Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here! I have lived a lot of life since my last post in Whitefish Montana and I want to take a moment to look back and to share my heart with you before getting back to our regularly scheduled program here on my blog.
During the long, cold, grey, but breathtakingly beautiful, Montana winter, the snow never seemed to stop and the sun never seemed to shine. Everyone tells you about the snow- but no one warns you that you won’t see the sun for 6 months!
As the snow continued to pile up and slowly make it’s way up to even the windows, my husband and I were slaving night and day on our start-up businesses. Not long after we arrived, the potential business opportunity that lured us to Montana began unraveling into an unbelievable, nightmarish scene. It quickly became crystal clear that we wanted no part of what was happening with it.
While our entire time in Whitefish, Montana is a story of epic proportions all its own, let me just offer up this advice from our harsh business experience:
Liars and narcissists abound in this world – pity them, pray for them, pray for the innocent victims in their paths…….and diligently protect yourself and your loved ones from them.
Thankfully unscathed, we quickly decided to move back to Colorado as soon as possible to devote our time more effectively to our businesses, which were beginning to pick up.
Just seven months after we had unlocked the house near Whitefish, Montana that looked out onto beautiful Glacier National Park, we were turning the key to lock it back up and heading back to Colorado.
Even though I was so excited to move back, I struggled a lot at that point.
In my mind I kept playing the same thoughts over and over “Is it true? DO good guys really finish last? Is success only achieved by lying, and cheating and stealing ideas?”
In my heart, I already knew the answer to that question. I’m the daughter of an honest, successful, hardworking entrepreneur. I know what that looks like. But I just couldn’t believe what we’d seen and experienced. I wanted things to be different.
But God doesn’t work that way, does He? (And if you are not a believer- I think you will still find this relatable, so hang with me here.)
After arriving back in Colorado, my incredible husband, as is his character, never missed a beat and he hit the ground running. I busied myself with work and our new home, trying to once again, unpack and set up our things. The same things that I’ve packed and repacked over and over again these past 6 years.
I’m typically a positive person by nature but I began to let bitterness grow and swell up inside me over all that had transpired. And just like that…. I slipped that emotion on like a glove and wore it quite comfortably both day and night, seven days a week.
Friends, I am here to tell you that the one thing that will destroy every relationship you have, is bitterness.
To allow bitterness to live in your heart will destroy your marriage, it will destroy your relationship with your children and it will ripple out from that center and affect every relationship you have until it leaves you a lonely shell of a human being.
Bitterness and discontent sneak in like thieves and are most likely introduced to you by their soul mate, “comparison”. When we begin to compare ourselves to others and allow certain thoughts to permeate our minds and play on repeat, we cheat ourselves of the joy of our own lives. And oh how the current culture of social media wants you to warmly embrace comparison!
Here are some examples of what bitterness looks like when lived out in daily life:
*Comparing your life and/or circumstances or to the lives/circumstances of others.
*Taking joy in the misfortunes of others.
*Casting harsh judgment and running down other people in their ideas or efforts.
*Many of your conversations are about the lives of others in a disparaging way.
*Feeling like you deserve more than you are getting.
*Feeling that your situation is worse than someone else’s.
*Belittling your spouse.
*Belittling your children and talking down to/about them.
*Overall lacking in joy.
When I could step back and take a birds-eye view of my journey so far, I began to realize, that it was at the very moment that I felt myself becoming bitter or discontent, that I needed to just……… soften. This has been difficult and it’s definitely not second nature for me. But I’ve come to see that when I feel the first start of bitterness – I need to step away and see MYSELF for who *I* really am and remember that the God of all creation loves me anyway. And it’s because of this, that I can work to grant grace toward others in my life. Easier said than done, for sure! But it’s a goal worth working toward and it truly brings amazing joy.
As I twisted and turned, the Lord just held me in His open hand and worked on my heart.
I began to feel such deep shame that I had ignored and tossed aside the blessings of a good God. I had so much to be thankful for! To be honest though, at first, trying to be grateful and thankful felt like I was just going through the motions, but as God continued to soften my heart, my prayers eventually became more real and heartfelt. As they did, my bitterness began to melt away and I began to feel real joy again. The relationships that were strained were easily mended and I no longer wasted even a second of my time looking backward. My heart had changed. I was never meant to carry those burdens or the poison of those thoughts, and I began to lay them down.
**Let me say right here that this post is absolutely not meant for anyone in an abusive relationship of ANY kind. If that is you, know that you are loved and precious to God and He wants the very best for you. Be completely relentless in seeking help to get out of that relationship as quickly as possible.**
If you are going through a hard time right now, I hope that you will be encouraged to focus on what is going RIGHT in your life.
The struggle is part of the journey, so find the things in the midst of it to be thankful for.
Of course, protect yourself from those who mean you harm, but don’t let bitterness rob you of joy in your life and destroy your relationships. Lift up others even when you yourself are the one in need of being lifted. Just a kind word to someone else not only helps them, but it helps you as well.
In updating you further with our lives, there is a lot going RIGHT.
We’ve moved into an incredibly beautiful home, happily back in sunny Colorado! (Can’t wait to give you a house tour!) We are working hard and our businesses are seeing success- so much so, that I can get back to my blog! I made some genuine friendships in Montana that I totally cherish. My mom, who has had such a frightening and difficult time health-wise, is finally on the road to total recovery. All three of our kids have been in Colorado for a few months and we’ve had some much needed and much-enjoyed family time together. My husband and I have spent more time together over the past year than we have in our entire marriage combined and we have discovered that we still really dig each other.
And all of that is pretty priceless.
Thank you so much to everyone who emailed and messaged me during my hiatus. Your care and concern is one of the things that helped push me back out into the open and I am incredibly grateful for each of you.
I’ll be back to my typical posts and I have a laundry list of topics that I am SO excited to talk to you about!
And in case you were wondering……….
Winston is elated to be back home. 🙂
Linking up at Not Dressed As Lamb.