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realliferiss

just looking for the sun, even in the rain

So what happens when “as long as I’m living” isn’t the case

Holy cow! Mother’s Day was on Sunday! I love any day that celebrates someone. I love showing people I love them. Even on a “Hallmark Holiday”.

I celebrated my adopted mom! But I still felt the hole where my birth mom was missing. I
don’t really look at it like Deborah replaced Sonja. I just have 2 moms. I’m very blessed in that way. But I know that if I was feeling that funky-ness on Sunday, others had to be feeling it too. Maybe you lost a child, or your mom isn’t a part of your life by choice. No matter the case, if you felt icky, even if it was just a little nagging feeling, you’re not alone. And you’re not crazy. You’re missing something. You’re longing for something. And other people are with you. I’m with you; in more ways than just losing a mom. It’s okay to have feelings. But don’t let those feelings make you bitter.

When you feel those icky things, acknowledge them. But find something to soothe your soul, and do it.

God doesn’t want you to live there, and He wants you to be happy. He wants to bless you. LET Him. Don’t block the blessing by being stuck in the dark. Be thankful for what you have, not what you’re missing.

My message to anyone missing someone this mother’s day is to not live in the past, and not stress about the future. You can still love your mom, celebrate your day, even if your baby isn’t there to do it with you.

So, this is what happens when you can no longer say nor hear “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

  1. You cry. Because it  feels great.
  2. You stand up.
  3. Wipe your tears.
  4. Do something that brings you joy.
  5. Honor your mother or yourself with happy thought. Good things. and a thankful heart.

 

I know this is all over the place. Just needed to share my heart.

be blessed<3

Stay Positive. No Really, Stay Positive

Hey guys! Life is crazy isn’t it? My favorite saying is “Jesus take the wheel”. In the last year and a half I have lost everything that I held dear to me. Then I got in a car accident and lost some more things, along with temporary loss  to my right leg (my driving leg) and had to be in the hospital for a month.

Let me tell you, my name isn’t Grace for a reason. I don’t do life gracefully… Okay, shake your head now, that was lame. But in all seriousness, I don’t. I completely fell apart two different times between 2014 and 2015. I could not handle the loss that I was going through, or the life changes those brought. I know I’m not alone here. Millions of people, maybe even billions, have gone through things in their life… and they don’t handle it the best way. Well, hello, I’m Marissa Hall-Burkhart, and I do not handle life well. Correction, did not, learning how to. And I want to share with you. Because overcoming anything is 90% attitude.

I have very few people I consider family, and my pastors and their family is part of that. I’ve spent lots of time talking with them and seeking their council. One thing I would ask Pastor Dave always “How do you stay so positive when things get messy and out of control” and his answer never changed, it just took my mind wanting to hear it. He told me that he controlled what he could, and he left the rest to God. He said that stressing is pointless, it doesn’t change anything. And it takes a lot more energy to be negative than to just BE POSTIVE.

So….. fast forward to Marissa in the hospital. I was miserable. I wouldn’t work with therapy, and I just wanted to sleep. Then one day I tried and it wasn’t so bad. I tried because a physical therapist walked in my room and told me “you cannot say ‘no’ only that you will try”. So naturally, sassy me said “I probably can’t do this but ‘I will try'” with the nasty facial expressions and everything. (I’m a hot mess some days) But I actually tried. It was victorious to move my leg for the first time in two weeks. From that moment on I decided that I was going to try, and I was going to be more positive. It didn’t mean I was going to be happy about my bad situations; it meant that I was going to find joy in the pain. It meant that I was going to hold God on his promise of making all things for the good for those that love Him (Romans 8:28).

Guys, I’m not saying life is going to be exponentially perfect with a better attitude, I’m saying you will be exponentially better with a good attitude. Life is so beautiful even in the mess. Sometimes you just have to laugh. Sometimes you’ll need to cry. But either way, there is going to be a way to get through the season you’re in.

I’m praying for you today. I’m praying for those battling things. Joy comes in the morning.

<3be blessed

“Sometimes even the mightiest of us need help”

Hey guys! Wow, it has been some time since I have blogged. I got in a car accident a month ago, and I’ve been in the hospital ever since. I’m doing well though! I have had surgery to correct everything that was broken, I’m healing great from that, and kicking butt in therapy. I’ve been off of work for the month that I’ve been injured and I’ll be off until I get cleared to work again.

Through this whole month, I’ve been watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy” and I can really relate to that show (minus the part of being a kick butt surgeon.) Meredith always has her own plans. And in the beginning she is dead set on not being married, just being a surgeon. But what she realizes slowly, is that people need other people. And even the people who may be the mightiest, they need help. And it’s okay to need help. It really got me thinking….

 

I’m very independent. But this year I NEEDED my friends, my pastors, my mentors, my family to help me carry on. Since I’ve been injured I’ve needed help doing the most basic of self care.  They both have made me humble. And through both of these seasons I have realized I can make all the plans I want, but if it’s not God’s plan, it won’t be working. And even though I’m very strong and independent, I have to rely and trust in God, or else I will get confused and depressed.

Proverbs 19:21 really spoke to me. Basically, it says you can make the plans you want to, but God’s will is always going to prevail. I was making all of these plans, but it wasn’t what God wanted. I’m determined to hear Him and figure out what He wants for my life.

 

Putting my faith aside, you don’t have to believe in God to understand my post. You can not know God, and understand you can’t do this life on your own. You need your friends and family.

I have become extremely humbled. And I appreciate who I have now. I don’t want to direct God on my life, because He has more for me than I could ever ask for..

 

Before I got hurt, I was going to write about how YOU decide what your life is like by your attitude, but this hit me more. I’ll go back to that topic a different time.

 

If you feel alone, or you don’t think you need other people, or you’re down; I am praying for you. Your story can continue. You can start a new chapter.

 

<3be blessed

“You’re off to great places, You’re off and away”

Welcome to 2016!!! Sorry, I know I’m a little late. But let me tell you, it feels great to say I made it to 2016…

I  have seen so many people being negative towards the “New Year mentality” and I have some things to say about that.

First off, shame on you! Some people have absolutely no hope right now, and they are literally clinging to that idea of a fresh year. How dare you be so cynical that you steal their hope.

Regardless if someone goes through with their “new years resolutions” it doesn’t concern you, or even the day itself. New Year gives you a fresh page, a new number. That’s how I saw it.

After all of the crap from the past year, I embraced New Years with open arms. It wasn’t just a day to me. It’s my first year being Marissa Hall-Burkhart again. It’s my first year not being married. I can go onto 2016 and make myself new again(which I am doing). 2016 is a beautiful, blossoming year for me.

Second, why  do you feel the need to rain on someones life? People see that and get discouraged. The world would be a little better place with a little more compassion.

 

 

Welcome to 2016, friends. I pray it’s a year of blessings, lessons, love, and compassion!

 

❤ be blessed

Fog/Light

Hey guys! I am so excited to write tonight! Life has been crazy lately. I started a new job, full time. It has been great. I’ve been at church a lot lately for the Christmas play, along with leadership and regular service. So I’ve been busy, but God has downloaded so much on me tonight, and I cannot wait to share… SO. Here goes 🙂

 

It has been crazy foggy in the Mitten lately. Even in the day time. Tonight, I could barely see with my brights on :O I was getting so nervous in the desolate areas of my route home. Then, cars finally started coming, and they helped light my way.

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In a way, it was almost prophetic to me. This life has been crazy, and scary, and FOGGY. On my way home, it gets dark. I’m not sure if I’m on the right road or not. Then God will light my way. Giving me the peace that I’m in the lines, or the warning that I’m a little close to that light pole.

Sometimes, before another car comes along, I freak out. Like full on anxiety that I’m driving right off a cliff(even thought I know I logically don’t live near any. Nor is there any on the way to most of the places I go). But I don’t have a reason for the fear. I’ve never hit anything or anyone in fog. I’ve never been hit in fog. But I get scared. That’s how I feel in life sometimes too. So much has happened to me, and I have lived through everything I’ve ever been through. But sometimes, I get anxiety I won’t. Then God shows His grace and mercy over me.

Tonight, I was reading in Matthew. I specifically read Matthew 8 through Matthew 10. All through that Jesus talks about FAITH. People were healed, got their families heal not because Jesus laid His hand on them(although He did do that, but in some of these testimonies, He didn’t) but because they had FAITH in Him and God.

Another thing that hit me was Matthew 8:23-27. Basically, Jesus commanded them to get on the boat, and He fell asleep. A terrible storm fell over the sea, and they started tripping out. “Jesus! Wake up! We are going to drown!!!” And Jesus wakes up, and calms the storm. Sometimes, we have to go through that storm. Jesus maybe asleep, but God’s timing was and always will be perfect. He will calm your storm, light your road, give you what He has for you, in His time.

Sometimes, the fog is needed. It’s only when light banishes the darkness that you truly appreciate the light.

 

Thank you, God for my fog. Thank you, God for my storm. Thank you, God for the light. Thank you, God for the peace.

 

If your road is currently dark, I’m praying for a light for you. Don’t shut off your car now, you’ve made it so far!

❤ be blessed

lose another day here

I have been wrestling with this since December 14th, 2014 (that is the day I realized that everything was all wrong). And I think I’m finally ready to talk about it. and “it” is standards and what you’re allowed to expect from the person you are with.

Okay, so let me be honest, there was warning signs well before my marriage… Like when Ron’s mom called me a slut (hello, I was a virgin.. in a serious committed relationship, but okay) or when his dad got right in my face and screamed at me telling me his son deserved better than me, prettier than me. And you wanna know what Ron did? Nothing. When I asked him why he didn’t say anything he  told me he figured I was strong enough and I didn’t need him to defend me…

So, I’m going to start there. No matter how strong I am, I deserve to have my honor defended, my character. No, I don’t need it, I’ve been defending my own self for my whole life, but dang it, I want that. And that’s not to much to ask. And I told him that, but Ron never did get that. Or rather, he did in fact get it, but he didn’t respect me enough in the beginning to act on it.

As a human, I think there tends to be this fear of being alone forever, or not being good enough. I know I have that. But our fears are putting us in the worst situations… They are forcing us to settle. We are losing our worth, our desires, our rights to fear.

My biggest fear is that nobody will love me and I’ll never get the family I’ve always wanted… But by settling, I became miserable (okay, before you freak out and screenshot this and send it to him, I do not regret my marriage. I would have continued until my last breath fighting for my covenant. But I realize now that I’m out of the situation that I let so many things go. and I am passionate about humans knowing how beautiful they are. So I am sharing.) I didn’t have man that wanted to pray with me, or read the bible with me. I didn’t have a seatmate at church on Sundays, or a partner in crime on Wednesdays. I couldn’t sing crazy with him anymore. I wasn’t being told that I was pretty, and I wasn’t being honored. I was being lied to, manipulated, cheated on, pushed around, and stolen from. And I allowed that because of my fears.

But the thing is… Ron didn’t give me worth. He literally was someone I loved with my whole heart, that didn’t love me the same back. But I wasn’t alone. and I had a chance at a family. Crazy how we rationalize things in our darkest times, huh?

After my divorce, I learned a million things about myself. I learned I enjoyed staying up late and watching 90s reruns. I loved eating Coney Island with my best friends at 3 am. I learned I am a big kid at heart.  I learned that I enjoyed wine and crying(it’s good for the soul). I like driving my loud car around with all the windows down singing emo music with people. I enjoy alter calls at church. I love working with teenagers. I learned I wanted to become a children’s pastor. But, most importantly, I learned that it’s okay for me to expect in my future relationships. It’s okay to have goals, and it’s okay to turn people down because they aren’t where I am or they have no intentions of being there. And I learned that no man is going to make me any more beautiful than I already am.

So, I encourage you if you’re in a relationship that isn’t helping you become all God has called you to be, leave*unless you’re married. Talk to a trusted person of God*. If you are in a relationship where you’re not being honored, leave. HAVE EXPECTATIONS. and DO NOT SETTLE. Don’t let your fears win. Don’t let the devil steal your destiny. Make a list of all the qualities that are important to you. And stick to it! And most importantly, when you wake up in the morning tell yourself how wonderful you are. Because you are wonderful and you are beautiful. Even in all of our flaws, God made us in His image. That means everyone.

 

I’m praying for anyone that is walking through this right now.

 

be blessed<3

So, is it really okay to not be okay?

This is probably going to be the hardest to write. Not because the stuff is hard to talk about, but because it’s hard to show my true emotions. The last few weeks have been rough for me. Though I have been able to have many times of joy, I have been struggling. My anxiety is high, I haven’t been sleeping, I have been crying so much, and I haven’t been myself. I’ve been sensitive, and moody. Good Lord, I have been a hot mess..

It’s by Gods grace alone that I’ve made it this far… But sometimes I feel ashamed that I am so low. I feel like I should be okay because I serve an amazing God. But, my heart has been shattered, and God is slowly restoring me. Becoming “better” is a process.

So, I’m just going through a repair right now. The last 12 months of my life have been a whole lot of betrayal, lies, abuse, sadness, depression, abandonment, and other things that go into the category of “bad stuff”. Just like when you have surgery to fix something, it hurts until it is fully healed, then, in most cases, you’re better than ever.

But right now, I am not better than ever. I am a broken human that hasn’t slept decently in weeks, has a broken heart, and has to give out a lot of apologies for how she reacts to things. I really don’t mean to be a mess. I wish desperately I wasn’t getting better. I wish I was already good. But I’m not. and This is who I am while I walk through this.

God gave me this verse Psalms 34:17-18 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from  all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”

He isn’t ashamed of me, or anyone else that isn’t okay. He loves us deeply. He is so proud we are still fighting the good fight.

So, in my prayer and worship, I have concluded: it is okay to not be okay.

Praying for my fellow humans that are having “heart” surgery. You can do it! God believes in us!

be blessed<3

Statistically Speaking…

What is up? I always say “hi” or something along those lines, but I really wanna know what is going on in your world. I wish this was like Facebook. So I could talk to the people that read my blog. ANYWAYS. Hey, hi, what’s up?

I was in a support class this week, and the guy started talking about statistics, and I felt like I was a whole millimeter tall. I felt so insignificant. And it hit me… how many other people feel like they are just a predicted number? And I prayed about that. How awful I felt, and to know others probably felt the same way? That broke my heart.

But God is so good, He let me in on a little secret…

YOU ARE NOT A STATISTIC. You are more than the 1/3 kids who come from a broken home. You are more than a teen pregnancy. You are more than a failed marriage. You are more than the things the numbers try to label you as.

Nobody on this earth, not one person, can be you. They cannot think how you think, they cannot feel how you feel, and they cannot fulfill your destiny the way you are designed to do it. And the numbers don’t tell you that. The numbers don’t radiate the beauty your smile does. The numbers don’t show the love you give. The numbers don’t show the people you’ve touched.

So maybe you’re a recovering addict because your parents picked up the bottle, and you did after them. Or maybe you’re nursing your baby while you’re finishing school. Or maybe you’re signing divorce papers. Maybe, just maybe you’re fighting the urge to harm yourself tonight. Those facts do not define you. Those are past choices, that you are trying to make better.

Can I tell you some facts though? You are a child of God. He DID make you in His image. He DOES want you to live a full and prosperous life. You ARE a beautiful human. and last but not least, YOU ARE WORTHY OF GOOD THINGS. And that is what statistically speaking doesn’t tell you. But, I’m here to tell you 😉

Be encouraged tonight friends, you are so wonderful. And if you just feel like an insignificant number, message me. I will tell you all the good things I can type about you.

be blessed<3

Dreams really can come true

Okay, so I am a person that cherishes the deeper meanings. My mom always points this out. Dates are important to me, objects, sayings, gestures; it’s all important. And I think that’s why my Halloween costume was so important to me. So bare with me…

Ever since I met Ron I literally dreamed of being Minnie Mouse, I was in love with the idea of us going as a couple costume. But Ron always thought it was dumb, and we both always worked on Halloween; so we never did it.

Now fast forward, I’m freshly divorced and finding myself.

I needed a costume. and I decided to be Minnie because I didn’t have to spend any money on it. It felt so good finally doing what I wanted to do. and I rocked that Minnie Mouse get up like nobodies business

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But more importantly, I’ve been letting someones opinion dictate what I did for two years, and I finally just did what I wanted to do. Sometimes, we forget that even our small dreams, are counted when they come to pass.

I know it was just some Minnie ears and makeup, but I was so happy that I was finally doing what I wanted. As I was working at church, my heart just became full. I have my dream job, I am a youth leader, I am going to school, and I’m ALIVE. I’m alive to experience these glorious moments, these sad moments, and I’m able to give glory to God.

Hopefully, I wasn’t rambling. I probably was. Sorry. I told you I wasn’t a good writer, nor was I writing for a purpose other than saying what’s on my mind!

I’m praying for anyone that needs their “little dreams” to come true.

be blessed ❤

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