Pressing Towards the Goal

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

‭‭~ Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’m sending encouragement and praying for you, my friends! As the new year has begun, we are setting goals and making plans, on top of our already busy & hectic days! As I fast these few days of the year and focusing on God’s plan for me (not mine!), I am reminded that He does not want me living in my past…that there is nothing prior to Him that can define who or what I am…for I am His…and He loves me and fully accepts ALL that I am. There is no greater love than that and it only comes from Him!

I am also reminded how important it is to stay in the moment…this moment…today, right now…and what He has in store for me. For if I worry so much about the future and what needs to happen tomorrow or the rest of the week…I’m risking missing the details He has in store for me today, right now…this moment. My focus only needs to be on Him!

I was reading some of my prayer journal from last year…and I had been praying on the scripture Philippians 4:6-7…and afterwards in my journal I wrote, “we do not need to know our future, we need only to know our Father”, this must have come from one of my Pastor’s messages…but WOW!

I’m so very thankful for God’s goodness and grace!

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People Matter To God

Living in this broken world
thinking we’re in control,
but we cannot compare
to the One who created it all.

It is not easy, it is not common,
it does not come naturally;
but we are called to love one another
the way that God loves you and me.

Individually we may be small,
but together we can be one
to build His church, hand in hand
welcoming in all who are lost.

God loves His people,
more than we can imagine;
because we are more important to Him
than all of His creations.

Every person is made
in the perfect image of God;
our lives, thoughts, passions,
fears, dreams and all.

Sin may have cracked the mirror
and we may not see things very clear;
but God restores us; He makes us whole;
because of Him we have nothing to fear.

He stands taller than the universe,
nothing is greater than He.
The creator of time, beginning and end,
He is the reason we are set free.

He loves His people, again I say,
how could we ever deny Him?
There He is, looking down the road
just waiting for us to come home.

This is God’s heart for us,
shining brightly from above.
He sent His son to die on the cross
so that we might know His unconditional love.

Our voices can sing, with our arms open wide,
but to love Him truly as we walk this earth,
is to love one another
and to put each other first.

~ Kristie Bueno

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The Red Sea Place

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?

Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul, “Go on.”

In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall no more be afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.

~ Annie Johnson Flint

“He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry, and he led them through the deep as through a desert. So he saved them from the hand of the foe and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭106:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

~ John 3:16

It is not about us.

The greatest gift we can give is to forgive and show grace. Forgive others – even if they don’t forgive us. Love them anyway. Love them as Jesus does.

It is not about us.

We represent Him during our time on earth so that we might bring others to know Him eternally.

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There it is
that same old song

You keep singing
ridiculously wrong

There I go
letting you in

Playful eyes
and that stupid grin

This is it
you’re not mine

Never again
until next time

~ Kristie Bueno

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Where did I go you ask
Was it me, did I say goodbye
Did you let me slip away
Finding silence in my cries

Maybe I did

Wander to where I was wanted
To places too dark to see
Hearing the absent words
Healing the holes inside of me

I don’t remember the journey
The path to where I landed
Only waking up surrounded
By everything you abandoned

Maybe I did

Lose myself along the way
Not seeing you in front of me
Forgetting your touch
And your smile that set me free

It could have happened
Falling so far away
To that place that wanted me
Wandering and wanting to stay

Maybe you did

Come back for me
From where you wandered to
And maybe now you see
It was me who wanted you

~ Kristie Bueno

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“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A mighty one who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.”

Zephaniah 3:12 ESV

I have continued struggling with doubts and insecurities in relationships with family, friends and co-workers. I find myself in fear of abandonment and I become consumed with trying to control what I cannot, justifying my pattern of leaving before they can leave me.

I realize that I hold others accountable for circumstances that they had nothing to do with. Why do I do this? They are not responsible for my past rejections. I create and receive inaccurate intentions – hearing something worse than what they actually said or did.

So, how can I allow myself to be vulnerable without fearing the worst, constantly questioning if these relationships are genuine and that maybe they don’t intentionally want to break what is already broken. Maybe I have been lying to myself all along believing that I have dealt with my past and maybe my habits cannot be considered healing coping skills.

The truth is, and I must continue to tell myself, that my identity is not made of my past. I am already loved by the One who created me – and this is where my identity resides. Reminding myself of this, every day, will begin the real healing. I was seeking reassurance from everyone but the only One who can provide it, setting myself up for failure from the beginning.

I am loved! Without question, without hesitation and without conditions…I am loved.

love > fear

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© Copyright 2018 Kristie Bueno Photography, All Rights Reserved

“…the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19:1‬b NIV‬‬

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Stuck in the memories
Of the good and the bad

Distracted and stumbling
Lost in the past

Keep telling myself
It’s underserving of my time

Too high up this mountain
That I have fought to climb

Desperate for the peace
Praying it will come

Keeping the faith
Remembering where my strength comes from

~ Kristie Bueno

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The truth is…

Image 1-18-18 at 1.17 AM

© Copyright 2018 Kristie Bueno Photography, All Rights Reserved

“It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt,
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills,
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

As I sit here unable to rest, the flu has taken over and I truly believe this is the sickest I have ever been. Unable to get lost in the busyness of life I am faced with listening to my thoughts. What a dangerous place to wonder.

A couple of nights ago, at what I thought was the peak of the storm, I feared falling asleep, maybe not so much falling asleep…but not waking up. My mind raced through the people in my life, repeating to myself what I last texted or said. Would they know how much I loved them? Would they believe how much they mattered to me?

This may be something we all go through now and then, but my mind couldn’t help but remind me of a darker time. The truth is, there was a time that I didn’t want to wake up at all. I was so lost in pain, heartache and confusion that I believed that all would be better to sleep forever. And in that moment, my mind raced through the people in my life, wondering who would need to hear me say goodbye? Would they be better off in my absence?

I felt to be a burden you see, too broken to be fixed. The band-aids were no longer holding and I couldn’t face it alone – but all I felt was alone! Looking back, there were so many people who I interacted with everyday, yet no one knew. I couldn’t let them see the truth; I couldn’t trust them with the dark and ugly demons that I faced. They wouldn’t and couldn’t understand.

So, I made the decision. Apparently, God made a different decision. I believe it was the plan all along. I had to hit the bottom before I could begin to rise. I look back now at the toll it took on so many; some of them decided it was too much and walked away – and that’s okay. That taught me a lesson too.

It’s been three years. Not all days are good ones, but my vision is so much clearer. I see now that I forgot my purpose and lost who I was. I found help and hope. I allowed myself the courage to accept me for me just a little bit each day. The demons don’t go away, but their voices are a little harder to hear. Maybe this sickness is offering the slightest bit of light by slowing me down enough to reflect how far I have come. I have to keep fighting; I have to keep waking up, because there is still so much left for me to do.

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