The Challenge of Being Challenged!

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Challenge Completed! (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!”)

Yesterday marked the final round of a throw down challenge with my husband.  His was a physical cleanse, mine was an emotional purge, figuratively speaking, as I blogged each of those days. He lost 27.5 lbs. and I gained awareness to 27.5 (at least) character defects I must now work on. Seriously!

I’m obsessive, insecure, prideful, anxious, overbearing, timid, empty, doubtful, complacent yet never satisfied over every single syllable.  More than daily, I threatened to withdraw, press into lies and excuses rather than press into growth.  Grateful for the accountability stamina of my cohort, I pushed forward and learned some valuable lessons.

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From a Mother’s Heart

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DAY 30 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!”)

Lying in the bed, resting as best as one can in a hospital, I was awakened to the beautiful sound of your cry. 30 minutes of failed attempts by your father and the nurse to calm you led them to lay you back in your little bed.  Fed, changed and no signs of discomfort left them puzzled as to what to try next.

“Let me have him,” I said.

Your dad carefully lifted you from the crib and placed your head against my chest as I cradled you close. Not even a second more passed and you were silent.  The connection was obvious and from that moment, I knew my responsibility was big.

What has transpired over the last 19 years is nothing short of a thrill ride on steroids.

As a mom, I was to raise you to be independent and strong, yet I cried with each crossroad displaying my success. I gave you wings to fly yet secretly hoped they would boomerang you back to my arms at times.  Quite the psychotic endeavor.

As you boldly venture into the life of adulthood, please, take these words of hope and aspirations with you and hold them close because the world won’t teach them to you.

Don’t wait for growth to happen…seek it, in spiritual and emotional well being.

Don’t wait for respect to be handed, earn it.

Work harder than you feel necessary, love deeper than you deem capable and remember the only reason you’re placed on this earth is to care for people.  It’s through your gifts and talents that you are to do that.

Cast out the sense of entitlement so many youth these days carry and learn that you will reap what you sow.

The measure of a man’s success is not in the accomplishments and achievement he obtains, but in the quality of his character development as he journeys to get there.

Never complain about the things you can’t do but adapt your agenda to the things that you can.

Open your eyes to the ways of Christ so that you can combat and battle the ways of the world. Make Him your ultimate role model to measure every action against.

Don’t be content with the entertainment of the world instead choose to create with the gifts that God is giving you.

Never ask what can I get but instead question what should I give

As important as good grades are, if you fail in character, you fail in life.

Waiting on God is the hardest and most rewarding act of obedience you can practice.

Surround yourself with Godly men who will help hold you accountable and challenge you to grow in your faith because the enemy thrives in an isolated heart but dies where his lies and deceit are exposed.

Above all else, love first, love last and every moment in between.

View More: http://shotbytess.pass.us/ahrendtfam

So be bold and confident in the foundation of your faith in Jesus because it is the only constant truth that will remain through all the changes and challenges of your life.

When you first started to walk, I would loosen my grip, back away and have you walk to me. Now, as I loosen my grip it’s time for you to start walking away. I pray you walk into the arms of Christ, because without Him, it’s all for nothing.

 

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My Biggest Supporter!

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DAY 28 & 29 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Everyone needs someone to tell them the truth about their potential.  The only reason, next to God, why I continue to create is the overwhelming support and encouragement of my husband. The following is a note from him.

Teresa, 

I wish you could see yourself the way I see you.   I see a gifted and talented awe inspiring creation, fearfully and wonderfully made.

Don’t believe the lies don’t believe the doubts.

If there is a misstep, move on and keep creating.  If a particular creation or work doesn’t pan out, set it aside for a time but don’t destroy it or give up on it.  The beautiful thing about art is that its intent is to draw out the emotion of the purveyor, not to perform a task.  Great art is not always the end and perfect culmination of the inspired initial vision but instead the result of passion poured out onto a medium. As that medium accepts the words or the strokes or the molding of the artist it shape into a new creation unique from all others.  You are unique from all others and are a unique creation that inspires me to create in my own right.

Don’t believe the lies that you are not good enough or well-trained enough.

Remember always that you are God’s work of art, His creation, the canvas that is you is continuing to be perfected into a one of a kind value and treasure.

Don’t believe the lies that you are a mistake.

Keep receiving the creative forces being poured out on you. Keep pouring out your creative powers on those around you because those fortunate enough to have their story line cross with yours will be better because of it.  A piece of art is always better with the touch of a master and God has created you into a master of people sculpting through you scripts, performances, blogs, and leadership.

Don’t believe the lie that is too late for you to make an impact.

As God continues to sculpt new tools into your kit, continue to use those tools to create his beauty.  Believe that you are and continue to be fearfully and wonderfully made.  I see greatness shining from you.   Keep shining brightly.

Love you always,

Dave

May you, too, be encouraged to press on.

HIS Hand Reached Out for Me!

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DAY 26 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Air heavy with chill, weighted darkness, a child afraid

Naively innocent, need of love, was I to blame

How was I to know, how could I have seen

The pain that he would cause, when his hand reached out for me.

 

Years lapse by, tears uninterrupted, never I could find

Unadulterated love for my trust to hide behind

How could he not know, why could he not see

He would shred my soul when his hand reached out for me

Teens problems. Young woman alone at the city

Can I be made whole, Is there hope for me

Do you see me hiding here

Absent then, absent now,

Another turned eye is what I fear

 

Surging shame, disgrace unlimited, it’s all I have known

Till a prayerful plea, I unleash, “God, please save my soul”

How was I to know, How could I have seen

There’d be healing power when His hand reached out for me

 

I am healed

I am free

Cause HIS hand reached out for me

 

 

Drenched Vanity!

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DAY 27 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Alarm sounds, eyes pop open, a kick with the right foot and sheets uncover all of me. Legs lift and carry me to the bathroom containing baby soaps, baby shampoos and bleached white towels. First of four women to take the shower, with embarrassment I confess, the last to walk out the door.

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Watchful Eyes!

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DAY 25 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

He lounges in his favorite spot, feet propped up, and southern style tea by his side while she settles beside him on his right with newspaper in hand. The paper is flapping softly from the movement of the air circulated by the fan above. I am nested precisely where I always am.  I observe no divergence from the routine, yet something seems, well, unexplainably off.  Silence is interrupted by gravel being crushed and turned under the weight of tires.  A brief glance between the two says this is an unexpected visitor.

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Painful Journey to Heal!

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DAY 24 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

“Are you aware that you may die in the process of this procedure?”

More eloquently explained, definitely less blunt, were the words spoken by the nurse prepping my son for minor, shoulder, repair surgery. Yet the implications of risk to full blown healing was evident.
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