Tag Archive | strength

Raw and Real #2 – Quiet (PJs)

My new series Raw and Real is just beginning.

My hope is that as you see some of my struggles, you will see yourself somewhere, and find help and strength in these words.

To begin at the beginning, you can click →here.

In #1, you read that I wore shame “like a coat”.

It is important to know the difference between guilt and shame.

Here is the definition given by →Psychology Today.

Guilt: a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.

Shame: the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.”

Did you inflict the pain?

Or did someone else’s actions inflict the pain?

Even though I was very young, and naive, just a child, somewhere on the inside, I knew something was not as it should be.

Not having the knowledge or capacity to figure out what these feelings meant;

they were buried deep in the “That’s just the way it is” category.

Somehow, I didn’t even wonder if others had the same things going on in their lives.

It was assumed that they did.

That category grew larger and larger over the years of my life.

Finally after many years of repetition of the same types of “trauma and drama”, I did begin to realize that something was wrong;

not just wrong, but VERY wrong.

I began to realize that the events in my life seemed to follow a cycle.

It was of course, not the same people that were there at the beginning, but the victimization was the same;

the same in that it was victimization, but quite different in size and scope.

Advantages taken mentally and physically were more inclined to take away any ability I may have had to remove myself from the fray.

However another difference was that I was able to see the high likelihood, that not everyone I knew bore the same issues.

After countless relationships with varying amounts of “trauma and drama”, I miraculously was introduced to the man who would become my husband.

We had a small family that although not always completely high functioning, worked well, and we learned how to live together, and to power through our troubles, and lead a pretty normal and well balanced life. 

(Our “kind of crazy” has been alive and well for 43 years!)

In 2001, there was of course what we Americans refer to as 9/11.

There was so much trauma; so much to absorb, so much to process.

And then, as if that were not enough, on 9/17 that my mom was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

Treatment and care began immediately.

Her time was short, but intense.

She passed away in my living room, with her family all present, just days before Thanksgiving.

The reason this is important to the story of this post has to do with the idea of process.

While I was caring for her, I felt strong.

I felt like I could do what needed to be done.

Even after her passing, I still felt strong.

I still felt like I could do what needed to be done.

I was not looking ahead to, or even aware of, what was about to hit me.

I refer to what comes next as the →Cave Days.

There had been no time to process 9/11, much less 9/17.

I was not prepared for the loss of energy, the loss of strength, the loss of enjoying anything I had enjoyed before.

Between the mental pain, the physical pain that was radiating through my body, and the brain fog;

it took several doctors, and several “might be” diagnosis and treatments to find the problem.

During that time, I spent hours, days, weeks, and years at home, in my PJs, not moving or thinking;

barely breathing.   

It took me nearly four years to even LOOK at the items in my house that belonged to my mom.

As it says in the →Cave Days post – caves can be places of burial, or places to rest and regain strength.

It was a choice that had to be made.  

But how?

I hope you’ll come back on Friday for Friday Favorites.

Then again on Monday, so we can explore “But how?” question together.

Until then …

Friday Favorites – Mr. Rogers

As a early Christmas present, my original Grandson took me to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

What a delightful surprise!

I told him I would likely cry through the whole movie.

He told me that was OK, and every time I did, he reached out and held my hand.

As a young man in his first year of college, I am so proud that he isn’t afraid to let his love be shown in that way.

He tells me that he remembers watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood with me when he was very small.

I can only hope that some of those thoughts and ideas carried into his heart to this day. I believe they did.

He is all at once an excited, ambitious young man, but with a heart as tender as can be.

After seeing the movie, my love for the man, Mr. Fred Rogers, has been rekindled.

I have read more on him, watched more documentaries, and seen him on YouTube maybe more than I ever have.

I’ve had to ask myself the reason why, and the answer I think, has been cooking in my heart for quite some time.

This is turning into a post much different than when it began, but maybe while I continue to process, you can find something helpful for yourself as well.

Several years ago, I noted in myself a critical spirit.

Sometimes it was one that could be noted by anyone within earshot, but mostly, it was simply thinking and speaking the way the world thinks and speaks, perhaps not even perceived by them, since they did it as well.

Always having been the object of scorn growing up, I felt a serious need to fit in.

So any time I could comment – just comment – on someone else, I would do it, and I guess I thought it helped me to fit in.

What I know now, is that it was building up inside of me a critical spirit.

One that would not only harden my heart, take a whole lot of inner work to realize, and change.

Anyway, in literally EVERY piece of media I consumed about Fred Rogers, he was calling our and speaking to the weakest among us.

He was calling out to the social injustice he saw.

But most of all, he was telling all the “Less thans”, that they were “More than” they ever believed.

They were not defective, or broken, or unimportant, but that somewhere in them was a special strength and purpose given to them by their creator.

He so reminds me of my very favorite Bible verses –

Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that you formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

God knew about my every day, He knew who I was, and who I was to be; and to me, it seemed like maybe Mr. Rogers did too.

How can I not aspire to be more like that; seeing others the way God sees them.

After all – that is why I’m here!

It’s an inside job, difficult, but worth the work.

A softer, less critical spirit is easier for others to live with, and for myself as well.

Until next time – consider your own insides – Do what it takes.

I’ll see you next time around.


   

Movie Poster

The Ability to Forgive

Photo found on Pinterest. https://bit.ly/2TbZoZt May be subject to copyright

Join me today for a guest post from someone I’ve known for a long time.

With his permission I copied his article word for word from his Facebook page.

I’ve added my own comments to the end.

Enjoy.

People come into our lives for a reason; a season; or a lifetime.

He’s that kind of friend.

PSALMS OF LIFE·MONDAY, AUGUST 5, 2019·

In this article I’m going to share with you 5 of the most important things that I’ve personally discovered about the ability to forgive THAT WORKS!
(CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO OPEN THE ARTICLE)

1. We do NOT have the natural ability to forgive anyone…no matter how hard we try! In fact, the more we try, the more weary we become. That does NOT mean we are helpless victims of other people’s foolishness. Because what we do have is the God-given ability to choose…to choose to forgive. That opens the door for the Holy Spirit to do in and through you the same thing that He did through Jesus on the Cross when He said, “Father, forgive them…” Jesus did not do that in His own strength. He made the choice, in the same way that you and I make the choice. That brings us to point number 2:

2. The Holy Spirit has the power that it takes to cause forgiveness to take place. More than anyone, He knows the value and power of forgiveness. He also knows our weaknesses, and is more than willing to fill our weakness with God’s strength. But, equally, the Holy Spirit will not (and cannot) make the choice for us. That’s our part. Making the choice when everything within our pain is shouting, “For what they did, they don’t deserve to be forgiven!” And, that leads us to our third point:

3. The other person (or people) don’t deserve it! The Lord’s prayer is, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” The person (or people) owe you a debt. Jesus prayed from the Cross, “Father forgive them…(why?)…because they don’t know what they are doing. If the devil knew what he was doing when Jesus was crucified, he would not have done it! Easily ninety-five percent of the time (or more) the person (or people) that inflicted pain upon you, did not really know what they were doing. We like to think they knew because it justifies our anger and bitterness. But, in truth, they are blind to themselves and their own actions. That doesn’t justify horrible behavior, but it sheds light on a human reality.

4. Forgiving isn’t the same as forgetting. We’ve probably all heard the saying, “To forgive is to forget.” If we can’t forget, it leads us to the conclusion that we must not have truly forgiven.” Forgiving is releasing a person from a debt they truly owe you. You make the choice to allow the Holy Spirit to move in forgiveness in and through you. It begins as an act of faith that you may or may not feel for awhile, but if you continue to make the choice and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work only He can do, the feelings begin to catch up.

Why do you supposed Jesus told His disciples to forgive 70 time 7 (490 times in one day)? It’s because of what the power that not forgiving does to destroy us emotionally and physically. Choosing to forgive and releasing the Holy Spirit then to do His work in and through us is one of the main ways to enter the river of God’s love. This may sound very strange, but the choice to forgive is one of the most positive selfish things you can do for yourself.

5. Finally, forgiving DOESN’T mean that you automatically allow the person or people to return into your life as if nothing has happened. You can forgive and still be wise. There needs to be a time of proof where you see a change in their attitudes and actions before you fully embrace them. That is another area where the Holy Spirit will help you with wisdom if you will ask Him for the wisdom.

I truly hope this helps! Learning to walk in the love as well as the wisdom of forgiveness is one of the most critical things we need to learn!

If this was beneficial, please respond with a “Like”! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments. If you have some wisdom that you’ve worked out in your own life, please comment. And “Share” this with someone you believe it may help!

Prayer: Father, In Jesus Name, I now make the choice to allow the Holy Spirit to work forgiveness because of what _____________ did/said to me. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

Pastor Gary Ellis

1. Choices. I never realized I even had a choice until I was in my mid twenties. That was a life giving revelation. It meant I no longer had to eat it just because it was put on my plate by someone. I get to fill my own plate.

2. My not forgiving them was poisoning me, while they were walking around “free”.

3. Wrong doers do wrong. That’s what they do. We can expect no different from them. Many times they have literally no idea just how wrong they are. They have no chip for that.

4. Unforgivness harbors bitterness, and causes sorrow and grief. Psalm 31:10 says “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.” Note that it takes away our strength. 5. It is not wise to forgive, and then to return immediately, this is so true. Give yourself time, and time, and time. After that, you can make a wise choice due to the actions you see. During that time, you are not holding on to poison, but allowing yourself to regain your strength.

Thanks for being here, and please join me again next time!

Think Lovely Thoughts

In my adult life, I’ve taken some sense of value in my ability to stay calm in crazy situations.

Not EVERY time, but mostly.

What this has involved has been taking the time to quiet myself.

Time to rein my thoughts in and turn them around to a positive way of being;

I.e. To look on the bright side.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Well it seems that through the years of practice with this “Quietude”, there has been an unexpected side effect; that of not feeling the full spectrum of emotion.

I’ll start by saying that over the last several years, if you ask me how I’m doing; my answer would invariably be “Fine”.

My heart has been at peace. My mind has been at rest.

This answer is accurate and correct.

Recently though, something else has been happening.

Circumstances over the last several weeks have caused many emotions to come to the surface.

By that I mean, the tears are closer to the surface than I am accustomed to them being, and I’m perhaps a bit touchier than I like.

I’ve tried and tried to figure out what was happening.

This week, two things happened that seemed to open up a window for me to view the issue in a different way.

  1. I remembered a quote I had heard from Brene’ Brown;
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 155460-bren-brown-quote-we-cannot-selectively-numb-emotions-when-we-numb.jpg

And then;

  • I had lunch with my BFF. I was discussing the fact that I wasn’t processing this issue very well, and that I wasn’t really sure how to put it in words. Here’s what she said; (When they know all your secrets, they can get to the heart of things!)

“You have been doing well with your emotions. This one circumstance has been a grief to you for a long time. You cannot sustain yourself in grief mode for that long a period of time.”

(Basically, she was saying that I had been protecting myself and my emotions from burning themselves out.)

So now, things have changed.

 “You can grieve now. You can feel the emotions and get them healed.”

These words were like a bright shining light on my soul.

The window is open.

This is where Brene’s quote comes into play; there was definitely a time where numbing out the painful emotions was the right thing to do.

But now, I can go on to “un-numbing” the positive emotions!

I can feel the emotions I need to feel, and get on with things, get on with life.

I can feel some real joy.

                                                                        *********

Was all that time of “Peace and rest” wrong?

Was all that time of “Peace and rest” untrue?

Was it all counterfeit?

No, No, and No.

The peace and rest that I grew to know and love, was so very real.

I believe it was God’s way of protecting my mind, my heart and my health.

A lengthy sustained period of grief would have destroyed me from the inside out.

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

*********

So how about you, are your emotions in line with the times you’re in?

Are your thoughts running to the positive or the negative?

Are you thinking on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable?

“If you don’t like the thought you’re having; have another thought!”

Graham Cooke
Peter Pan

Consider Yourself Hugged

Funny – this photo is of a curly haired little girl – why is my hair as straight as a string?

Phone Photos 2.12.2015 083
Here I am with my baby doll. I sure loved my baby dolls. Now, as I look back, I can tell you that all those baby doll hugs were a sad replacement for the hugs I needed and did not receive.

At this age, I enjoyed twirling and twirling in my bedroom until I was dizzy. I thought that room was so BIG. I’ve been back there since, and it is in reality, not very large at all.

The back yard was BIG as well, a great place to play in the snow. As an adult I can walk across that yard in ten giant steps, or twenty baby steps.

Hmm, perspective.

This photo is before the abuse began.

Well really, it began before this, but my four year old mind did not understand the concept of emotional abandonment.

Reconnecting with this little one was not an easy task, but we have reconciled, and now journey into the future together. No longer are we estranged from each other, but we gain strength and understanding of all that has taken place.

I thank my Jesus for leading me to Bonnie’s writings and for allowing me to retrieve that which was lost.

Today, along with being able to help people understand who they are in Christ, I also seem to have a “Ministry of Hugs”. I’m told my hugs give strength – I will tell you here and now that the strength that is received comes from Christ alone.

He is my fortress and my strength, and I love to share what He has restored to me.

Consider yourself hugged.


http://www.faithbarista.com/2015/02/maybe-the-story-that-breaks-us-makes-us-beloved/

Everything

I’ve been struggling lately.

Maybe you have been too?

In the past, my home has been my refuge.

Home is a place where I can spend time studying the Word of God.

Learning in depth what God did for me when He sent His Son Jesus.

 

But that is not the struggle.

The struggle is that after all that time of quiet with my Heavenly Father,

It is time for me to share what I have learned.

I cannot count the number of times I have had this sense,

I’ve gone out to share Him.

I have shared Him well.

Then I find myself back at home,

Longing to not ever go out again.

 

I have compared myself to David of old.

He consistently hid himself in caves against his pursuers.

(Not that I’m being pursued, but I do enjoy my cave!)

David did however exit the caves to extinguish attacks from his enemies.

Not all his business was pleasant either.

 

Mostly he had to leave to take out some enemy that was trying to conquer what was not theirs.

I believe the comparison is that I need to leave when it is necessary.

Cave dwelling is for regaining strength, renewing energy, and receiving new instruction.

 

I do not enjoy crowds of people.

Un-purposeful milling about is maddening.

The confusion of a crowd makes me want to run and hide.

 

I did realize something though at our towns 4th of July celebration.

It’s been rolling around in my heart and mind for quite some time,

But it seemed to come into focus better than ever before.

Not pleasant, but clear.

 

Here were crowds of people, milling about, a crowd confused by everyone’s actions being different than the one next to him.

In truth, I have seen crowds much worse with the milling and the confusion, in the interest of full disclosure, that had to be stated here.

The heat was definitely a factor, I am quite sure it amplified everything.

 

Anyway…. I found out the reason I want to run and hide.

 

When I am in my cave, with God, and it is quiet,

I find that He gives me everything I need.

If I take time with Him each day,

I receive what I need for that day.

I have little need for the trappings of the world.

Having them is fine, but not mandatory.

My requirement list is pretty small.

 

In that time, God grants me a measure of His peace, that I can store up, and when necessary, carry out to the crowds,

 

Returning to re-fill.

 

What I saw clearly was a very lot of regular people, doing lots of things to bring them that peace.

Loud talking, boasting, swearing, drinking, smoking, flirting, fighting, showing far more skin than   I wanted my grand children to see, and a lot of PDF’s.  (Public displays of affection)

 

All these things bring a moments worth of gratification, but no real peace.

The gratification is fleeting, and the peace, non-existent.

 

For these reasons, I never want to leave my cave.

For these reasons, I NEED to leave my cave.

 

I am not condemning any of these people.

I am not perfect.

And sometimes,

To my dismay,

Especially when it’s hot,

I. Am. Not. Nice.

 

But I need to BE nice, and let people see that there is another way.

That true peace can be had.

 

That every single thing they need can be supplied.

That God WANTS to supply their needs.

Not necessarily their STUFF needs,

 

But their heart needs,

Their PEACE needs.

Only in Him can that be found.

 

Only by Christians that do not hide in caves can it be shared with them.

 

Enjoy the following song by Lifehouse.

 

It is absolutely true~

You cannot stand in His Presence and not be moved by Him.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjDojEOiMcE

 

And remember ~ You are fearfully and wonderfully made!