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Too much of a good thing; Pit Falls, and Pit Bulls.

The most important part of a painful conversation is the conclusion that comes from it.

Allow me to briefly explain.

Recently I was told that I was no longer jovial, or fun; that I was different than I was before.

How that exchange came up, or the pain it caused me is not important. At least not here.

The most important parts of any conversation, are both perception, and and process.

Perception involves;

  • Who said it?
  • Why did they said it?
  • What did they really mean?
  • True motivation of the speaker. Period.

Process involves;

  • Is what they said true?
  • Do I need to take it literally?
  • If it’s false; how do I handle it?
  • If it’s true; how do I handle that?

Back Story

Through childhood trauma, and the passing of my mother in 2001, I spent much of my time recovering from a form of PTSD/depression.

God’s Word, the Holy Bible was instrumental as a foundation for my healing.

It taught me to seek out solitude, and gave me steps to begin changing my thought patterns , and learn to avoid the pitfalls of a too painful life.

Reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet; The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, (https://amzn.to/33esZWt) gave me an inside look on the real me.

I found that enjoying being alone, was actually quite normal for some folks; and that for me it can actually be revitalizing.

Through reading her material, I was free of the guilt brought on by withdrawing, and began to embrace the quietness, and thus thrust my healing light years ahead of where I was.

Then about two years ago, we had to put our little Cairn Terrier to sleep.

He was to be our forever dog, and at age four, became to ill to be fixed.

I swore off ever having another dog.

The pain of his passing, brought back memories of the pain from my mom’s passing, and without my really noticing it – I was again enveloped in depression.

Withdrawing further and further into my own bubble, using my new knowledge of “Quietude” as an excuse.

Well, a mentor of mine says that even a GOOD thing carried to excess, can become a BAD thing; a burden.

So it was with solitude.

So back to present day, and that PERCEPTION thing;

  • Was what I was being told true? Probably yes.
  • Why did they say it? Most likely because now MY pain, was causing THEM pain.
  • What did they really mean? PLEASE figure this thing out so you can stop being so miserable.
  • True motivation? No matter how rough their comments came out, they really only have my best interest at heart.

So how about that PROCESS part?

The evening of that fight was difficult; my heart was dark with pain.

But the following morning, I got up and in solitude, prayed my favorite prayer of all; “God, please tell me the truth.”

  • Was what they said true? Unfortunately, yes. I had been increasingly sullen over the past several months.
  • Should I take their pleas literally? Yes of course. Even though I was not seeing any issues, they were; and it was causing them much inner turmoil.
  • Was it false? No. Since it was not false, it could not be ignored, unless of course change was not something I wanted. (To be clear – I NEVER want to cause someone pain!)
  • So is it true? Yes. Oh God. Tell me what to do. Tell me the truth, and help me to hear it.

Almost immediately, a random thought, of a random conversation with a random friend came to mind.

A conversation about her dog.

She lives alone, and has a large dog that not only keeps her company, but keeps her safe in her ever changing neighborhood.

I of course balked at this random idea, but as I considered her story (boy did she have some stories!) it became clear that perhaps a new dog may be helpful.

It would REQUIRE me to get out of my bubble a bit, and also keep me company.

Always a fan of the “bully breeds”, I began a search for Pit Bulls.

The day we went to see, and maybe pick up the one I wanted at a shelter a couple of towns away, he was sent away to a different home.

Sad, but no harm, no foul.

That night, a friend I’ve known for forty years, placed a video of a dog she knew of who needed to be re-homed – his owner was just too busy to care for him, and he was tied in the yard to a tree most of the time.

His owner was agreeable to us taking him off her hands.

We picked him up the very next day.

All of the problems we could have had with another dog or puppy, are non existent.

He is however making me get up, move about, and TALK.

I don’t know how it will all end, but I’m feeling a bit happier, a little lighter, and glad to have been able to help out a pup in need in the process.

So. All that to say this; Ask God to tell you the truth.

Listen even when it seems random.

He’s here to help.

Oh, and just a note, the pit bull I wanted? Through no fault of his own brought back to the shelter this a.m. Imagine that.

Enjoying his new digs.

See you next time!

Two Fine Questions

For quite a while, from 2008 to about 2012, I studied and studied a manuscript from a conference I had gone to in Washington D.C.

This study was about our true identity. It was written and taught by Graham Cooke .

Graham maintains that our identity is made up of two things; Who we are on earth, and how we are know in heaven.

Our PERSONALITY – made up of who we are on earth;

and our PERSONA – made up of how we are known in heaven.

When you understand who God made you to be, or how you are known in heaven, it changes your perception of your circumstances.

When you understand who God made you to be; you can look at things a different way during awful conditions.

“Why is this happening to me?” and “Why this? Why now? Why me?” are questions we would ask from our personality.

They cause us to be victims.

“What does this mean?”

and

“What shall I do?”

These are questions we would ask from our persona.

They help us to be victorious!

Those have been the two most helpful questions to me in times of trouble.

These questions have changed me from a victim, to a victor!

I get to CHOOSE! I can ask myself these two questions and then take action. 

These questions may seem over simplified, but knowing what the words say, and actually putting them to work in your life are two different issues.

The level of difficulty is often disproportionately boosted.

I worked on installing those thoughts and ideas into my heart and mind for more than four years.

I still have to break out the lesson once in a while for a re-cap.

How in the world can you change the way you think?

I did it by reading scripture over and over about just who God says I am and what He thinks of me.

Here are some important things that God wants us to know. I hope you find them helpful.

  • The most important thing that God says about me (and He says it about you to by the way) is this;

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance:
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

  • We are not mistakes. We are not accidents. No matter what we’ve been told.

 Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  •  He made us just how we are, and He gave us purpose.  All different, and gloriously unique!

2 Samuel 22:20 (ESV)

He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because He delights in me.

  • He delights in us and wants to rescue us from the chaos of this world!

Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

  • He loves us so much. He rescues us from our wasteland. We are the apple of His eye!

John 3:16-17 (ESV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life; For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

  • He loves us ALL the same.

If we are born again in Him, then we can always know and remember that He is there for us; even if we are not in Him, we can know that He wants us to be.

I know I’m going long here, but I’d like to share just one more thing with you today.

The words from this song by Morgan Harper Nichols, states my position on what He thinks of me (and you) very well.

It reminds me of how He cared for me, even when I was unaware of Him.

The Storyteller

On a Sunday evening I’m
looking back over all the years
and where I’ve been
Looking at old photographs
I’m remembering
you were right there
and you have been ever since

With every page that turns
I see your faithfulness

Oh the mountain where I climbed
The valley where I fell
You were there all along
That’s the story I’ll tell
You brought the pieces together
Made me this storyteller
Now I know it is well, it is well
That’s the story I’ll tell

There were some nights that felt like
They would last forever
But you kept me breathing
You were with me right then
And all that you have done for me
I could never hold it in
So here’s to me telling this story
Over and over again

Oh the mountain where I climbed
The valley where I fell
You were there all along
That’s the…

Source: Musixmatch

Please join me again next time for part two.

Take a Breath

 

In lieu of many things on my mind as of late, I thought I’d re-run a post that I originally ran in September of 2011.

 

Psalm 139: 13-16   For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

These are the most important words.

I want you to hear them.

God created you.

You were His choice.

If you hear anything different than this,

It is a lie.

Straight from the enemy of your soul.

Designed solely to keep you away from your loving Father in Heaven.

Run from that lie,

And into His arms of truth.

Have a rest there.

Take a breath.

 

I’m working on Friday’s topic.    Until then, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Whatever is on your mind.  A question?  An answer?  A bit of your story?

Or perhaps a topic you’d like to see discussed here.

Above all,  take a breath,

and I’ll see you back here on Friday.

Spirit Filled Personality

 

As we saw in the previous posts, each personality type has its own strengths and weaknesses.

The neatest thing to know is that God made you just the way you are.

He did not make a mistake.  He wanted you to be uniquely you.  He wanted your special kind of voice in the world.

In His creating of you, He had a certain something in mind for you to do.  He made you for a certain something that only you can accomplish.

Consider with me for just one moment that your special voice is not being heard in the world because of an enemy. 

Consider an enemy of such great malevolence and hatred for your soul that his goal from your very beginning was to silence you. Please consider also, that God’s word says that it is really very true.

Wait a minute!  If this is so, then I don’t stand a chance!  Au contraire!  Quite the opposite!

Beloved, I have one more thing for you to consider.

The God, who made you, gave you a way to rewrite your story.  This God of the universe sent you a love letter, and in this love letter, He told you all you need to know about life and godliness. 

In other words, He’s given you all you need to know about how to make your own special voice heard in the midst of all the others.

Let’s just take one step today.  Shall we? 

In the previous posts about Personality Types, there was a short list of four basic types of personality.  Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy and Phlegmatic.

Look at the separate traits of each and define which types you mostly find yourself in.  There will probably be two that are the most prominent.

With those two in mind, take a peek at the lists with your two most prominent types.

Look first at the strengths.  See how amazing you are?  No other person is made the exact same way.  You are unique.

Now look at your weaknesses.  See how amazing you still are?  No other person is made the exact same way.  You are unique.

Here’s where the fun begins.  Choose the two weaknesses you dislike the most.  Choose even one if two is too many. 

Choose the smallest one if you need to.  Just choose something.

Now go to Galatians 5:22-23. (NIV)  Or read it here.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.

Example;

My major is the choleric.  My chart says that I like to be in charge and am work oriented.  These are not bad things unless taken to the extreme.

In my “taking charge” I can unintentionally run right over the quieter types like the melancholy or phlegmatic, inflicting unintentional damage on them.

Since I like to work, I can actually be doing a task from morning to night without stopping or paying attention to any other duties I may have in my life.

Since I enjoy my work, I can be an aggravation to my family.  They like to chat; they need clean clothes and at times really appreciate being fed.  All of these things are overlooked by me when I’m on a task.

Since I enjoy plans that work, and I know that 99% of the time my plans do work, I can be in charge and be pretty harsh about it. 

Other people don’t care if it works or not if the leader runs ruff-shod over them. 

They tend to run, or at the least, just fade away slowly, leaving me upset to be finishing up alone.

To deal with the control issues, I chose forbearance and gentleness from the list in Galatians.  I chose self-control for my work issues.  Then I prayed.

Lord,

Today I see that I’ve not been too patient or gentle with the people around me.

Please help me to notice what I am doing, and to take time to remember that the way they do the task will still get the task done.

Help me to have self-control, and know when to stop.  Everything does not have to be finished today, but I can have another go at it tomorrow.

I so want the “Fruits of the Spirit” to be evident in my life.

Thank you for your help Lord.

Amen.

 

Studies have proven that it takes twenty one days to break a habit. (These numbers change depending on the study, but the principle is the same)  I believe some take longer. 

I have prayed this prayer or one like it many times.  The change in me began slowly, but has picked up momentum, and my weaknesses are easier to spot (since they do try to return) and easier to stop, now more than ever.

I found after this prayer that I’m actually pretty introverted – I can be both – tied to my work, or in charge.

You will “know in your knower” when you are making progress, and you will also know when it is time to go to another item in the list, and work on it.

Just don’t give up!  Keep on going!

Galatians 6:9   (NIV)

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Thanks for joining me in this little series. I hope you have found it helpful in finding how just how you’re wired.

If you would like to ask questions or have further discussions on this topic, feel free to comment, or contact me via IM.

Quietest One Around?

Are you the quietest one that people know?

Melancholy;

Strengths;

Emotions

Deep and thoughtful

Analytical

Serious and purposeful

Genius prone

Talented and creative

Artistic and musical

Philosophical and poetic

Appreciative of beauty

Sensitive to others

Self-sacrificing

Conscientious

Idealistic

As a Parent

Sets high standards

Wants everything done right

Keeps home in good order

Picks up after children

Sacrifices own will for others

Encourages scholarship and talent

At Work

Schedule oriented

Perfectionist, high standards

Detail conscious

Persistent and thorough

Orderly and organized

Neat and tidy

Economical

Sees the problems

Finds creative solutions

Needs to finish what is started

Likes charts, graphs, figures and lists

As A Friend

Makes friends cautiously

Content to stay in the background

Avoids causing attention

Faithful and devoted

Will listen to complaints

Can solve others’ problems

Deep concern for other people

Moved to tears with compassion

Seeks ideal mate

Weakness;

Easily depressed

Realize no one like gloomy people

Don’t look for trouble

Don’t get hurt so easily

Look for positives

Low self image

Search out the source of your insecurities

Listen for evidence of “False humility”

Procrastinate

Get the “Right things” before starting

Don’t spend too much time planning

Unrealistic demands on others

Relax your standards

Be grateful you understand your temperament

Life of the Party?

Can you turn any situation into a party?

Sanguine

Strengths;

Emotions;

Appealing personality

Talkative, storyteller

Life of the party

Good sense of humor

Memory for color

Physically holds on to the listener

Emotional and demonstrative

Enthusiastic and expressive

Cheerful and bubbling over

Curious

Good on stage

Wide-eyed and innocent

Lives in the present

Changeable disposition

Sincere at heart

Always a child

As a Parent;

Makes home fun

Is liked by children’s friends

Turns disaster into humor

Is the circus master

At Work;

Volunteers for jobs

Thinks up new activities

Looks great on the surface

Creative and colorful

Has energy and enthusiasm

Starts in a flashy way

Inspires others to join

Charms others to work

As a Friend;

Makes friends easily

Loves people

Thrives on compliments

Seems exciting

Envied by others

Doesn’t hold grudges

Apologizes quickly

Prevents dull moments

Likes spontaneous activities

Weakness;

Talk too much

Need to learn to talk half as much

Need to watch for signs of boredom in their audience

Need to learn to condense their comments

Stop exaggerating

Self-centered

Helps;

Learn to be sensitive to other peoples
interests

Learn to listen

Uncultivated Memories

Learn to pay attention to names

Write things down

Don’t forget the children

Fickle and forgetful friends

Learn to not be a fair weather friend

Learn to put others first

Interrupt and answer for others

Stop trying to fill in the gaps

Realize every ones response time is different

Disorganized and immature

Pull your life together

Grow up

Calmer Than Calm?

Do people look to you as a peace maker?

Phlegmatic

Strengths;

Emotions;

Low-key personality

Easygoing and relaxed

Calm, cool and collected

Patient, well balanced

Consistent life

Quiet but witty

Sympathetic and kind

Keeps emotions hidden

Happily reconciled to life

All-purpose person

As a Parent;

Makes a good parent

Takes time for the children

Is not in a hurry

Can take the good with the bad

Doesn’t get upset easily

At Work;

Competent and steady

Peaceful and agreeable

Has administrative ability

Mediates problems

Avoids conflicts

Good under pressure

Finds the easy way

As a Friend;

Easy to get along with

Pleasant and enjoyable

Inoffensive

Good listener

Dry sense of humor

Enjoys watching people

Has many friends

Has compassion and concern

Weakness;

Not exciting

Try to get enthused

Resist change

Try something new

Seem lazy

Don’t procrastinate

Motivate yourself

Have a quiet will of iron

Learn to communicate your feelings

Appear wishy-washy

Helps;

Practice making decisions

Learn to say no