since I have posted. And there was a time when I thought I might just pull my blog down from the internet as I didn’t have time to maintain or write on it anymore. Last year was a whirlwind of events. The year started off well. I was beginning to feeling better with my thyroid related issues, had energy, treated my adrenals, and started to feel like a human again. Then a hurricane of events brought me to my knees.

Storms

We had hail damage, tornadoes, high winds. The storm snapped a tree in our backyard in half landing it on our back porch and house. It damaged our porch but luckily didn’t damage the structure of our house. The insurance wasn’t going to cover all of the expense of our porch so we opted to build it ourselves and I must add, we did a great job! It looks better than the pre-existing porch. Thank you YouTube, and my husband’s dedication to researching how to properly build it!

Vacation, Family, and Just Being Busy

Shortly after (I think it was maybe a week or 2) the construction workers re-roofed our house, we built our porch, and we were headed for some much needed vacation. Then 2 weeks (I think) later family came in. Then many more visitors, events, and just being busy . I don’t remember every visitor, event but it seemed as if every week, we had something going on. Before I knew it, my dreamed summer vacation was gone. It was time to start planning for homeschool.

Business Trip

This one was a kicker that seemed to make everything spiral out of control.  My husband’s employer “volun-told” him, (I’m stealing this word from my hubby,) that he would be going on a grand adventure for a few months. He had 2 choices; go or lose his job. He had already missed multiple layoffs so he sucked it up and went.

Although they told him he would be going, they never gave a time or date, until 12 hours before the departure. No, I am not joking. At that point, homeschooling would start in about 2 weeks. We had not even decided if the girls and I would be tagging along with him. But 12 hours later, all laundry washed, everyone packed up, we were in the car driving to OKC.  I told myself it would be okay. It would be in our past before long. It could even be fun!

It wasn’t until the time we left that we even knew which hotel was booked or where we were staying. For a perfectionist,planner like me, this was bonkers. This is when the real fun began. The company wouldn’t pay for the hotel on the weekend unless he was working on a Saturday. Most weekends, we drove 6.5 hours home. On Monday, we were making the drive back. The hotel and food was covered. A company car and gas for the company car was provided but the insurance didn’t cover me or my girls therefore we couldn’t ride in the vehicle. I hate driving so my husband drove our own vehicle and paid our own gas.

And while my husband had a daily allowance for food, it wasn’t as grand as everyone would think. It was exactly as it sounded. He had a daily allowance. His boss would not allow him to get a week’s worth of groceries. We had to go to the grocery store, or out to eat each and every single day. Since the 2nd hotel served free supper Monday through Thursday, we would eat and then head to the grocery store every…single…day. Sometimes getting snacks, getting food for lunch, stocking up on goods for home, or when we got tired of the hotel food. It sounds great in theory but we got sick and tired of going to grocery store every day.

Hotels

Most would say well why didn’t you just stay home with your girls? We have been through a deployment and we know how tough it is to be apart. Others told us, “Oh how nice, it would be a paid vacation.” Let me tell you, this was far from any ideal vacation I have taken. It was a nightmare. I’ll put things into perspective. Imagine, driving 13 hours every weekend. Being home long enough to unpack, rewash your clothes, repack everything to live in a 1 bedroom hotel room for 2.5 months.

They had problems booking our room in the hotel so it was a constant, “Which hotel are we staying in?” for 3 weeks. Finally, we were booked in the hotel room with the rest of the guys who were volun-told. We thought, “When we finally get in the other hotel, it will make it easier.” The 1st hotel amenities didn’t seem as glorious as the 2nd hotel. The 2nd hotel had a kitchenette, apartment size fridge, 3 working washers and dryers (the 1st hotel room had 1 washer and a dryer that was out of service), Monday-Wednesday free supper and a courtyard.

Sounds great right? Nope, it got worse. The room was smaller, had 1 queen size bed and a pull out couch. The 1st hotel had 2 queen size beds and while it lacked the other amenities, it had a separate sitting area.

Checking In

To top it all off, the hotel staff at the 2nd hotel hated us from day 1. I’m not joking when I say this. We arrived before the other guys and we were told they check in wasn’t until 12PM. We waited around until 11:45 and tried to check in. The manager tells us, the room isn’t ready. Check in is at 12PM. So we waited in the car until 11:51. Seriously 9 minutes before and she still would not let us check in. It wasn’t until 11:57 PM, when the woman, who also happens to be the manager, was a little gracious and let us check in 3 minutes “early.”

Oh and I must add, the other guys checked in as soon as they arrived. One of them literally checked in 15 minutes after our first attempt. My head wanted to explode. Trying to stay positive, we thought, “well, next week will be better…” It was just because this was our first time staying there. Finally, they began to allow us to check in when everyone else did. But the issues didn’t end there.

Basketballs

So the courtyard also had 3 basketballs out when all the employees were there. One of the times, I took my girls down to the courtyard to play their energy out. There was one ball out there. One of the nicer staff members told my daughter, I will go get you another ball. Ok cool. My girls won’t fight over the ball. Maybe things were looking up. I’m just stressed and think they hate us. HA HA HA!

At the beginning most of the balls were just left out. But then they were missing one day. No big deal. I told my daughter to go ask for 2 balls. She comes back with 1 basketball. I thought you went in for 2 balls? She tells me, ” The woman said they only had 1 ball.” I set there for a second and the more I sit there, the more furious I get. I ask, “Which lady was it?” It was the same woman. I calm myself and tell myself, “don’t get blow your fuse.” Be Christ-like and be kind. I go in there and ask politely for another ball. She tells me with an attitude, “We only have 1 ball.”

My temper rises but I keep my cool. “There has been 3 balls out there every day.” Point blank she tells me, “We only have 1 ball.” I retell her about how one the other hotel staff gave us another ball when there was one already out there. She asks me if I want to come look back in the office. I tell her no but now I am confused. She haughtily goes back to the room behind the desk and keeps saying they only have 1 ball. As she starts rolling, I say rolling, it was more like chunking the balls with much emphasis toward the front desk. She picks up one that is flat and kind waves it in front of me.

At this point, I’m ready to come over that desk, but I keep telling myself, “Be Christ-like.” Like a mantra. After this, she regathers herself or maybe because another customer walked up behind me that she seemed chummy with, she places the balls on the desk and says they do not belong to the hotel. Then she kindly tells me I can take one though.

I’m in shock from what at what had just unfolded and seeing 3 balls, it might have been 4 with the flat one, so I ask, “Are you sure?” She replies calmly, “Yeah sure. It’s fine.” I hesitantly take the ball, tell her thank you, and go back to the courtyard. From this point on, I avoid her like the plague. It went smoother once I avoided her but I felt like an unwelcome guest from this point on.

The Kindness of an 8 Year Old

I must take the time to brag on my daughter. After this incident, my daughter had to ask for a ball again another day. I told her, just ask for 1. Ya’ll will have to share. I didn’t want any more trouble and just didn’t have the energy to fight it. She goes in there and it’s the manager. My daughter tells her with sincerity, “You look very pretty today.”

As parents, we think we are the teachers. But that day, my daughter taught me, no matter how ugly someone can be, you can always return goodness to those who have not been so kind. I was overwhelming proud of my daughter’s kindness. I had every intention on reporting this manager after it was all said and done. But after seeing my daughter’s good heart, I decided I wouldn’t. I would try my best to show her kindness when I really didn’t want to.

Business Trip Coming To An End

Towards the end of the business trip, I got sick. And was flat out tired. I stayed behind for 2 weeks. My husband begged me to come with him for the last week. Like I said above, we have been through a deployment and we realize how precious time is together. After a long and bumpy road, OKC was finally in our rear-view mirror. Things had to be looking up from here…right?

Birthdays and Holidays

Completely exhausted from all our travels, the stress of my husband being on a new product line, birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were up next. My husband was working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. By the time Thanksgiving hit, I started experiencing anxiety. I knew something was off so I went for blood work.

Anxiety, Adrenals, and Thyroid

My Rt3 was high, ft3 was declining, my iron labs were off, and I had anxiety. I had never experienced anxiety. I began working on my thyroid. I pushed through and felt like I had overcome the anxiety. Now it was Christmas. I ordered every gift online because I knew I couldn’t handle the busyness of crowds. And I honestly just didn’t feel the holiday spirit.

Then I was asked to take on a big role. My sister in law had been having lots of health issues. She was going to be going to a holistic facility for a month or 2. My brother had to work and they homeschooled my niece. He asked me to watch her during this time. As the time approached, I would feel worry and anxiety slip in but I would push it aside. I would be okay. It would be fine. No big deal.

When he brought her down, it finally sunk in. And the anxiety hit me like a freight train. A freight train where I had somehow missed the tracks and now was being blinded by the light. A month later and I am still coping with the anxiety. I never knew how much of a burden anxiety could be. I called my sister sobbing, she told me she would be there in a minute to pick up my niece and take on the job I said I could do. My brother was furious and I couldn’t even bring myself to talk to him. I felt so ashamed. I desperately wanted to help, to do this favor for him, but I couldn’t seem to make myself snap out of this hole I had fallen in.

Today

That brings me to today. A month later, I am still coping with anxiety. And while I am not ready to share the details of the dark place anxiety brought me to, maybe in the future I can bring myself to share and let my walls down. I’m slowly getting better but the wound is still sore.

In the meantime, I am still working on my thyroid. I’ve had more blood work done. I discovered, I have the MTHFR gene mutation, excess rt3 more than likely caused by adrenals, high copper. I’m waiting on my adrenals test to come back. And sex hormones are next on my list. I hope someday I can be there for someone who is also going through a tough time.

My Support

I wanted to take some time to show my thanks for all my loved ones who have seen me during one of my darkest times and been there for me to lean on. My husband, my rock, who has been more than understanding and taken up the slack for me when I couldn’t even take care of myself.

My sister, who took on the role of taking on a responsibility that was to be my own.

My mother, despite her ongoing health issues has checked in on me, stayed with me, and listened.

Robin, who I didn’t know very well but reached out to me and also saw me in my lowest, listened and understood.

My children, who have tried to help mommy out in any way they could. This is my support group that I have leaned on so heavily.

They comforted me, understood, listened, shared their own struggles with anxiety and loved me.  To to the Lord, through all my doubting, faith testing, you were always right there with me. You never left me. I could never thank “all ya’ll” enough.

The Journey

As I close this post, I didn’t realize how tough it would be to revisit last year. I didn’t expect the emotions I felt through every single one of these struggles to come back up. I didn’t know how mentally exhausting it would be….. This entry was supposed to be more encouraging.  Instead, it has journeyed through my emotions, experience, and past. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a hard time revealing my flaws, my weakness, my hurt, and opening up. I suppose this journey is just one more footstep towards my healing.  And while it has been hard to believe I will be okay again, I will get through this, I have to believe that I. Will. Be. Okay.