Saturday, January 18, 2014

Let It Go...

The following is excerpted from T.D. Jakes.....with my sincere gratitude.

~There are people who can walk away from you, and believe me when I tell you this-When people can walk away from you: let them walk. I don't want you to try and talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone. When people can walk away from you, let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that is left. The Bible said that "they went out from us but they were not for us. For had they been for us, no doubt they would still be with us." {1 John 2:19}
People leave you because they are not joined to you and if they are not joined to you, you cannot make them stay. Let them go. It doesn't mean they are a bad person, it just means that their part in your story is over. So don't keep trying to raise the dead. You've got to know when it's dead. You've got to know when it's over.
I have the gift of goodbye, it's the tenth spiritual gift. You have to believe in goodbye. It's not that you're hateful, it's that you're faithful and you must know whatever God means for you to have, He will give it to you. If it takes too much sweat, then you don't need it!
If you're holding on to something that doesn't belong to you and it was never intended for your life, let it go.
If you're holding on to a past that hurts and pains, let it go.
If someone can't treat you right, love you back, and see your worth, let it go.
If someone has angered you, let it go.
If you are holding on to thoughts of evil or revenge, let it go.
If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction, let it go.
If you have a bad attitude, let it go.
If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better, let it go.
If you're stuck in the past, let it go.
If you keep trying to help someone who won't even try, let it go.
If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship, let it go.
Let the past be the past, forget the former things, there are always new and better things!~

OK-I am done with the "let it go" speech. I just think that everyone I know, everyone I want to know, and everyone I don't know could relate to some or all of this. Myself especially included.

And a little positive affirmation that we are on the right track never hurt anyone.

Side note, I realized I forgot to post Planner Notes in earlier posts from this week. So here you go:
Monday, January 13, 2014: Note To Self: Today you will shine.
Sunday, January 19, 2014: DELIGHT: In the multitude of anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19
Monday, January 20, 2014: Note To Self: Be positive, patient, and persistent.
Sunday, January 26, 2014: ABIDE: I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46

And there you have it.


Friday, January 17, 2014


Today's topic is forgiveness (another concept I find struggle with)...forgiveness as it means to us, versus how it means to Jesus. Because there IS a difference.

Learning how to forgive does not come naturally to us. In fact, forgiveness runs polar opposite to our human nature..and our desire for revenge. When we are hurt by someone, we want to hold a grudge. We want justice. We want others to know and understand our hurts. We want leverage for future interactions and disagreements. The problem? We are ALL wounded. We are ALL guilty. On our best days, our self esteem hovers somewhere between feeble and fragile. We seek approval from others. When they reject us, it hurts. When we encounter disapproval..even perceived sends us into a tailspin of hurt. Even if, and when, others' disapproval or criticism is valid and warranted, it's still hard to digest and take. It reminds us that we have failed in some way. We didn't measure up to expectations...others' or our own.

But what we must remember is that we ALL have at least one thing in common...we've all failed someone. And each of us also knows the pain of someones failure towards us. Knowing seems we could cut each other a little slack. We're all human after all.

The main problem is that, if we refuse to forgive others...not only do we foster bitterness in our own hearts, we fail to live up to the promises of Jesus.

You see, we view forgiveness as a supernatural act that only Jesus is capable of- because he loves us so unconditionally. What we forget is that people are incapable of unconditional love. (Despite the Katy Perry song to the contrary.) Sure we love our spouse, our kids, our parents and family. We love our friends. We love perfect strangers. But, it isn't unconditional. We place demands on them, set rules and obligations. We love them if they treat us right, if they do what we want them to, if they live up to their end of the deal. Conditional.

And when we are unforgiving of hurts and slights..when we hold grudges..when we seek revenge, or justice, or karma...we forget to trust God with that task.

But Jesus understands the brokenness of the human spirit. He knows that humans-all humans-are weak. For us, it usually doesn't help to know that those who hurt us are weak, that they are broken like us. That is why it is so important to turn those hurts over to Him. And to forgive- just as He forgave us. Just as we trust Him for our salvation, we must trust Him to make things right on our behalf. Especially when we forgive. He will heal our that we may move on with a clean heart and spirit.

Unfortunately, there are no easy steps to forgiveness. It is a process...a climb...a game of trial and error. But we can be confident that what He asks us to do, He also provides the strength to do.

So...think about this: His forgiveness is abundantly generous. He forgave us willingly, leaving us free of guilt. (Which is the product of an unforgiving heart...the burden of guilt.) It is not something we deserve or earn. Thank goodness. But because of this, He asks us to share this grace. By learning per His example.

Next we must realize that forgiveness, while exponentially worthwhile, is risky. The person we forgive might fail us again. And again. And possibly again. Perhaps the same way, perhaps many different ways. That is not on us. That is not our fault. Jesus sets no limits on forgiveness...forgiveness counts quality not quantity. It's not how many times we forgive's how well. It cannot be measured and cannot be counted. And we shouldn't even try.

Lastly, forgiveness is not some cosmic "Oh Well, better luck next time" from Jesus just because we say the right words. Forgiveness must be sincere and welcome. So I urge you to pray for the people who hurt you and begin to ask God to bless them in very specific ways. If you can't do that just yet (and that's OK..), at least ask Him to help you get there eventually. A little bit, a little at a time, is better than not at all.
"love your enemies, and do good to those that hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." JESUS {Luke 6:28}

Do it because YOU are forgiven. Do it because it's the right thing to do. Do it because you are freeing yourself. And do it in order to accept it from others.

We are all in this together.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Taking Offense...

Today I want to talk about something I'm working on - and struggling with - taking offense where none is offered. In this day and age, with the influx of social medias and less face to face interaction, it becomes more and more difficult to determine tone, mood, voice, or meaning in conversations. Sometimes an innocent remark or casual tone can be misinterpreted..even by well meaning acquaintances. The difficulty for me is in distinguishing..and not assuming the worst.

I often wonder what people mean, how they feel about me, what they say about me to others. I am slowly learning that how other people view me, feel about me, or interact with me is none of my business. My "job" is to live a life worthy of that leaves nothing open to misinterpretation or causes others to speak negatively about me. My "job" is to make better my world, my surroundings, my charges, and myself...and to inspire others to do the same.

Sure, I can't control what people think of me, whether they like me, or what they have to say. Sometimes people just don't work well together. But, I CAN give them reasons NOT to leave my company with a negative impression, I can give them cause to celebrate, I can give them pause and peace.

I can also stop spending my days obsessing over how to change their hearts. Again, not my "job". Everyone doesn't have to be on my fan bandwagon. And that's OK. I have more important things to focus on than winning over negative or toxic people (and there are some)...and I certainly don't need them taking up space in my life. After all, lions do not lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. (RAWR). I'm not saying that every person you meet or interact with is toxic or negative, or that offenses occur because of that...I'm simply allowing that occasionally you will encounter such people. And it's perfectly acceptable to walk away from will know if it's right. Trust your gut. Don't waste precious time, energy, and emotion trying to figure it out...or worse yet, change them. Let the sheep out to pasture.

So back to the taking offense. A lesson I need to learn is that every situation, every interaction, every opportunity is not one sided. Nor is it mutually exclusive. Someone else's bad day, bad moment, bad mood does not have to A. be about me B. reflect on me C. be because of me or D. affect me. And vice versa. Life happens. And while sometimes offering yourself to another person is a struggle, as long as I can say I did my very best for other people....I should rest with an easy heart.

Now, I'm not saying that I will never again get offended. I'm not implying that my feelings will never again be hurt, or that what other people say and do won't have an impact on me. I'm human after all. Nor can I say that I will consistently be super sensitive to others, that my filter is magically functional again, or that I won't, without meaning to, hurt other people. Undoubtedly I will. Because, once again, I am human. And I am flawed. But, know that I do have the best of intentions and that I am trying. And know that I love you ever so much. Whoever you are...and no matter what.

Learning to channel emotions is a process. It won't happen overnight. Changing how you view every interaction is daunting..and sometimes exhausting. But, I promise that as we learn to brush off imagined hurts and welcome understanding...we open ourselves up to the greatness we deserve. We lessen the burdens we carry, we lift the heaviness from our hearts, and we release ourselves from the self imposed prison we have created. I say we...because I am right there...learning, changing, and forgiving. I fight the very same battles and pray the very same prayers.

And if I can change my perception...I know that you can, too.

Keep the faith, have hope, and are a lion. Don't lose your power. Every moment is a choice. Choose you. Choose love. Choose understanding. Choose forgiveness. Choose better.

See you very soon.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Let's Talk...

Hello and Welcome to the New Year! It has taken me until now to figure out exactly what I wanted to say to you here in this cyber corner. Plus, I've just been really busy. And really cold.

As we enter a new and exciting year, full of promise and reward, there are so many things that we leave behind. 2013 was less than epic for me. Sure, it had amazing moments..but, I leave it with hope and regret. I have hope that 2014 will be an opportunity for change, for more, for better. And I have regret that 2013 did not live up to my expectations, that people I care about suffered immense pain, and that some of that may have been inflicted by me.

That was NOT the legacy I intended to leave behind.
So, let's talk.

Let's talk about resolutions.  Normally, I don't make them. But, this year is different. I'm making them for change the things I dislike, to begin holding myself accountable, to recognize the mistakes and celebrate the victories.

I resolve:
To Be: Kinder - to examine the things I do, and proceed with love.
           Quieter - to examine the things I say, and respond only with love.
           Present - to BE where I am, to enjoy who I'm with, and to live in the now.
           Engaged - to fully belong to the moments that surround me.
           Active - to better myself and my health.
           Gentler - to respect those I love. Not gentler in action...but in word and tone.
           Generous - to shower those important to me with love, affection, and time.
           Patient - to others and to my own heart. The journey takes time, slow down, enjoy, and learn.
           Decisive - to do and say what I mean, to take back the control, and to accept circumstances.

Let's talk about change. This year, my life changes. I am going back to school. I am going to read more and Internet less. I am going to reconnect with people and spend less time alone. I am going to fill our home with love, resources, and baking, cooking, canning, loving, and hugging. I am hugging everyone. I am going to write more and worry less. I am going to let go. I am going to renew my faith, my spirit, and my desires. I am going to succeed. And, most importantly, I am going to survive.

And, finally, let's talk about blogging. And planners. I received a BEAUTIFUL planner from my sweet husband...even though he is convinced that "planning" is a job for my tablet. That said, you will find a very different blog from here on out. I am opening up the pages of my planner to dear readers. Each week, on Monday, I put a quote in the pages. Something to reflect the journey for the week, something to remind me what I am trying to accomplish, something that speaks to my heart. And each week, on Sunday, I leave a word. A little on that: for the last few years I have chosen one word to define the year. (You can look this up, it varies of course, but I use the One Little Word idea.) Last year, my word was Lovely. And while 2013 certainly had lovely hardly defined my year as a whole. So, this year, because I couldn't decide on just one word (already failing in that decisive resolution.)...I am using one a week. Some have scripture associated with them. Some a quote. Some are just an ideal..a thought..a goal. Whatever the case...each week I will share with you that word...and what it means moving forward.

What this means for the blog...I hope to use the blog as a tool this year. To bring me closer to all of you, to provide you with a look into my life, my art, and my soul. I hope to maintain my resolutions here...and allow all of you to hold me to a higher standard and expectation. I hope to share my journey...and I hope to follow yours. And mostly, I hope to express less anger, less toxicity, less pain...and more love. I hope to move on and let go...and I hope to do it successfully.

So let's begin...shall we?
Monday, December 30, 2013: Note To Self: Before going to sleep at night FORGIVE everyone and sleep with a clean heart.
Sunday, January 5, 2014: JOURNEY: Perhaps I will stay with you for awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey. 1 Corinthians 16:6
Monday, January 6, 2014: Note To Self: (Listen)3 Thrice, (Think)2 Twice, (Speak)1 Once.
Sunday, January 12, 2014: GROW: And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

I'm ready to take on 2014 with a clean heart, a quieter mind, and a healthier soul. And, as always, I am ever so thankful to have you tagging along. And, in case you were interested, my Soul Scripture for this year is Ephesians 5:2..Walk in love. That's the goal.

So there you have it. Thanks for trudging through that ridiculously long post.

See you very soon, I hope.