Tag Archive | Relationship

Raw and Real #6 – Identity

Have you ever wondered who you are?

I mean really wondered.

Like, who could I possibly be?

I know I have considered the question over and over my entire lifetime.

I know that I had many aspirations; a teacher, a writer, a ballerina, a jockey, a barrel racer, a truck driver, a mom.

The list goes on, but I don’t recall ever being encouraged to be anything but a →“Good girl”.

When people are asked, “Who are you?” they will frequently answer with what they do.

Like the list above, it can vary from day to day.

But there came a time in my life when I found out that the answer to the question was very different.

I had been looking at it from through the wrong lenses.

The Holy Bible says in Galatians 4:6 (ESV) Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Abba = Daddy)

And Psalm 100:3 (ESV) says; Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

Then, there is my life verse, a life verse of many;

 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 His

*We are His sons

*We are created by Him

*We are fearfully and wonderfully made

*We are known by Him

This all sounds very different than the traditional answer we come up with.

Beginning to think of who we are in this manner takes some doing.

When I first began to change my answer, over and over, I had to remind myself that I was “a Kings kid”.

This thinking did not come readily, due to my personal history.

I had to learn that it wasn’t something I did, it was something I was.

It didn’t have anything to do with my job title, or even the events that occurred in my life.

It wasn’t connected to the guilt or the shame that tried to remain prevalent in my mind.

What it was, and still is, and forever will be,

is my relationship to God my Father.

Deuteronomy 31:8B He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

A quote from a friend of mine reminds me that “We are human beings, not human doings.”

Her quote, makes me want to BE with God.

Just Be.

It’s not what we do, or what has been done to us.

It’s about what we think of God.

This makes all the difference.

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

A. W. Tozer

I hope you’ll join me next time when we talk about; Process.

Until then …

Let’s Begin With a Cliché

I know its cliché , going into the year 2020 seeking “New Vision”.

But seriously, at least for me, that’s a pretty important thing.

Some things I’m pretty clear on, while other things are as clear as mud.

I have found that if I divide my life into sections, and deal with reach separately, I can get to a pretty clear conclusion.

Then, by adding all of the conclusions together, I can come up with a plan to make things happen.

Anyway, what are those sections?

1A Personal, which involves spiritual and physical self care.

1B Personal, which involves writing, photography

2A WorkCorporate, which involves working with local, state, and regional members in a group that I’ve been in for twenty years.

2B  WorkVolunteer – as a member for the non-profit that my husband operates.

2C Work – As in home

3. Relationships – both personal and corporate.

1. Personal care, has taken much time in scripture, as well as just being quiet; settling down the recalcitrant child inside.

It has also taken much time with dealing with past traumas and dramas; airing them out, painfully I might add, going through them one by one, and asking God about the truth in each one.

It’s odd how we can see things so differently than they actually were.   

The personal work, the “Inside job” has been a real treat for me.

It has suited my introverted parts really well.

Although admittedly, there were times I just wanted to cry.  

It has taken a long time to change the filters, but I can see much more clearly now.  

The second part of personal care, the physical part, has involved being in an exercise class for the past nine years.

There have been times I had to drag my sorry butt to that class kicking and screaming, but all the while knowing that if I didn’t, I would turn in to a pile of dust.

Writing all the time is a good thing, sitting around without moving, can be deadly.

2. For personal work on an actual work level, as in day to day work; I have spent very few dollars through the years on education after high school.

I’ve been self taught on pretty much everything.

On marriage, on parenting, on keeping a home, on running a business, on spiritual matters (dealing with the trauma and the drama).

Since about 2012 or so, I’m being self taught on writing and photography.

Slow and steady wins the race, and tenacity gets you there eventually.

Honestly, 2B  (Work – corporate) can really give me fits, and it has, for as long as I’ve held the position I have.

To be totally truthful, this section has eluded me for the last several years, but every year I face it again.

I found out just this morning that this year I’ll have some help, so moving through this section can begin in earnest.

I have told myself that when others are in the mix, things can’t always be the way you want them.

That is only partly true.

Yes others being involved is a thing, but I’ve come to know that timing is an important factor as well.

What if, perhaps, I thought I had it all together before?

And it wasn’t the right time, and things still didn’t work out, or they worked out poorly, and some of the nuances would get lost in the shuffle.

(Can’t be losing those nuances!)

To be sure, there would be things learned from the experience, but there is also much to be learned through tenacity, and holding on – being a necessary place holder.

2C (Working – volunteering with my husband’s non-profit) is always a work in progress; constantly growing and changing.

3. Relationships are interesting because we need to find out why we respond the way we do to others, and what makes them respond to us the way they do?

When we figure that out, we can find that those relationships may or may not work out, and that’s OK.

We can move on, or we can make different decisions on how we deal with them from that point.  

Making the time to get to know one another is essential.

Often I find if I have an adverse response to someone first off, when I take the time to engage with them, I find that we have something for each other.

There are times when this doesn’t happen.

Sometimes what they, or I, carry on the inside of us, just doesn’t mesh, no harm, no foul.

If we didn’t take that time, we would never know which way it might turn out. 

So to summarize what’s worked for me;

I begin with a visit each of my sections, thinking them through, analyzing each, and where they are at this time.

Each year begins at a spot further down the road than last year.

Then what it really boils down to scheduling, (then keeping the schedule).

I literally have an Excel sheet divvied up by half hours for each week.

This works for me!

I can give as little or as much as each one needs.  

This is not to say that just because it is on the sheet it is carved in stone, (stuff happens) but it is to say that I DO have a certain time allotted to do each thing.

There are days I throw the schedule to the wind, and do something else, but never more than one day in a row.

Doing nothing isn’t on the list, but it should be.

Sometimes taking a nap IS the best use of your time.

But for me, more than one day is how bad habits start.

It’s easier to get OFF the path than back on it again.

I hope that you have found this helpful.

Do you have anything to add?

Please do so in the comments.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’ to 2020 vision! …

Cousin Friends

So. Last week, I was able to have breakfast with my cousin.

When we were growing up, we saw each other a lot, practically every weekend; sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.

I miss the games of Monopoly, and LIFE, playing hide and seek in the tall grass field next door until well after dark, the camp fires, and the times when we watched the vacation photos off those slides, on that funny little screen.

There’s a funny thing about cousins.

They get you when no one else does, because they were there when no one else was.

This cousin in particular, was a soft place for me to land when I was a high schooler – her being SO GROWN UP with her age being five years beyond mine.

As a young mom with two littles, a lot of time was spent around her kitchen table, making sense of how things were, how they could be.

We learned together how to trust God, and how to allow Him to lead and guide us through some really rough times.

We both had them, but we held on tight.

Somewhere when our kids became full of school activities, and life got crazy – we lost each other.

Well, not really.

Our hearts have been joined all these years none the less.  

We just couldn’t get together as much as we liked.

But you know what?

Being together again last week, seemed to begin closing that gap again.

We are still so much alike, maybe even more now, and we know that we can still benefit each other by just spending time together, telling our stories.

Another thing that we know is that we can help some outside of our family as well.

There are, near as I can tell, only a few other relationships in our lives that can compare to the cousin relationship, and they would be a sibling, a spouse, or if you’re lucky enough a BFF.

These are the ones who can help soothe your soul, hide your crazy, or talk you off the ledge.

All this being said, what my cousin, what my siblings, what my Spouse and what my BFF all know for sure –

Even we will fail.

Humans are not infallible.

We can say we want to help, and truly mean it, but for whatever reason there is a disconnect.

We can strive for that perfection, but will not really ever reach it, at least not here on earth.

So even with all of these human fail safes in place, there still is only ONE who can foot the bill – Perfectly – Forever.

His name is Jesus. 

I read this article, 7 Ways Jesus is the Best Friend You Could Ever Have.

I was impressed by the simplicity with which the author describes what an authentic friendship with Jesus looks like.

She begins by stating that ” Christians think of Jesus as their Lord, Savior, King and Master. However, believers rarely think of Jesus as being a close friend. Though that might sound strange to you at first, Jesus actually wants us to think this way.”

Clicking on the link above will take you to the complete article.

Let me end by saying that I hope you have those in your life who will give you the boost you need, or even the kick in the pants if you are stalled out somewhere.

A cousin, a sibling, a BFF, or a spouse, even a blogger friend; but even in the absence of one of those, you can always give Jesus a try.

I would welcome your dialog if you need some help getting started.

I hope you’ve found this helpful.

Until next time…

Father’s Love Letter

On this day, we celebrate the fact that our heavenly Father gave us His most precious gift;

His one and only son, Jesus Christ.

Here is reprint of a “Father’s Love Letter”

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1)

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2)

I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm139:3)

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31)

For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27)

In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28)

For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28)

I knew you before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12)

You were not a mistake. (Psalm 139:15-16)

For all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16)

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you should live. (Acts 17:26)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6)

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44)

I am not distant and angry, but the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16)

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1)

Simply because you are My child, and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1)

I offer you more than an earthly Father ever could. (Matthew 7:11)

For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:48)

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17)

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33)

My plan for the future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18)

And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I will never stop doing good to you. (32:40)

For you are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5)

I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:40

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3)

If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Delight in my and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13)

I am able to do more for you than you can possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18)

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11)

One day I will wipe every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4)

And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4)

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love My son, Jesus. (John 17:23)

For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. (John 17:26)

He is the exact representation of My being. (Hebrews 1:3)

He came to demonstrate that I am for you and not against you. (Romans 8:31)

And to tell you I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

His death is the ultimate expression of My love for you. (1 John 4:10)

I gave up everything I loved that I may gain your love. (Romans 8:32)

If you receive the gift of My son Jesus, you receive Me. (1 John 2:23)

And nothing will ever separate you from My love again. (Romans 8:38-39)

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7)

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15)

My question is … Will you be my child? (John 1:12-13)

I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad

Almighty God

What’s grabbing You?

Who are you quoting?

What thoughts are you having?

What life are you living?

“We go where we look” Tim McGraw

“If you build it, he will come.” Kevin Costner

“Inside of me there are two dogs. One is mean and evil and the other is good and they fight each other all the time. When asked which one wins I answer, the one I feed the most.” Sitting Bull

“If you feed them they will come” Bruce Martin – About church functions.

We’ve all heard these kinds of sayings.

Do we take them seriously?

Probably, but only for a moment.

Then our usual habits sneak back in, and we find ourselves doing the same things over and over again.

It takes some real tenacity to continue on the road to success; whatever you deem that success to be.

What I’m about to share with you is basically the same thing.

Whatever you give you time to, helps to create who you are.

So with the next two quotes, I’ll give you my personal recommendation.

These two ideas were placed in my head several years ago, (2008?) they grabbed me, and have had me ever since.

This is not to say that I get them right all of the time, but it is to say that I have found them tremendously helpful.

The person speaking was Graham Cooke.

First; “If you don’t like the thought you’re having, then have another thought.”

Second; “Opposition attaches itself to what you do not remove.”

So how does this removal work?

How can I do that?

By reinventing your walk in the Fruit of the Spirit.

People spend copious amounts of time trying to reinvent themselves, only to find themselves the same, or worse than they were before.

Only by REMOVING the old thoughts, can the new ones take over.

I refer you to the Holy Bible,  Galatians 5.

The whole chapter is enlightening, but I point you to verse 22-23 which says; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Against such things there is no law; simply means you can’t go wrong!

This means to me that there is great power in these fruits.

So here’s the thing;

If in your life you are seeing the opposite; hatred, bitterness, anger, strife, jealousy,

(The list is long I suppose, and different for each of us.)

then I would encourage you to choose the “Fruit” that is opposite of your issue, and

“Have another thought”.

Look where you’re going.

Feed the right thing.

Build a place inside you where the “Fruit” can be attracted to and grow.

Feed the right things – and more will begin to appear in your mind and in your heart.

One last quote;

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet, and the books you read.” Charlie Tremendous Jones

I encourage you to choose your reading, your friends, and your thinking wisely.

It makes all the difference.

Until next time.

**http://Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life; by Tim McGraw

** Kevin Costner as Ray – Field of Dreams – 1989.

Don’t Give Up!

Back in September, we read  David’s story

It was a story about loss, and persistence, and restoration.

Here it is again, in a nutshell;

David – Returned home to find that his entire village had been destroyed. Not one living thing was left, not one building standing. His wife and children were taken away, and he had no way of knowing whether they were alive or dead. Here’s what David (and his men) did. You can read this account in 1 Samuel 30. Here’s what he did –

1. He wept bitterly, until all of his strength was gone.

2. He then found strength in the Lord his God.

3. He inquired of the Lord to see what he should do (He prayed)

4. He took a portion of his men with him and pursued the enemy. He got EVERYTHING back, and then some. God honored the fact that he did not quit, but that he and a small number believed God could restore. (Nation, Families, Finances, Churches)

Now here is another story, this time about Daniel;

Daniel – Chapter 9. Now Daniel finished reading the scrolls and saw that the captivity was coming to an end. He could have said hip-hip-hooray and stopped praying, but he didn’t. He didn’t stop crying out to God, he called out to God what He had already promised! Three things he did –

1. He repented, for his sin AND the sin of his people.

2. He interceded. He took the promises of God’s word and brought them before Him all the more.

3. He gave thanks. He gave thanks for what He had done and what He would do. He thanked Him for His promises and covenants.

Both of these men could have given up. They could have stopped. They could have taken the freedom God gave them, and hidden themselves away. They never would have gotten the promises of God fulfilled in their lives.

Instead, they were persistent. First in their belief that God would care for them, and then, in their tenacity to continue moving forward, through pain and loss, to receive the prize at the end of the line.

The questions here for you and I are these;

  1. Will we persist?
  2. Will we believe God?
  3. Will we go on until we reach the prize?

To be sure, there are prizes here on this earth that are worth fighting for, but in reality, they will all fade away.

My persistence will lead not only to some of these, but to the ultimate prize – Living in the Presence of God. In His kingdom. Forever.

Pretty sure of this am I?

Yes.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  Romans 8:35
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

 

How about you?
Are you sure?