Friday, January 30, 2009


a⋅mend - /əˈmɛnd/-uh-mend]
–verb (used with object) 1. to alter, modify, rephrase, or add to or subtract from (a motion, bill, constitution, etc.) by formal procedure: Congress may amend the proposed tax bill.
2. to change for the better; improve: to amend one's ways.
3. to remove or correct faults in; rectify.
–verb (used without object) 4. to grow or become better by reforming oneself: He amends day by day.

Today I made an amend with a dear friend of mine. I haven't heard back from this person, but regardless of the reaction I know I did what I was called to do in this situation.

Steps 8 and 9 in Celebrate Recovery deal directly with amends. Step 8 is "We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all." Step 9 is as follows "We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." I have spent almost 4 years in recovery. I have been able to make amends with many people in my life. It is freeing. Sometimes though it is not possible as mentioned in step 9. Today was an effort to have a willing heart, to take that first step, to humble myself and let this person know I forgive AND desire to BE FORGIVEN.

Keep praying for me as I walk this journey of recovery. It is the most difficult thing I've ever done (besides However, it has been and will continue to be rewarding and freeing!!!

I love the last definition of grow or become better by reforming oneself. I am working to make these amends everyday. I am striving to become the woman God created me to be. You know one of the relationships that I have had trouble "mending" in the last few years is the one with MYSELF. I am still learning who I am, and learning to be comfortable in my own skin. Life isn't easy, but it IS an adventure, huh????

Here's to a life of amends. It has been said that "love is never having to say you're sorry." I TOTALLY disagree. In my humble opinion love is being willing AND able to admit your fault and ask for forgiveness on a daily basis. Love is being open, honest and vulnerable enough to say I BLEW IT!!!

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Letting Go

Today I physically let go of some stuff that I had held onto for entirely too long.

I realized that holding onto these things acutally had been making me quite sad.

It felt good.

I'm ready to be free!

Not to mention we were out of fire wood so the extra stuff to burn was quite fun!!!

Have a good evening...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not Forgotten

Today is one of those days...

I am struggling today with feeling lonely and discouraged.
The truth though is "I am NOT forgotten". Hebrews 13:5 says "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

This is Israel and New Breed singing "I Am Not Forgotten" on BET. This is a condensed version, but you will get the point.

Blessings to you all today.


Thursday, January 15, 2009


Do you remember playing tug of war as children in elementary school?

I often wondered why we played that game? It wasn't about fair team competition. It was about winning. It was about fighting. It was about conquering. However, oddly enough the best way to win was for everyone on one side to LET GO of the rope.

I am at a point in my life where I need to LET GO of the rope. My life is unmanageable. God and I have been tugging about some areas in my life. I need to just let the rope go! Not so God will fall on his butt (ha!ha!) but so I can be free from striving and able to grab the LIFE rope that God has thrown me!

I made a list last night of all the things that I liked about myself in high school/college. I made a list of the things I like about myself now. I made a list of the things I don't like about myself now. Things I'm still tugging with and things I'm ready to let go of so I can MOVE ON!!! I think this rope burn needs to heal!!! This woman is TIRED! I'm tired of tugging...

I can see myself relfected in my children. My oldest struggles with holding onto the rope too tightly as well. I often think how silly Joseph is being, but then I realize he is a lot like me! Joseph doesn't realize that he would be so much better off if he would just stop struggling. Yet, watching him makes me think of how I strive and struggle with God. Parents really do know best most of the time! God is the ultimate parent! He knows what's best for me and ALL of his kids ALL of the time.

Pray for me and for my son that we will learn the lessons God has for us. That we would enjoy life. That we would enjoy EACH OTHER! That we would stop playing this silly game of tug-of-war!!!

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My "Theme" Song

When I had the chance to share my testimony with my CR group last November I sang this song to open my "story". Please note this is NOT me singing (although I wish it was). I hope you enjoy Bethany Dillon singing "Beautiful"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Out of Hiding

I'm tired of hiding behind all of this excess "baggage". How can a fat person hide? Physically it isn't possible but emotionally it's easy really. If you like me even though I'm fat then I guess I can really let you inside my life. Isn't that a warped way of thinking? I also hide behind my smile, sarcasm and dry sense of humor. My charisma and personality take me pretty far and cover up a lot of pain and suffering.

However, I'm tired of "hiding" behind all of this. Being fat isn't easy. Being fat isn't fun. It certainly isn't healthy. I have to do something. I have to do it now. It's overwhelming really. I'm not quite sure where to start but I must.

I will try and blog about my progress. I have lost weight in the past. I have been successful and I am expectant that this attempt will be no different. Except, maybe I'll complete my goal this time!!! YAY!!!

Well, here's to a new chapter of my life. Here's to coming out of denial. I am a compulsive eater. I struggle with issues of pride, low self-esteem, and co-dependency. I also want to control my life and everyone else's while I am at it. And while all this confession is taking place I will admit the biggest one of all people pleasing and approval addiction. Isn't that ironic that a people pleaser would be fat? Wouldn't you think I would be so worried about what people thought of me that I would be thin and fashionable? I guess it's weird how the psyche works.

So pray for me as I embark on a journey to health, wellness, weight loss and discovery of my poverty of spirit (Matthew 5:3).

Today's Revelation

To some of you this might seem simplistic and almost foolish. To me it is profound, life chaging and revolutionary!!

NO ONE in my life needs me as much as I need them. Maybe my kids, but if I do a good job raising them one day they won't need me. What I'm saying is I am just now realizing how much of my emotional being is tied up in relationships. It's unhealthy. The one person I should have a relationship with, ME, is a stranger. I'm an alien in my own body and mind. I should be in relationship with GOD, MYSELF and then others. I have had this all out of order. Yet, there is hope.

I have spent the majority of my 33 years trying to please people and functioning in the realm of performing. I was pleased to know that they needed me for something. Whether it be to physically or emotionally provide for them (or both), I have lived to serve others. If I thought someone needed me, or I had done something to help someone become a better person I was complete. I struggle constantly with lonliness and rejection. This has taken its toll on me.

I want to love and be loved WITH NO STRINGS attached. I am completely ready to say that most of these feelings have been self-imposed. I am NOT blaming anyone. I am just coming out of denial.

Friday, January 9, 2009


(this was originally posted by my friend Beth in June of '08)


There's a license plate in the school carpool lane that says this. LIVFRE. Everytime I see it, I wonder...what does it mean to truly LIVFRE? How does it feel to live a truly free, authentic life?

And then I ran across this quote today:

"When the words in your mouth and the actions of your hands and the feelings of your heart are one and the same, you're a whole person, you're integrated, and there's integrity in your life."

Maybe that's what it means to LIVFRE - to be whole and integrated. When was the last time your mouth, your hands, and your heart were on the same wavelength?

I'm not sure I can answer that...

Ok here is where I take over...

I am working towards FREEDOM in Christ and to be able to live my life every day with honor and integrity. I was blessed by Beth's transparency. I am trying to be this open with myself, God and others I trust. There is so much I still need to say, but I am working on it....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Christmas Miracle-Part 2

So now here we are on December 20th. I have had my epiphany and I'm headed to work at the station. I still am trying to process all that had just happened, but I was excited to go to work. I love Christmas music and so in between my breaks I would listen to new songs I hadn't heard before. This particular day one stood out to me from MercyMe entitled "Joseph's Lullaby".

In a studio at 106.9 the Light, Christmas came to me. In a moment I was reminded in the most meaningful way that Emmanuel came as a baby. A smelly, dirty, helpless baby and he had a Daddy who simply wanted the best for him. Joseph wanted his son to rest and be comfortable. God limited himself in the form of an infant. He loved ME enough to be FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN. I don't claim to understand it, but I felt it..all the mystery, majesty and glory of Emmanuel in that moment, in that studio. It was a miracle. Two in one day...WOW! I'm a blessed woman.

Oh then there's the other REALLY cool stuff like a pair of shoes that I prayed for being given to me by a woman who didn't even know I needed shoes. She just felt impressed to buy me a pair. I specifically prayed for a black pair of dress shoes. How cool is that? Then there was a surprise check for $200 from an anonymous giver at our church. Also God provided the way for us to get gifts for all the children, and we shared Christmas dinner with some very dear friends of ours. How could I forget the children's Christmas musical that ALL three of my children participated in and did an AMAZING job. This was truly a Christmas of miracles. JoyAnn needed a coat. I told a friend of mine who owns an ebay based business. She sent a coat to JoyAnn via her husband at a church meeting. My mother had found a coat on sale at Wal-Mart for $10 and then there is the "angel" coat, This one was delivered to our front porch by a woman I've NEVER seen before. She said are you JoyAnn I said "no, but she is". My baby girl opened up a BRAND NEW winter coat from her "angel". She said it came to her from her Nannie who is in heaven. 3 days, 3 coats. One is big enough for her to wear this year AND next. I was reminded over, and over, and over of Emmanuel's presence. I pray I carry this miracle with me in my heart EVERY day this year.

My Christmas Miracle (A Little Late)- Part 1

First of all I apologize that this post is "late". However, I simply haven't taken the time to process it all properly. I do so pray though that whomever is reading is encouraged and blessed as I was. It will be lengthy but I pray worth the read :-).

As Thanksgiving came and went I was made aware that the Advent season was once again upon us. This year our family celebrated in our home the "advent" of Christ. It was a glorious time. I also was in prayer about how to best bring Advent to my group at CR. God kept impressing upon me the simplicity and majesty of "Emmanuel". So for several weeks our songs of worship were centered around the name, glory and mystery of EMMANUEL.

Please don't get me wrong, I was lead by God to choose the songs I did. I meant them when I sang them. They ministered to me, but somewhere in the middle of all of the Christmas season I just didn't "feel" Christmas. I knew that Emmanuel had come for me but I wasn't feeling him with me. I do so understand that I "walk by faith and not by sight". I understand that my faith is more than feelings, but I do so love the embrace of my Savior. I was desperate, sad and sinking into a depression.

I attended a party on December 13th. Something happened deep within me that night. It was the breaking loose of something that has had a hold on me for several years. The next day my children were involved in the choir musical at church. They did a fabulous job (even if I say so myself) and so did the choir. It was a glorious Sunday. However, still no "warm fuzzy" for which I had been waiting.

The following Tuesday found me frantic and frenzied. I was desperately wanting to connect with someone. (Here is where I get REALLY vulnerable and honest)... I struggle with approval addiction. I have to know that I am loved, and that people like me. I want to know at the deepest level that I bring joy to people. I need to be needed. So I do what I always do in this situation. I ran to the Lord and poured my heart out. Oh, how I wish that were true. However my desire for honesty prevents me from misleading you. What a I did in typical Janelle codependent fashion is to call someone. A person that I felt compelled to talk to at that moment. The phone call didn't go as I would have liked. I realized that I was on the verge of something miraculous, but I also felt one breath away from insanity. I honestly didn't know which end of the spectrum on which I would land.

By Friday I had decided that I would probably need to contact my care provider and once again return to the world of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. I also had decided that this would be one of the worst Christmas' of my life. I went to bed with a heavy heart feeling quite sorry for myself, confused, unloved and scared. This is where the miracle comes in (thanks for sticking around)....

In the wee hours of Saturday morning a miracle happened. To some it might be mistaken for acid reflux but I know it was an epiphany. The Lord began to heal me of three+ years of depression, anxiety, bitterness, disappointment, fear and more. I was able to emotionally and metaphorically release some people/relationships in my life that had been weighing me down. I practiced or rehearsed in my mind speaking with them. Sharing with them the truth in love, and letting them know what they had meant to me. I was able to forgive them AND be forgiven by them. I was able to take one more step to wholeness. Call it sub-conscious coming to the conscious. Call it inner healing. Call it wishful thinking. You can call it whatever you want. I think it was all of that AND more. I woke up with such a feeling of deep and complete peace. Emmanuel had visited me and reminded me in my dreams that He came for me and for all mankind. Especially when we hurt ourselves or others. It was beautiful. It was an experience I will NEVER forget.

There is more, but that is for another post.