Tag Archive | Tell yourself the truth

Raw and Real #12 – Freedom

Today, I enjoy much freedom;

Freedom from anxiety, freedom from shame, freedom from guilt, freedom from bullies.

I enjoy that freedom because I made a quality choice to do the really hard inner work.

Importantly I must add – allowing God/Jesus/Holy Spirit to guide me along what has often been a pretty bumpy path.

I am fully confident, that you can follow much the same path to healing.

What is needed is a longing to be better, and a tenacity to stick with it.

Here is a really important point that must be made!

I profess freedom.

I own it.

But I must understand, and remember over and over again that this does not mean that EVERYTHING is perfect.

Actually, far from it.

Life on this planet is predictably unpredictable.

Everyone has trials.

Everyone has issues; physical, mental, and spiritual.

The deal is; how do we handle it?

I am free because I choose to, as the “littles” say “Let it go”.

I give it to God, and leave it there.

Let me be very clear, sometimes I leave it there once a day.

Other times it is every hour.

Scripture tells us in Romans 12, that we are a “Living sacrifice”.

Well, famous author and teacher Chuck Swindoll states that the problem with a “Living sacrifice”, is that they keep getting up and getting off of the alter.

I have to offer myself to God every moment, of every day.

There is FREEDOM in knowing that I have done the work, and that God reminds me all the time, that “He’s got this.”

Being certain of that, removes the weight from my shoulders.

I can walk knowing that whatever is going on, He is by my side, and that He won’t leave.

I have a handful of what I call LIFE VERSES, one for most areas of my life.

Here is one of my favorites;

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 (ESV)

Note, that it does not say that weapons will not be formed, it says they will not prosper.

Keeping this thought in mind, helps to keep the weight off of my shoulders.

It keeps my eyes looking ahead to just how God will show me what to do next.

Carrying that weight?

It is my choice.

Dropping it away from me is also my choice.

I need to recognize that some days are going to be more difficult than others, but the bad ones do pass.

What frame of mind will I keep until that happens?

And be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13: 5B (ESV) 

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:24-26 (ESV)

There may be one more installment for this Raw and Real series, or there may be a summary.

I’m not sure yet.

But either way, won’t you join me?

Until next time …

Raw and Real #10 – Travel

So just what exactly does travel have to do with raw and real anyway you might ask.

At first blush, nothing.

I know for me it has something very important to do with my process.

I’ll see if I can explain, and you can see if this fits for you as well.

When I was small, the big event of the week was to go and visit my grandparents’ house, which was out of town.

In adult terms, only fifteen miles or so, but to a child, it was SO far.

Regardless of the distance, traveling down that gravel road approaching their home, was the best feeling of all.

There were cousins to play with, horses to pet, barns to hide in and apple trees to climb.

Do you see what was missing?

You saw correctly if you saw that → There were no bullies.

For that time, I was free from the daily torment of those bully boys and the mean girls. 

With my cousins living across just across the road, it was as close to perfect as could be.

Until it wasn’t.

A misunderstanding between my father, my grandfather, and myself, got me the biggest beating of my life,

and an excommunication from my grandparents’ property.

Later on in years, around the age of receiving a driver’s license, travel was important for about the same reasons.

The bullies, the mean girls, and some others who won’t be mentioned, were left behind while I escaped from them for a little while.

When newly married, and having small children, my husband and I lived in the middle of an average sized mid-western town.

We purchased a camper, and a membership to a campground some forty miles away.

Away we would travel; there was peace and quiet for us all.

During those times, I always believed – in my dreams – that I/we could travel away and all, things would be left behind.

The biggest issue, was always having to return, back to the scene of the crime you might say.

The peace and quiet was physical, but I began to realize that peace was an “Inside job”.

My then, unbeknownst to me, introverted self, began taking a look inside, with the help of a pastor/mentor friend of mine.

He showed me how to read the Word of God, the Holy Bible, and glean out of it the →help I needed for myself.

My hope is that perhaps this little series might give you some ideas, and bring the same help to you.

We are all different, some of what worked for me may help, or you may need to look at some other ideas.

The above mentioned mentor has through the years, shown me multiple ways, to help with that “Inside job”.

You can read more from him →here if you like.

Meanwhile, travelling back to the point.

When you’re younger, you travel short distances, or you travel just “In your mind”.

As adults, who want to not only be free, but be useful in the lives of those they love, and in society in general.

We must learn to travel to that inside place.

Psalms 139 calls it “my inward parts”, “in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth”.

What I know to be true, is that if God took that much care in creating us, then He will surely take care to help us with those parts.

He longs for us to be free.

We need only ask.

Nowadays, when I travel, it is because I want to go somewhere.

I want to see something new.

I want to spend some good times with my family and friends.

I don’t travel because I’m trying to get away from bullies.

There is peace within.

Even if I see turmoil in the earth, the peace within me still abides.

How about you?

Where do you want to travel?

Why do you want to travel?

Consider.

Just consider, to find peace within, and peace without.

Join me next time for installment #11 – Relate.

Until next time …

Raw and Real #9 – Write

Looking back on the life I’ve lived has been a rich undertaking of good and bad, positives and negatives, highs and lows.

It has reminded me of joy and pain, happiness and sorrow, extreme faith right next to intense fear.

Being a hard core INFJ, I can’t always verbalize things right on the spot.

When I feel, or hear or read something, I must follow that with some quiet time for reflection.

Read more about being an →INFJ here.

There are a few ways that I can process my feelings and ideas.

First off is to sit quietly, daydreaming if you will.

This method can sometimes give my ideas time to come around on their own time.

So if you see me looking like I’m somewhere else, know that I could be processing something I read or heard.

Of course it’s also entirely possible that I am really somewhere else!

Another popular way for me to get things processed is to get with “my people”.

I have many friends, but a handful of “people”.

Talking deep, saying what needs to be said, asking questions; these are all things to do with “your people”.

Long ago my mom told me that most often, when I kept talking, I answered my own questions.

Now she – she was “My People”.

I paid attention after she said that and found it to be true.

The last way I’ll share with you here is writing.

Writing in a journal, or on a computer are my favorites.

Some say handwriting is their go to, but I find that either works for me.

Suffice it to say that with my admiration for lovely penmanship, and my lack of it, I often use my laptop instead.

It’s always a cinch that I’ll be able to read it at a later date.

That being said, I have over 40 journals.

40 journals of this and that.

40 journals that would qualify in the junk category.

But strewn throughout those 40 journals, some true treasure is hidden.

The treasures can be identified by the highlighting, the underlining, the circling, the arrows, the different colors of ink.

I actually began doing a Table of Contents for my handwritten journals, but alas, too late for some of my earlier ones.

(So if you decide to do a handwritten journal, my suggestion would be to do the Table of Contents thing at the beginning!)

On my laptop, I have an ongoing document that holds many of my thoughts.

This allows me to read them over, and move them all around until they make sense.

I used to forget more than I remembered.

Sometimes that processing of thoughts comes at the most inopportune time.

Mostly it is when you are doing something else; when you didn’t see it coming.

Enter napkin notes, post it notes, grocery list notes, written on the palm of your hand notes. (the original palm pilot?)

They all pulled together at the end of the day to write down somewhere permanent.

Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon to see me in the checkout line, tapping notes to myself in my phone for future reference.

Back before cell phones, I had a boss who would call her home phone, and leave herself messages she didn’t want to forget.

I always thought she was strange, but oh!

Now I see she was brilliant, and she got things done!

As mentioned →Here← and →Here← the process takes on different forms.

For me, writing is the most important way that all of those thoughts are managed.

During the life of this blog, thought life has been discussed over and over.

If you’re interested in more of my perspective on this, you can just put “Thought Life” in the search bar.

(Another reason I enjoy the laptop writing.)

Sometimes, during the process, the words get long winded, and that’s OK, because these words you write down are not for everyone.

I encourage you to give it a try.

This note taking, this writing it all down.

Once you have been able to connect the dots, you can decide on what, if anything, you want to share with the world.

(Like this blog)

Join me next time for Raw and Real #10 for – Travel.

Until then …

Raw and Real #4 – Introvert

Many people, most in fact, have a misconception of what that is, as did I.

 I think that the definition of the word introvert has changed over the years, due to more study on the personality traits, types, and temperaments of people.

Introvert, Dear posted a really nice article → Introvert, Dear – This is for all the quiet ones.  if you care to read in depth on this misconception.

Here is the quick definition from that article;

“The definition of an introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone. This is largely because introverts’ brains respond to dopamine differently than extroverts’ brains. In other words, if you’re an introvert, you were likely born that way.”

In this post, I spoke about spending a lot of time alone.

That was never really a problem until I started school, and was “required” to work and play well with others.

As I grew through the elementary school years, and on into the upper grades, this became a real problem.

My lack of social skills, and inappropriate responses to others, either drove them away, or caused them to bully me.

Unfortunately, the second thing, bullying, was the one most of them chose.

Here is a post from 9.5.2011 that describes my life at that time. →Sticks and Stones.

With this “Cycle” that followed through to my adulthood, I was the one deemed “Trouble”.

I was the one who would have to learn to deal with it, or watch it repeated in my children.

I spent many years as a new mom, attending church.

Church where I perceived all the “Perfect” little moms, and their “Perfect” little families, all seated in “Perfect” little rows.

While I sat “Perfectly” alone in the pew with my children. (I had no idea that those peoples little lives were just as “Perfect” as mine was!)

Contrary to what you might think, although I did feel lonely at times, and although there were difficult days, being wired as an introvert, it was not difficult for me to keep going.

This led me to my own private search for the truth about myself.

What I learned here over the course of several years, was that it all began with God;

The One who created me.

The One who loved me.

The One who was watching over me, even when I could not see Him.

That time was used to learn just what the Word of God said; about me, about God, about my past; and about my future!

God provided me with a little gem, a little jewel.

This treasure was a little book, that started me on a new path of thinking.

A beauty of a book called →Thin Places – a memoir by Mary E. DeMuth

She helped me to see and discover the ways that God was with me for my entire life.

He was aware of my “Trauma and drama”, and He wanted to use it for good.

He even wanted to use my “Trouble” to help others through the fogginess of their past.

Her words, mixed with His, flowed over me like warm honey, and soothed my soul.

This book was the first in a line of books that I “Discovered”, that changed the way I viewed myself. (A list follows)

These books caused me to understand how I am wired, and why it was vitally important that I stop longing to be like someone else.

Once I found out HOW I was wired, then I could determine what was really normal for me, and then I could begin to appreciate who I really was.

If you click on any of the links below, you will be taken to a post on my blog, posted especially for that book.

This list is long, and seems impending.

Understand that I began this excavation of my life a long time ago.

Everyone has their own speed, but if you are serious about figuring yourself out, and making the most of your life story – it’s a really good place to begin.

Next time I’ll be talking about the Little girl. 6 weeks – 6 months.

I hope you’ll be able to join me.

Until then …

Freedom to Be Real

At the beginning of this year, I was invited to a new meeting, new for me anyway.

The name of the group is “Raw and Real”.

(That should tell you something!)

My husband asked me before I went what it was all about.

I seriously did not know, and I told him so.

“So why did I agree to go?” was his next query; because I 100% trust the friend who invited me.

Turns out, it is a growing group of woman from many different walks of life, just sitting for a couple of hours and sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I was dubious, because I dislike the small talk involved with meeting new people.

I love the DEEP talk – just not always the small talk of getting there.

But did I mention I trust my friend?

This group was all women with a similar world view, even though their life histories were very different.

It was actually quite a joy to hear some of their stories, and heartbreaking to hear some others.

Let me tell you folks, no matter how bad you had it – someone always had it worse.

You can never tell by looking at them, just how difficult their journey has been.

I won’t share their stories, but I can sure tell you what happened in my mind while I was there.

I did not share my story there, but as I listened I was reminded, and considered my own journey.

Sometimes when you have walked thru so much, over such a long period of time –

You know where you’ve walked, but some of the steps get forgotten.

What I’d like to do here, is share the BIG steps that I remembered during this meeting, and then in subsequent posts, share some of the little steps that were involved in becoming the free woman that I am today.

So here is the list I made while listening – many of their steps reminded me of my own!

1. Toxic turmoil  

2. Lament

3. Quiet (pjs)

4. Introvert

5. Little girl – 6 weeks – 6 months

6. Identity

7. Process

8. Too much process

9. Write

10. Travel

11. Relate.

12. Freedom

During the process of writing this out, I am positive that even more will be revealed and remembered. 

Over the years I have come to “Love the process”.

It always takes me to new places, with further vistas, and hopefully, you can realize some new freedoms too, just by following along.

Until next time …

One Thing I Missed

As many people do, at the beginning of the year, I’ve been considering the year just finished, and digging deep to find how the year I’m entering can be better; more productive, more quiet, more adventurous, more of whatever it is supposed to be.

Like a hastily taken photograph, there has been a lot of noise in this picture.

I have been able to narrow that noise down to three top priorities.

I posted about them here and here.

In short, they are; 1. Use my writing to help others to heal from their trauma. 2. Take my photography to a higher level to show God’s magnificence and 3. To help people in a more person to person sort of way.

All of these simply mean that I need to stop making excuses, and carve out more time to work on each of these things.

All this past month or so, a different kind of thought has been surfacing around me.

It manifests in different ways and places, but it means the same thing.

I simply MUST take more time to be quiet.

Remain still.

I don’t mean just idle, we all know how to do that.

What I mean is taking that time to quiet the noise inside, so that I can think more clearly.

If you know me, you know that I am a big proponent of “Quietude”, even to the point of making little YouTube spots to help in the process.

Truth time; For the past six months or so, I haven’t been making those spots, or even using them for what they are created for.

It happens.

Life takes a turn sometimes and gets crazy.

When the crazy comes to an end, it takes some time to get back to where we (read I) need to be so we can gain some strength back – mentally, physically or spiritually.  

Enter oversleeping, overeating, over social media-ing, binge watching TV.

This isn’t all bad; the trick is to know when that time is here to stop it, and then do something about it!

One of the ways that it is being made clear to me that it’s time is through a little daily devotion that I read.

Over the last little while, it keeps talking about time, and how it’s been difficult, busy, frustrating and somewhat stagnant.

It also has been encouraging in regards to priorities, entering a new phase of life, knowing I’m not the only one, and resisting the urge (or the habit) of staying hidden away.

These devotions have talked about the significant (I like that word!) changes that have taken place during this time; and now it is time to accomplish what these changes are bringing to pass.

Coming out of this place of retreat, can seem overwhelming.

The habits that help us to be calm, take time to bring to the surface again;

The New and Improved Model!

It seems slow, even one step ahead is always preferred.

But it all makes me want to run forward.

Then today two things came in front of me almost simultaneously;   

  • I heard a friend speak (on Facebook Live) that I hadn’t heard in a while. He was talking about “Zoning out”. His word for “Quietude”. And how he must do this every day, to quiet the noise, to turn off the world we live in, so he can think; the silence speaks volumes. The “Mind of Christ” becomes clearer to him at these times.
  • Today’s devotion was this; January 14, 2020:  Take a breath and settle down, says the Lord.  I know your sense of urgency and impatience to get a move on, but right now I need you to be tolerant and long-suffering.  Otherwise, you will remove yourself from the flow of divine destiny.  Keep yourself in My Spirit and take life as it comes with the grace I will provide.  Romans 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Oh my goodness.

Gently and kindly I’ve been being pushed in this direction – and then today……

It didn’t seem very gentle.

It seemed very firm and deliberate.

Listen up.

Take the time.

I used to teach people that even if you start with five minutes, it could help.

Then you can move the time out as your grow in strength.

But God can work with ANY time that we give Him.

How did this get left off of my priority list?

Well its back on there folks.

Beginning today!

“Quietude” first!

The results will be amazing!

I’ve experienced them before, those “Quietude” moments.

And look forward to enjoying them again!

Thanks for staying with me.

Until next time!

Playing to Your Strengths

Play to your strengths.

Speak what you are/need/believe.

There are a few things that have been on my mind and in my heart for quite some time.

If you’ve been here any time at all, you know that much of what I write about is from things that I have processed in the past.

I’ve spent a goodly amount of time in my own head.

After all, that is what we introverts are known for.

Well occasionally, some of that process actually comes to the front again, and falls out onto the page.

This is one of those occasions.

One of the things I spent a very long time thinking about was the fact that I was always told just how I would turn out, and none of that was good.

Problem? When a kid is told something time and time again, they tend to believe it.

After all, an adult said it, so it must be true, right? (Kind of like Google today)

Back “in the day”, we were taught that we should always listen and obey people who were older than we are.

“Respect your elders.”

That’s a fine thought, when your elders gain that respect.

But excuse me, when you’re constantly demeaned, (by your own adults) told your faults with consistent timing, and doing right or wrong things “Because I said so”; there is no respect for you.

The damage done internally sometimes is so much harder to recover from than you would imagine.

I often said of those times that, “I’d rather take a beating.”

So; that is what I wish to write about here.

A lesson I learned AFTER the fact, as an adult who was tired of believing I was less than.

Less than in my mind, less than in my body, less than in my talents, less than in my “Station in life”, less than anyone who may be in a place of leadership.

I read something once back in the beginning of my process, while I was raising littles of my own, the idea that we should to “Play to your strengths’ and not your weaknesses.”

I tried to do this with them, and realized, I needed to do this with myself as well.

Ever notice it’s always easier to do it for someone else?

I needed to learn to RESPECT my own self!

I noticed recently while talking to some teenagers, how much some of them spoke of themselves highly, while others were speaking in the negative about themselves.

It made me wonder, who was speaking into their lives, and what kind of things they were speaking.

Really, with any thought at all, it was pretty obvious that they were not all being taught to respect themselves in their hearts and minds.

In John 6:63the Bible says that “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”

In Proverbs 18:21 says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits”.

I pretty firmly believe that.

So if all you have heard about yourself, or say about yourself is trash talk, then you will begin to believe it.

On the other hand, if you speak life, and joy, and ability to yourself, you’ll begin to believe that, and that will be the kind of fruit that grows in your life. 

Are you a writer? Write more. Avail yourself of those who can teach you to be even better.

Are you good at sports? Get more, involved, learn more about your sport. Be the best you can be at it.

If you clean houses, be the best dang house cleaner in your town.

Maybe math is your thing. How can you help someone who just doesn’t get it? Do that.

Talk to yourself about what you are learning.

Talk to yourself about what you are doing.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Don’t tell yourself that you can’t.

Speak life to yourself.

Words of affirmation; words of affirmation are what keep me going.

That is one good reason why people’s negative words over my life were so devastating.

Do AFFIRM others – Don’t devastate!

Don’t let anyone’s words devastate you!

Think Lovely Thoughts about yourself.

Never mind what others think.

Respect yourself.

You will need to DECIDE to help yourself in this way.

And to tell you the truth, you will have to decide over, and over, and over.

But the more you decide, the easier it will get.

If you don’t like the thought you’re having; Have another thought.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to do – I’ve done it a million times! (Ha!)

Keep on deciding and going and changing.

You CAN do it – I’m cheering for you!

Until next time.