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Today we had our 2nd MOPS meeting of the year. It was great! Our focus is on building relationships. Which happens to be so fitting for me (funny how God does that, huh?:). Over the last few years I have been through a lot of ups and downs (see the sidebar for some details). Unfortunately the things I was dealing with forced me to isolate myself and focus on myself. As someone that has been a life-long people pleaser it was not pleasant at all…to put myself first. Initially I couldn’t even handle asking my husband for help on a simple task. That would be a burden to him. I had a hard time changing my mindset. But I had to. It was the only way to heal and grow and get better. And now that I’ve been working on overcoming the OCD for a while I feel like I’m ready to let people into my life again. I haven’t had a close friend in many years. I haven’t even been close with my family in a long time. And I want that to change. I have been a perfectionist all my life. But I’m learning to drop my guard and let people see that I am FAR from perfect. This blog has been a big help in putting myself out there…telling my story and sharing a lot of personal stuff. But now I need to take it a step farther. I need to share myself in person, not just in writing. I have always had a hard time admiting mistakes and seeing my own faults (although somehow it seems easy to notice other people’s faults…). But I’m getting better at it each day. As I try to teach Rebecca that it’s ok to make mistakes I’m also teaching myself. I can laugh at myself a lot more easily. And I’m not as concerned about what others think of me. I still have a ways to go, but I’m getting there. Our speaker at MOPS today was Amy Kuncaitis, author of “Joy in the Morning.” She talked about building relationships…with your spouse, your family, your friends and your community. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I have some relationships that need mending. And I also have relationships that are just budding. And I want them all to grow strong. We met our small groups today that we’ll be a part of for the rest of the year. I’m excited God has provided me with an opportunity to build new friendships and just be me. It has taken a long time, it’s been a long, hard journey. But slowly my focus is shifting from inward to outward. I need to let others in. I need to be accepting and forgiving of others. I need to be accepted and forgiven. I need to be who God made me. And know that that is perfect. We face challenge after challenge in this life. And I’d rather have people to support me in my struggles instead of being on my own. I’ll close with a part of what I read today in “The Pilgrim’s Progress” where Christian is continuing on his journey on the narrow path towards eternal life, through the Valley of Humiliation. I want friends to accompany me into the valleys too 🙂

“Then he began to go forward; but Discretion, Piety, Charity and Prudence, would accompany him down to the foot of the hill…Then said Christian, As it was difficult coming up, so (so far as I can see) it is dangerous going down. Yes, said Prudence, so it is, for it is a hard manner for a man to go down into the Valley of Humiliation, as though art now, and to catch no slip by the way; therefore, said they, are we come out to accompany thee down the Hill. So he began to go down, but very warily; yet he caught a slip or two.”

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