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Archive for the tag “love”

Pets With Anxiety and Stress Issues


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Meet Alaska. She joined the Turner family back in March 2013. She was a cute puppy and loved to play. She loved getting into things as puppies normally do. She loved playing with the other dogs and being outside. She loved to be loved on.

She grew up. She still enjoys to play, love on her family, and be loved on by her family. She makes a great snuggle buddy, and she loves to take rides in the car. She has a deep love for her family, and she is very protective of her family too. And as a bonus, she likes to chase chickens in her spare time (that story is for another day). Ha!

She also suffers from anxiety and stress. She stresses easily with change. She likes order. She isn’t sure of people she doesn’t know. She doesn’t like loud noises or tense environments. This is something we, as her family, have had to adjust to. If you are a fellow owner of a pet with anxiety and stress issues, you understand what I am saying here. And for those of you who haven’t had the experience of owning a pet with these issues, I know it can be hard to understand. I want to help you understand what it is like for the owners of pets with these issues.

Here are just a few things that we experience on a daily basis:

1. People leaving and coming to our house is a traumatic experience for Alaska. Let me explain this a bit. She doesn’t necessarily fall over in convulsions when we leave the house or if we have a guest over and they leave. She does whine and cry, and she gives us her best “sad face,” but her anxiety and stress comes when we come back to the house or if a guest comes over to the house. We have to take special precautions to help make this transition less stressful for her. How? For starters we have to put our husky in another room. For some crazy reason it causes tension between the two. Maybe because they are both big dogs and both female. I really don’t know. Secondly, we have to talk to Alaska calmly. This is almost as if you were talking to a baby. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Lastly, if all the dogs are contained when we come home, she has to be let out first. If you let any other dog out before letting her out, her anxiety level rises.

2. Classical music is her favorite genre of music. Yes, dogs can have favorite music genres. In the mornings I like to play it after my workout, so that it sets a calming environment.

3. If Alaska wants your attention, she doesn’t want you to share it with her fellow dog pack. Asking the whole crew to come over for some attention simply isn’t a wise choice. This stresses her out.

A few other tidbits: small spaces send her stressing, loud noises cause stress, if she feels overcrowded she will stress, unannounced visitors stress her, new people cause anxiety for her.

I know some of this sounds strange and just plain ridiculous. I get that. There are many days where I think, “Are you serious?” I love my girl though, and I know that this is something she probably gets frustrated with as well. Just like humans can have anxiety disorders and stress problems, animals can have these same issues. As their owners we just have to learn how to help them with these issues.

I have thought to put Alaska on some vet prescribed anxiety medication, but I really would prefer to treat it as naturally as possible. Then there’s the whole taking her to the vet thing. You see my dilemma?

Just a few words of advice to those of you who do not have pets with anxiety and stress issues:

1. Please be as understanding as possible when it comes to other pet owners who do have animals with these issues.

2. Please call ahead before visiting friends or family who own pets with anxiety and stress issues. Your friends and family will thank you.

3. Please do not take it lightly when a friend or family member shares that their pet has these issues. It’s a struggle for both the owner and the pet, and the struggle is real my friends. The struggle is real.

4. Pray for your friend or family member, as well as the pet. Prayer is a powerful tool. Just as I would covet your prayers for me and my family, I would also covet your prayers for my pets. Call me crazy if you want, it’s ok.

I know this isn’t my typical post, but it was on my heart to share. Animals are living creatures who struggle with things just like we struggle with things. They are part of God’s creation that He has asked us to care for on a daily basis. Let’s do our best to care for these babies in the best possible way.

Does your pet struggle with anxiety and stress issues? How do you help them cope with it?

Alaska’s Advocate,
Jac

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The Year of Victory


Year of Victory

Today is January 1st, 2015. The beginning of not only a new day, but also a new year. A chance to start fresh. An opportunity to improve. A chance to invest in growth. An opportunity to be better than last year. Most importantly, an opportunity to lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine posted on social media a few days that each year she prays for God to give her a word for the year. After she shared her word and her thoughts, she asked for other people to share their word. My word for this new year is “VICTORY.”

I feel God impressing upon me that this is the year of victory. This is year that defeat will not be an option. The only option is being victorious. With that comes responsibility on my behalf though, and yours too should you choose to pursue the year of victory.

Courageous.

Bold.

Fearless.

Adventurous.

Faithful.

Devoted.

Secure.

Relentless.

Hopeful.

Loving.

These are just a few words that come to mind as I think on what a year of victory looks like. I believe that this is year of victory not only for me, but for you as well dear friend. I believe that marriages will have the victory. I believe that relationships with children will be victorious. I believe that there will be victory in finances, in businesses, in health, in faith, and in all areas of life.

Scripture says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NLT)

We have the victory through Christ. We have already won through Jesus. We have the ability to be courageous, bold, fearless, relentless, hopeful, loving, secure, devoted, faithful, and adventurous through Him.

I pray that this will be the year of victory for you too, my sweet friend. God has amazing things in store for this year. I can feel in my spirit. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things He has in store for you and for me.

Victorious in Christ,
Jaclyn

Peace I Leave You…Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled


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There has been some crazy weather happening lately. I mean, one day it is snowing in East Alabama and the next day it is 75 degrees. It’s enough to make you ask, “What the mess is up any way?” And on top of the crazy weather there are other saddening and heart-breaking events occurring all over. It really is hard to turn on the news and hear anything good. I know. I get it. I understand, and feel ya on that one. And with all of these crazy and sad things going on, I have noticed a lot of social media posts and blog posts turning our attention to the end of times. Let me just go ahead and let you know that this post is going to be different. It isn’t like the other posts floating around out there. But it will have some similarities…I suppose. 

I am a follower of Christ. I believe in Him, know Him as my Lord and Savior, and love Him more than I can put into words. I am forever thankful for His great love, mercy, and grace that He has extended and shown to me. I do believe He will come to restore the earth and all of creation, and I believe it could happen at any time. Where I differ in most of the other posts is that I don’t go all, “Hide yo kids! Hide yo wife! Stock the pantry and stop what you are doing because it’s the end of the world as we know it.” Yea, I haven’t jumped aboard that bandwagon. I was brought up in a Christian household where we went to church every Sunday. My Mom had a story about Jesus for everything. And I read the book of Revelation during worship service almost every Sunday (yea, I had a fascination with that book of the Bible). I have been made aware of Jesus’ return and that it could happen at any time, and I should always be prepared. But I wasn’t told to go into panic mode and focus only on the end of times. 

I can remember my Mom saying, “I think Jesus wants me to live for Him every day, and if I am only focused on His return then how can I make sure that I am being Christ to those around me.” Yes, we should always be aware and be ready, but I don’t think that it should be our sole focus. If I begin trying to interpret every event and happening and running around like Chicken Little, then I stop showing love, being love, and doing all of the other things Jesus laid out for me to do in scripture. And I am also one who steers clear of books, people, and teachings that claim to know when, where, and how about Jesus’ return. Why? Well, because I am a firm believer that if God didn’t disclose this to His Son, He isn’t going to disclose it to Billy Bob. 

Please do not think I am discrediting the return of Jesus, because I am not. I believe He is coming. I believe it will be soon. But I don’t want to play the role of interpreter and predictor. I want to just be the disciple of Jesus that He has called me to be, and to make sure that I am doing everything possible to point people to Him. 

Be blessed friends. 

Grace & Peace, Jac

One of Those Days


Today is one of those days where I would love to hide away on a deserted island with absolutely nothing “baby” around. Yes, it’s another month where Aunt Flow arrives instead of a “Big Fat Positive.” I was really hoping for a Thanksgiving announcement, but that just won’t be happening. I really have no eloquent words or thought provoking paragraphs to write down. All I have is raw emotion and an admittance of wanting to pitch a temper tantrum that would make a two year old in the midst of “the terrible two’s” look pretty angelic. Will it solve anything? No. Will it make me feel better? Probably not. But that’s where I’m at. For the moment.

I am trying to remind myself of the message I preached this past Sunday. I spoke on the story of Hannah and how there is grace in the struggle, in the sorrow, and in His sovereignty. To be honest, though it’s hard to see it at the moment. Do I know it to be true? Yes. But can I see it right now? No. All I can think on is how I desire to have a child with my husband and nothing is happening. Nothing. And my mind begins to go into panic mode thinking of how I am about to be surrounded by pregnant family members during the holidays, and I want to scream. Can I eat my dinner in a closet somewhere? Oh, and let’s not forget that the media had to share that Kelly Clarkson is pregnant.

Yes, I know that I sound like a little kid pitching a fit. But this is real. This is something I never thought I would have to deal with personally. This is one of the most draining and difficult things I have ever dealt with, and well as I put it earlier today, it sucks. As I type this I want to breakdown. The depths of my soul cry out for Jesus because I don’t know what to do. He is the only place that makes sense even though I feel like He isn’t making any sense. I know deep down that He makes perfect sense despite my feelings. So into Him I will continue to press.

http://youtu.be/JmVxRl5bc4Y

The Choice is Yours


We all have a story. We all have things that have taken place that have left us broken, left us wounded and scarred. These things can either cripple us or they can propel us into greatness.

We have the choice.

My past is pretty broken. There are some very dark times. There are some gray times. And yes, there are also some bright times. I can either cling to these past moments and allow them to break me down, or I can use them as a springboard to become who God created me to be. I can use them to help someone else.

I choose the latter. I choose to not be broken and beaten down by the things of my past. I choose to not be embarrassed of where God has rescued me from. I choose to see God working for the good in my life.

Friend, the choice is yours. You can cling to your past and let it beat you down, or you can choose to focus on the good that God is working in your life. Which will it be?

I Am Spoiled


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As I was preparing the coffee pot this evening for mine and Brian’s evening cup of coffee, I got to thinking about how over the years I have been accused of growing up a spoiled little rich girl. Yea, for some reason some people have actually been offended by my aspirations to better myself, get an education, and live a certain lifestyle. I will admit, this usually makes me pretty defensive. But this evening, I began thinking about it a bit more. I am going to take it as the Lord opening my eyes to how “spoiled” and “rich” I really was growing up, and still am.

I grew up with loving parents who provided a roof over my head, clothes for me to wear, and food for me to eat. My parents taught me manners and proper social etiquette. I was raised to believe in Jesus Christ, and taught Christian values and morals. (I may not have always followed them as a teenager, but I came back to them when I woke up from my selfishness.) My parents never let me do without the things I needed (there is a difference in what we want and what we need). I didn’t get a horse, a brand new car, or every thing I thought I just had to had. My curfew was earlier than most of my friends, and I wasn’t allowed to watch certain shows.

So yea, I would say I was pretty “spoiled” and “rich” growing up. Probably not in the way that the world deems spoiled and rich, but I was spoiled with LOVE. I was rich because of the upbringing I had. My parents never gave me a reason to question whether or not they loved me or wanted me. I was cared for, loved on, and nurtured in the best way. I was brought up knowing the love of the Father, how important faith is, and that our hope is found in Jesus.

And now, well, I am still spoiled and rich. I still have faith, hope, and love. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes to wear, and a family who loves me. I may not have the wealth of Bill Gates or the fame of Taylor Swift. But I have a God who loves me more than I can comprehend, and He has blessed me beyond measure.

So yea, I guess you can say I am still a spoiled little rich girl. 🙂

Breaking Comfort Zones, and Experiencing Grace and Love


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Yesterday was a day where I felt the Lord leading me out of my comfort zone, yet again. You know I have discovered that when God moves you out of your comfort zone in one area, more than likely He is about to move you out of your comfort zone in another area of your life. And it is really futile to resist, because one way or another, you will be moved out of it.

So, back to yesterday. I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on a friend who has just had a baby. I have not been a very good friend in checking up on her consistently, as it has been difficult for me. Not that I am not happy that she is experiencing one of the greatest joys a woman can ever know, but simply because I have found myself in a place that I never thought I would ever be. The place of secondary infertility. (If you haven’t read my story on this, I encourage you to go back a few posts and start from the beginning.) It’s not that I am not happy for my friend. It’s not that I am mad at her for getting pregnant and having this precious baby. It’s just a hard and difficult area in my life that I have to daily work through (some days are better than others). So, we have texted back and forth during her pregnancy and since her baby boy’s arrival, but I will admit I have been guarded. I have tried to pull back. I have even been a bit snotty. Yes, I am confessing here and being real with you guys. I have my faults and weaknesses just like anyone else, even as a Pastor’s Wife.

But yesterday as I was getting ready for church, I felt the Lord nudging me to check up on her. You know just to see how she was doing and how precious baby was. I tried to resist a bit, I admit. But I sent the text. We texted back and forth, and then it happened. The Lord had to do it again. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to apologize. Say what? Yep, He was telling me I needed to apologize for my behavior. I was like, “Seriously, Lord. Do I have to? (Just like a kid, right?) I mean, this is going to be uncomfortable.This will not be easy. It’s going to be awkward, God. What if she is mad at me? What if she shares with me that I have hurt her feelings or something? God, I will be exposed!” yea, all those thoughts went through my head. As I stood there with my phone in my hand, staring at our text conversation, I did it. It was hard. It wasn’t easy. It was awkward and uncomfortable. As I waited for a reply I even began replaying the conversation with God in my head. Then came the reply, ” I appreciate your apology. I know it’s been rough on you, and I think about that (and you) all the time.” What? Her accepting my apology really wasn’t took me off guard. It was the next statement. She was thinking about me. Even with my wrong attitude, she thought about me and my feelings. Talk about humbling. It still gets me as I look at it this morning. It’s not surprising in a way that this behavior is out of character for her. It’s surprising in a way, that despite how I behaved she never thought ill towards me. How Christ-like is that?

Does this mean, that my struggles with my feelings about my infertility are gone? Not at all. But I do feel a sense of peace and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. God doesn’t push us out of our comfort zones as a means of torture. He pushes us out of them as a means of growth. He wants us to grow and blossom into the men and women of Christ that we are created to be. And we can’t do that in our comfort zones. I was hit with the uncomfortableness and the awkwardness yesterday, but most of all I had to face my own sin. I had to come face to face with my wrong attitude, and admit that I hadn’t been acting in a way that was Christ-like. And you know what I got in return? I got the love of Christ overflowing back to me. I received grace and love.

I pray that when God nudges you to step out of your comfort zones, that you are obedient. I pray that you experience the grace and love of Christ overflowing back to you as you break the bounds of your comfort zones. I pray that you choose to offer grace and love to those who step out of their comfort zones with you. Comfort zones are meant to be broken so that God’s love can be made known.

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

Get Off the Road of Blame


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Oh how hard and treacherous the road of blame is. It’s not a smooth road. Instead it is a road of rough terrain, pot holes, and twists and turns that catch you off guard. It is not a road that can be traveled easily, despite the appearance that you can take it with ease. It doesn’t matter if you have 4-wheel drive. This road deceives you into thinking that you can speed down this road and walk away without any scratches or injury.

Did you catch that one key word? DECEIVES. Yep, the road of blame is deception at its best. And its a road that deceives a lot of us, even those of us who call ourselves Christians. Yep, I am going there. No one is immune to the charm of this road, and we have all fallen victim to its deception at one time or another.

I have seen evidence of this a lot lately in light of the horrific events of this week. I am not going to touch on the specifics of what happened in Boston. We all know what happened. And no one is downplaying or overlooking the huge impact that it has had, and the big tragedy that it is. My heart breaks for the families that have been affected by this tragedy, including the families of the two young men who carried out this tragedy.

What I want to touch on is the onslaught of negative, hateful, and uncalled for posts that I am seeing all over social media. It’s a huge flood of negativity that is doing nothing for the negativity and evil that has already been unleashed. It breaks my heart to see some of the comments people are making, even fellow believers. (Prepare yourself, for I might offend you. And I am ok with that. You may unfriend me, unsubscribe, or hide me. I’m cool with that.)

This tragedy is NOT the President’s fault. It is NOT the government’s fault. It is NOT the fault of gun laws. Seriously people, stop pointing the blame on everybody and anybody and anything that you disagree with. Enough is enough. These two young men chose the path that they chose because of THEIR OWN choices. They carried out these heinous acts because of THEIR choice. The President did not whisper in their ears. The government didn’t hand over the means. The gun laws didn’t pave the way for them.

Would you think that a parent set their child up for getting pregnant at the age of 16? Would you blame the alcohol age limit law for the reason why teenagers drink and drive? Or maybe if we made stealing and shoplifting legal, we wouldn’t have thieves? That would be ridiculous.

You may not have voted for our current President, but still he is YOUR president. You may not agree with everything the government does, but it is still YOUR government. Instead of posting condescending, degrading, negative, and hateful posts all over your social media outlets why not start praying for YOUR president and government? Why not pray for the families who have been affected? Why not pray for YOUR country?

Enough is enough peeps. There is enough negativity. Start pouring out positivity. Start lifting up and stop tearing down. Start encouraging and stop discouraging. Start loving and stop hating. Start being the change you want to see in the world, and stop adding to the chaos.

Get off the road of blame!

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”  1 Timothy 2:1-3, NIV

Awake My Soul


Awake my Soul by Chris Tomlin

This song has been speaking to me a lot lately. You see I was once the dry bones. I was once without life. Without hope. Without light. I was in desperate need of the Father’s love & life.

I lived my life as a teenager in total opposite of what I have been taught. I went to church. I was part of the youth group. I believed in God. But all of that wasn’t enough to make me a disciple of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t enough to just go through the motions.

I partied. I hung out with the wrong crowd. I did things I shutter at the thought of today. I had not a single care in the world. Was it that my parents didn’t love me enough? No. Was it that I didn’t know right from wrong. No. Was it that my parents didn’t care? No. It came down to one word: REBELLION. I was living a life of rebellion. Rebellion against my parents. Rebellion against everything I had been taught. And rebellion against God.

I was in a dark place. I was in a barren place. A place without life or hope. I was the dry bones in the dry valley. Did I realize that at the time? Not for one moment. It wasn’t until I became an adult, that my eyes were opened to the fact that I was a walking skeleton. I realized my desperate need for God. I needed my Savior. I needed Him to speak life into me.

The girl that was once the dry bones is only a memory to me now. I feel for her. I see her pain now. I see her emptiness. She has allowed me to see though, that there area my other people just like her. Walking skeletons without a clue of how much they are in need of the Savior’s love.

I am alive in Christ now. I am no longer the walking skeleton. The breathe of God swept over me & He spoke life into me. I get chills just thinking about how
much He loves me. And I can’t help but picture myself at His feet thanking Him as I weep for joy, for speaking life into me. He has redeemed me. He can redeem you.

I know He has called me to share His great love with others. My story has purpose for Him. My passion for health & fitness is not the only passion He has given me. I have a passion to speak into lives & share the love of Christ with as many as possible.

My friend, I pray today that you will awake to His great love for you & to your desperate need of Him. He loves you with a crazy limitless love. And He is waiting to speak life into you. May He resurrect your dry bones today.

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

<I would love to pray for you in any way I can.

3 Phrases Your Spouse Needs to Hear From You


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We all know the importance of communication in marriages. We know that without communication any relationship can go sour. But I think sometimes we overlook what we should say. No, there is no rule book for what has to be said or what shouldn’t be said. We do have to think for ourselves and be in tune with our spouse. But I do think there 3 important phrases that our spouses NEED to hear from us. I wanted to share those phrases with you, as I believe if we actually said these 3 phrases more often we would see our marriages improve and grow.

1. “I love you.” I know you are probably thinking, “duh, I knew that already.” But stop and think about how often you say it. Does your spouse hear those words from you daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly? Once in a blue moon? You may think that it isn’t necessary to actually speak these words because you think that your spouse already knows how much you love them, but actually speaking them carries more weight than you realize. Telling your spouse on a DAILY basis that you love them can turn a marriage around greatly. Yes, of course, you need actions to back up what you speak. But speak that phrase to your spouse and watch as their face lights up.

2. “I value you.”  Hold up. But my spouse didn’t come from store? Is that even correct to say? ABSOLUTELY! Your spouse needs to hear that you value them. That you respect them as a person and don’t think of them as just someone you share life with. They need to know that they are valued. You hold them at a high priority in your life. And that they mean more to than football, shopping, friends, Facebook, work, etc. They need to know that you think of them as PRICELESS. They carry high value in your eyes.

3. “I appreciate you.” Oh this one carries so much weight with it. A lot of times we hear the complaint of how a husband doesn’t appreciate the wife, more so than hearing the reverse complaint. But this goes both ways. If you want your husband to appreciate you, ask yourself if you appreciate him. If you want your wife to appreciate you, ask yourself if you appreciate her. Do you notice the small things that he/she does every day? Laundry. Dishes. Cooking. Putting gas in the car. Checking your tires. Leaving the toilet seat down. Watching what you want to watch even though you know they don’t really care for it. The little things are often overlooked. But make it a point to start noticing them, and telling your spouse that you appreciate them

These 3 phrases may seem very simple, but I think we often find them difficult to speak aloud. I think though if we really want to see change in our marriages, we have to make it a point to speak these 3 phrases to our spouse daily. Lift one another up. Honor and respect one another. Pay attention to one another.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands……Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect…” 1 Peter 3:1 & 7

Grace & Peace, Jac

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