Tag Archive | thought life

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 #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! …

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.

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