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Thursday, September 6, 2018

It just takes a minute...

It just takes a minute to acknowledge someone's presence.

I love people. I love talking to people. I love talking to all nationalities. Give me someone to talk to... and you may end up with my phone number. LOL!

I will find something to talk to you about, BUT I also know when people don't want to talk and I respect that... BUT you know what... just because you don't want to talk to someone doesn't mean you should ignore that person.

Oh don't get me wrong... I have done it... we have all done it. But as I have matured as a person, matured in my relationship with God and traveled the world meeting ALL kinds of people I have learned EVERYONE matters! EVERYONE! Everyone deserves a 'Hey! How's it goin'?'.

So let me tell you why this blog is even being written... I think the rudest thing anyone can do is ignore that you are even in their vicinity.

Two incidences happened yesterday that just hurt and got me all riled up and in both situations I was ignored. One was at the grocery store... I looked up at the woman slowly walking toward me, who I know and knows me and she slowly strolled right by me and didn't even look at me... not even a glance. I was dumbfounded... completely taken back that she didn't even acknowledge my presence. I wasn't looking for a conversation... just a 'Hey! How's it goin'?' or a smile.

The second incident happened last night durning my oldest daughter's Volleyball game. This woman who I have known for the past 2 years sat right by me and never once said Hello. Never once looked my way! Then to top it off another women who I have know for a while and have volunteered with in the past also didn't acknowledge my presence either. I mean... what gives people the right. Am I just not worthy of their acknowledgment?

I mean don't get me wrong... I am not having a pity party I promise... it's just the fact that they know me, I know them, they see me and there is NOTHING!

You might be asking yourself... 'Well, Sterling have you said HI to them?' YES I have! You know what happened... a blank stare. So RIDICULOUS!

I am not writing this to cry about my problems. I am writing this to say sorry if you have experienced this kind of hurt. I am writing this as an encouragement that your life does matter. I am writing this to those of you who have done this and continue to do this... to ask you to please stop and acknowledge people... just say Hi and give them some eye contact.

We all just want to be seen. We don't care if you don't remember our names (because who can remember all that... NO ONE!). We don't care if it is a short or long 'Hey! How's it goin?' We were made for community. We were made to love on each other and be neighborly. We were ALL worthy of kindness. So lets all try to give a little more eye contact and give a good 'Hello. How are you?'... this simple acknowledgment could go a long way. It could bless you or bless the person on the receiving end more than you may ever know.

It just takes a minute.



Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Life is too hard.

Life is just so dang hard! Do you agree?

People will tell you that "God only gives you what you can handle." That my friends is bull poop! If you have ever said that... I am sorry and please do not get angry, but there is nothing Biblical about that phrase.

All day long God gives us things we can't handle... maybe not everyday but you know what I mean. I had a friend... actually we are more acquaintances... but we have similar hearts toward serving and of course loving God. Plus, she is part of my home church, Kingsland Baptist Church. Anyways... she lost her son a couple of days ago... Her son who she carried for 9 months, took care of before he was born, prayed over him before he breathed his first breath, loved him when he was as tiny as a bean in her womb, who loved him through the trying times, who encouraged him, who cheered him on... she lost him to a horrible accident.

You canNOT tell me that "God only gives us what we can handle." because this accident could tear anyone apart, rip families apart, and allow the evil one to creep in and speak lies.

God gives us what we canNOT handle, so we will depend on Him and Him alone. To let Him hold you, love you, and sing love over you.

We canNOT fathom his plans or think the way He does, because He is the Master of the Earth. The Master of our next breath. The Master of our life. But, His plan was to take a young boy early... And to the great Author of life... It was the perfect time.

God HATES to see us hurt and grieve. He is grieving with my friend and her family right now... I know it. He is grieving over their pain, because He knows how special Cooper was.

Life just sucks sometimes.

God wants to walk, talk, and love you through your pain. He wants you to depend on Him and seek Him like you would with your best friend. God NEVER EVER wants you to walk in pain on your own... to believe the lie that He would never give you more than you can handle, because my friends... we can't do this life without Him. It is too dang hard and hurts too dang bad.

You may not know what I am talking about and that's okay. Sometimes just uttering "Jesus" or simply reaching out to Him and acknowledging you can't do this on your own reveals to Him that you are trying to put trust in Him and faith that He really is there... and sometimes that is all we can do.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

His Love Defends Me

I have come to realize I felt lonely, because I didn't know this is where I need to be. Nothing as changed in my social status and I am okay with that. I think the Lord has something else in mind... so I will wait patiently.

This week has been so uplifting... even though not everything has gone to plan.

Hailee, my oldest, has a learning disability... it has to do with comprehension and so much more. She has been getting help from our school district... which I couldn't be more happy about. All through Elementary Hailee has struggled! I mean tears, heart ache, and anguish for my sweet girl, who puts her all in to everything and not receive the results she worked so hard for. As a mom and watching your child suffer and not be able to do ANYTHING...it is heart wrenching! But, in the end it wasn't up to me. It wasn't in my control. It was in our Heavenly Father's hands. He has taken her and molded her in to exactly how He made her... not in what I want for her... but, exactly what He made Hailee to be. This is Hailee's first year in Junior High and she is already soaring! She made all A's this past 6 weeks! Y'all ALL As and you know what? She has worked her butt off for those As and she has been greatly rewarded. I am in such praise and gratitude to all the teachers that supported and loved Hailee through all the hard years... and now to be in such a place of confidence and assurance of who she is and can strive to be. The Lord has done nothing less than take this child, shielded her under His wings, and protected her heart. And I sit here in tears that He loves Hailee more than I do and that His love is so deep, so wide, and so unfathomable. He is a good good Father!

If you don't know... my family lives in Houston, TX and about a month ago we got hit by Hurricane Harvey. We didn't actually get hit by the hurricane, but we got Tropical Storm Harvey that sat over us and dumped a TREMENDOUS amount of water over the Houston area! We got 9 TRILLION GALLONS OF RAIN! How much is 9 trillion gallons of rain you might ask... It would fill the Great Salt Lake TWICE, It would fill the Empire State Building 33,906 times, It would cover New Orleans in 128ft of water, It equals 9 days of the Mississippi River flow, and It would cover the Lower 48 states with .17" of water. I mean... SO MUCH WATER!

On a good note, our home did not get flooded. Which we are so very thankful for, because we do not have flood insurance. Our whole neighborhood actually did not flood... our garages took on water, but other than that we were on an 'island'. What a lot of people don't talk about or realize is a lot of roofs leaked. Our roof leaked so much, which left our house with rain damage. For over a month we have been waiting on our insurance company to tell us what we would get from this rain damage (to help pay for the repairs). The past week we have been so eager to hear back from them and we finally did. They told us they would NOT be covering anything. It's a long story why, but in the end WHAT DO WE NEED HOME INSURANCE FOR if they aren't going to pay for a disaster that has struck our house? We were so disheartened the other day. But, God knew this before the storm even hit us. He knew about our hearts desire. He knew we had worry. He knew our feelings. He never once turned away.

After the devastating news that our insurance denied us and now we had to go through the process of FEMA (Lord help us!)... we were offered some help. A friend offered to help pay for our damage and got us in contact with a repair crew (whatever they are called). He guy came out the next day and inspected our damage and there is A LOT!! $8,200 A LOT!! I have been in awe of everything that has fallen into place... we have gotten some financial ad, we have applied for a doable loan, and my husband, Bob has spoken to someone at FEMA. I mean... no we don't have the money to pay for all the work that has to be done to our home, but the Lord has provided and is still taking care of us.

We have never had to go without. We have never not had a safe place to lay our head. We have never had to be on our own. I have felt alone, but this week has given me a new perspective that I am not alone. Not everything is going to be perfect and happy all the time, but I am not alone. His love defends me! This song Your Love Defends Me by Matt Maher spoke to my heart yesterday. He never lets go!

You are my joy, You are my song
You are the well, the One I'm drawing from
You are my refuge, my whole life long
Where else would I go

Surely my God is the strength of my soul
Your love defends me, Your love defends me
And when I feel like I'm all alone
Your love defends me, Your love defends me

Day after day, night after night
I will remember, you're with me in this fight
Although the battle, it rages on
The war is already won
I know the war is already won

We sing Hallelujah
You're my portion
My salvation

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Loneliness.

I have not written in so stinkin' long. LOL! I think I have lost all my followers. LOL! My writing has not been for the lack of the will to write it has been for the lack of time. Time goes so fast... even when it goes slow... it still goes so fast.

I titled this Loneliness, because this is where I am lately. Lonely. As I write please do not take this as a pity party/feel sorry for me or if you know me that you have to contact me, because that is not what I want. I just want to write, share where this loneliness come from, and share examples of hurt.

I am in this phase/stage or whatever you want to call it of loneliness. I have been thinking for a while... what if something happened to Bob or one of my children or even myself for that matter, who I would reach out to... who would I talk to as a close friend. I have come to realize I really have no close friends. Now don't get me wrong... I have friends... LOTS of them, but those friends are the small talk friends, a quick how are you doing friend, or maybe we were close at one time but now we are so distant that now I consider you a small talk friend or even a quick how ya' doin' friend.

Y'all I am LONELY! I go day in and day out working my LuLaRoe business and many days I don't talk to anyone, except Bob and the girls. That is just not enough. I have no one to share with what is going on inside of me or my pain I feel or even just life. But, it seems as though people think I am fine. I can walk around with a smile on my face and laugh and still things not be fine, but it seems no one really cares or asks. But, really who is going to ask if you don't have any close friends.

This day an age people don't talk on the phone anymore... or really have time to talk on the phone. They find out everything about you on Facebook or maybe a group gathering like church. But, what about a rich meaningful conversation.

A friend came up to me yesterday and mentioned asking a few couples to meet during an off hour at church every other week or so at church. She said she wasn't looking for new friendships, but she was good in that department. I shared with her that was not where I was and that I was lonely and needed close friend(s). She blew my loneliness comment off. She didn't ask me about it. She didn't say something like oh my I will pray for you. She just blew it off like oh Sterling will get over it. Don't get me wrong this friend is very sweet and I love her... she didn't blow me off intentionally, but it hurt. I was not heard or listened to that the pain I was sharing was real and to be honest I was expecting some compassion.

I have been praying asking the Lord to show me where he wants me. I have asked him if this is where he wants me right now. So I continue to seek him, pray, and today I decided to write. I guess I just wait... because sometimes waiting is all you can do.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day 1 and 2 on the Ground in Pindobal

I have issues... Day 1 I had major pride issues. I knew this could be and issue from the beginning. After the first Amazon meeting it didn't take long for satan to say to me "Remember you don't have anything important to offer to these people.  You have no medical skills to help with their aliments. What are you going to do? You are not going to bring glory to God! It won't matter if you teach these kids, because it won't affect the Kingdom." This has been twirling off and on in my mind. I am going to be honest the first day I had a bad attitude, because I didn't feel appreciated, like I (we) were doing the "important" work, and  we were getting overlooked because we weren't bringing physical relief or praying with people to receive Christ. This is how I felt after lunch. I had a really bad attitude... A bad taste in my mouth. All day my bad attitude lingered. I know this was horrible... Please don't judge me, but God met me right at my bad attitude. He met me in my pride and pouty attitude. He didn't leave me, because I was acting undesirable. I felt His compassion and repented. Ever since that moment He released me from shame that likes to rear its ugly head every now and again. Shame that I am not smart and will never have anything to offer. But my Heavenly Father lifted my head and put my crown back on me. He reminded me I am His daughter and I have great things to offer His world. My attitude completely changed the evening of Day 1 and moved on to Day 2. We told Bible Stories, made crafts, and played soooo many games with the kids. It was fun and I hope they remember our time with them forever, because I know I will.

The evening of Day 2 was amazing! There were 14 women who proclaimed that Jesus was their Lord and Savior. 14 women took the plunge and are on fire for our risen Savior! Two of those girls were 12 years old. These two 12 year old girls were in our classes, playing games with us, and in and out of Omar's Bible classes. I am blessed and honored to have been part of such a HUGE kingdom moment.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Time and Big Big Things

I am writing this, because I finally have time! Actually I really don't have the time... I should be working. I should be folding clothes that people purchased and packing them up to ship. But, I'm not. LOL! I am going to fill you in on some stuff that has changed in the Greene family.

First, this past year (1 year this month) has been HARD!! Gut wrenching, in the wilderness, drowning in tears HARD! I have been to the depth of not knowing what to do, how to respond, and some days how to even do life... I was in the deep wilderness... Like the Israelites being taken out of the "comfortable" Egypt to the hot deserty baking sand wilderness. It has been a YEAR of this! I was so tired and so weary of the pain... I was so over it! But, God never once left me (and I type this with tears)... He never once gave up on me... He never once dropped me. Because of his tenderness and his constant presence... He has guided my heart to forgiveness. A forgiveness I can't even put into words... A forgiveness I cannot do on my own, but wait for him to lead me and guide me. Because if I go on my own with his forgiveness it will not be perfect it will turn into a human mess! I am praising God through his undying love for me.

Second, in December Bob and I began a new journey. We joined a company called LuLaRoe. This is a company, who designs and makes the most amazing comfortable and modest clothes I have ever put on my body. I wasn't really sure why we joined this company at the time except maybe to help my family out financially, but I have come to realize it is more than that. I have made awesome friends through this adventure and I have found a part of me that has been hidden for a long time. Even though I have been super busy with my new business... Bob and I have had quality time together as we do this together and learning together and growing together. It has been a whirlwind, but so much fun!

Third, God is calling Bob and I on an adventure of a lifetime at the end of this month. We will be joining Kingsland on a Mission Trip to Brazil to travel down the Amazon River to visit with the Munduruku people throughout the forrest. We will travel down the Amazon River in a house boat (as our head quarters) to meet the different tribes. We will disciple the believers, provide medical care to the people (we do have a team of doctors and dentists going), and also pouring into the the kids in these different tribal villages. Bob and I are super excited about this adventure God has specifically called us to go on together. We are in awe of his love, protection, and guidance as we have no idea what to expect.

All I can say is I want more of my Heavenly Father. I have come to this deep realization that I can do nothing without Him. This life is hard, bumpy, and so rough. There is so much pain and torment that the darkness of these heavy things can consume us to a place where we can't get out of... unless we turn our entire trust to Him to bring us out. I have tried to do it on my own... it didn't work and if it did it was only temporary. Temporary is not enough... I think each time the temporary wears off it take us to a new low. We have to stop focusing on what I can do and focus on what can God do to make this temporary into a FOREVER a COMPLETENESS. I am absolutely not perfect and still learning, but I do know anything with our Him is incomplete... Dead.










Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My Story...

I thought I had always known my story. I thought I had it down. But, it is amazing the things, the dark things that are hidden so deep that it is out of your consciousness. Things you have known about, but always blew it off… thinking “It was’t that bad.” or “Other people have had it so much worse.”

About 6 months ago I was being flooded with feelings and emotions that I could not figure out. I was filled with anger, sadness, and confusion. I started seeing a counselor at our church hoping for quick answers. I had no idea what to expect from her or what she would do to me or what she would make me do. But, I guess much to my surprise it was what God was going to do.

Let me go back to what I thought my childhood was like… I always thought I had a good childhood. Yes, there was hurt in it and things I knew had happened to me like I was sexually abused, physically abused, and emotionally abused, but I never ever thought it was any different from anyone else’s childhood. Maybe not everyone was abused, but I thought that my childhood was ordinary. I didn’t know any different.

But, God has revealed something totally different. My childhood was not ordinary and it was not good. Sure I had happy moments, but I was not enjoyed for the desire God had for me. I was enjoyed for what I could offer other people.

From the very beginning of life my life would not be normal… my life would be broken. My parents, who made me together were no longer together and soon they would be divorced. Because of those decisions that would bring devastation and brokenness immediately… hurt would end up grappling for something to sooth the pain and bring “pleasure”. This would lead to my mother’s second marriage. It was a quick courtship which quickly led to marriage. But when I heard this story growing up I never thought about or realized “What about the baby? Baby Sterling?”. I guess maybe you don’t think about these kind of things until after you have children.

So now here is my new family… a rushed put together family, but my family. But this family is not what anyone would imagine. This man my mother married was mean. He abused my mom, but most of all he abused me. He was allowed the opportunity to verbally, physically, and sexually abuse me and the absolutely worst part of it all… No one protected me! No one protected the sweet innocent baby. Everybody loved me, knew of some of the pain, or maybe knew most of the pain… No one did a DAMN thing for this precious life!

The abuse went on for a couple of years until finally by the grace of God the second husband moved on. But, the sad thing is he moved on to another family.

I really don’t have much memory of anything. Even after the second husband my memory is not good. But, after the second husband it wasn’t peachy and happy. I still suffered from abuse and neglect. I was never enjoyed for who I was, and through out my childhood and adult life I was only enjoyed for what I could offer other people.

I never realized the deep wounds that abuse causes a human life until I was led by my Heavenly Father to allow Him to go deep, dig, reveal, and heal. I have never experienced this deep sense betrayal I have come to encounter from the lack of care and protection from people who always have said they love me. I have never seen myself as a victim/captive, but I have come to learn I am. I have always been strong, a tough girl… never looked deep into how powerless I was as a child and even as an adult as I deal with people day in and day out. Learning about ambivalence… never even knew this word existed… and all these struggles a have gone through my entire life suffering from enjoying something that I knew was wrong or being hurt by someone who I cared for and would continue to care for even though they made you feel horrible.

Because I have always been strong and tough I wouldn’t ever say I was shameful of anything, but that was a lie too. I was asked to pray and ask the Lord where this lie started… Where was it that satan found the moment in my life to really dig his evil and hurt into my soul. My God is faithful and without fail He was there to reveal the wound that started it all. 

The wound of being left alone, having to care for myself, nothing I did was ever right, nothing I said was worth listening to, and I wasn’t smart enough to do certain things. So satan used this hurt and pounded it in deeper and deeper everytime and rooted this lie that I was worthless. Nothing I have or ever will be will be worth anything to anyone.

I feel like my whole life has been a lie and that can drown me with shame if I forget about the One, who has never left me or has never ever stopped loving me… no matter how far I might have run.

About 4 to 5 months ago when this hit me the hardest I was mad at God… mad that He allowed and allows such hurt and pain to happen to innocent children. I still wonder why, but I have come to know He is God and it is not Him who causes the pain, but what sin has over people. We have a God that does not want our hearts to be controlled like puppets… He is a God who wants us to love and desire Him as much as He loves and desires us. A God, who wants only good and wonderful things for us. A God, who has a purpose and plan for each of us. A God, who knitted us together for such greatness and calls us His children. A God, who looks past the evil and hurt that we have caused if we would simply give Him the opportunity to forgive us.

I don’t have this all figured out and I am not completely healed and I won’t be on this side of heaven, but I do know I am completely loved. Not loved by human love, because that can be wishy-washy… But loved by an everlasting, never stopping, never ending Love that I will never be able to put into words.

My heart hurts, but that is why Jesus was sent to this earth and to die a criminals death… to take all our pain, all the poison of sin and mend it and make us healthy. I trust and believe that with everything in me. If you suffer from sexual abuse or any kind of abuse God does not want you to suffer. He wants to love you and protect you. He wants FREEDOM for you. You can trust Him I promise.