What’s In Your Cup?

I like bubbly water! Cold, carbonated water is absolutely refreshing to me. I like regular H2O also, because well, nothing can quite quench your thirst like water can. Oh, and don’t think that I would fail to mention my absolute love for coffee! I generally like my coffee with no cream or sugar but from time to time I like to mix it up and have fun with a healthy flavored creamer or steamed coconut milk.

One might say I have a drinking problem. Now, it isn’t THAT kind of drinking I am referring to so don’t go into a panic. At any given time during the day at work it is common for me to have anywhere from 3-5 drinks going at the same time. I am not sure how I acquired this talent, but I have accepted it and I don’t see me being delivered from it any time soon.

Last week I discussed the importance of allowing yourself to fully feel pain (you can read that here: I Felt That ). To not run from pain or try to cover it up with relationships, work, TV, movies, food etc. but to to allow yourself to feel the pain fully, let it have its work. Pain is an invitation, do you RSVP to it or do you just ignore it and not respond?

After I posted last week something kept coming up inside of me. My thinker was working on overload (no shocker there). I remembered a passage in the Bible that speaks of Jesus being familiar with our pain.

Isaiah 53:3 NIV

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Although this did seem to bring some comfort I was still questioning HOW He could be familiar with our pain. Then it hit me, He was crucified.

I began to think about the horrific and bloody crucifixion that Jesus endured. He was beaten and bruised and He wasn’t even recognizable due to His flesh being ripped and His face marred so badly. He definitely felt such excruciating physical pain that day, I can hardly imagine it.  But as bad as this display of physical pain was I still was questioning how He could be acquainted with our emotional pain. Then the light bulb went on.

I traveled back to the night before Jesus was crucified and remembered something He said while He was praying in the garden:

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

I began to wonder what was in this “cup” that He was desperately pleading for His Father to take. What was it that He didn’t want to drink? What didn’t He want to partake of? I mean he was sweating drops of blood the pain and agony He was about to face was so intense. I can recall a couple of times where I was praying so hard that the blood vessels in my face all burst! I mean it wasn’t drops of blood dripping out of my pours but it looked like a million red freckles all over my face. I had fun trying to explain that to my co-workers the next day.

I truly believe in His heart, He knew He would have to drink of this “cup.” He was about to partake of this pain of suffering.  I am not a theologian but I have a tiny hunch that the emotional pain that he felt far outweighed the physical torment and agony.  In that moment I finally realized that He truly is acquainted with our pain and suffering. Just like me He asked the question to God, “Ok, I know that I have to go through this but really if there was another way could we opt for that instead?”

I don’t think for one moment that He was asking His Father to let Him skip out on the whole death thing, He knew that is what He was sent to do. All the suffering that He had to do endure taught Him obedience which eventually led to the ultimate obedience, death on a cross.

He chose to drink of this proverbial cup to obey His Father. So we too must drink from each “cup” that is presented to us in life. There are so many times I want to run from the “cup” or even try to pass the “cup” on to someone else or just ignore it completely.  If I could just share the contents of my cup onto someone else, then I don’t have to bear the burden of suffering alone.

You see what I didn’t see before now was there was something else mixed in that cup. Along with the suffering and the pain there was love. Love is what led him to the cross.  I think perhaps He was asking the Father if there was some other way to show my love, can we do that? But God had a redemptive plan. He knew love needed to be shown in this way so we could taste of love when we too are embracing the pain.

It says in the famous love chapter in the Bible that love suffers long. I think you would agree that Jesus qualifies for long suffering in love.  He loved us so much that He endured death so we could daily remember to drink of His cup. Yes there will be suffering and pain in this life but it is palatable when love is present.

I want my cup to be full of love even when it seems pain, hurt, trials and suffering are getting mixed in and almost seem to overtake me. I want the overflow of my cup to still be rooted in consistent love. I am definitely not perfect in this, but I am learning and growing. It’s a beautiful and sometimes seemingly long journey, but worth it in the end, always.

What is in your cup?

What are you offering to others out of your cup?

If you had to drink the cup that you were getting ready to serve someone else, would it tastes sweet or leave a bad taste in their mouth?

Today, I pray your cup would run over with love.

Until next time,

Have a joy-filled day!

 

I Felt That

Well, this post has been in incubation for quite some time. I hemmed and I hawed about when, or if, I should post this. It isn’t bad or good, it’s honesty. It’s vulnerability. It’s courage. It’s an unmasked look into what is reality. It’s freedom.

If you know me at all this will come as no shock to you that I tend to see things black and white (those who know me will get a little chuckle out of that…..no pun intended LOL!). I like to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t mess with the in between.  I have definitely learned how to show grace in any given situation and how to view things from another’s perspective, but for the most part I see things pretty straight forward. Depending on how you perceive it, it can be a blessing and a curse.

Believe it or not, I actually like me. I like that I have crazy curly hair that seems to take a bagillion years to grow and I would love for it to be super long, not Rapunzel long like in Tangled, but a lot longer than it is currently. I like that I am fun to be around (except when I am hangry, run for the hills! haha). I love to see others laugh even if it is at my expense! I love that I am artistic and creative. I like that I can make people feel comfortable and at ease when they are around me. I like that people can feel free to be themselves around me (no need to put up a front, because I will generally sniff that out like an English Setter fresh on the hunt!). I like that I have the ability to see a need and desire to help in any way I can to fulfill that need. There is something so beautiful to me in helping someone succeed or accomplish whatever it is that they were doing. There is more that I could convey, but you get the gentle gist that I like who I am,  who I have become and who I am still becoming.

I assure you that me describing how I view myself comes from a healthy confidence. I know who God made me and it is ok to embrace the wonderful ways that make me, me!

There is one thing though, that I have realized in the past few months is, that I don’t like to feel.  Yes, you heard that correctly. I can see you now with your furrowed brow, that puzzled look on your face and your head tilted slightly as if to say, “did she really just say that,” yep, I sure did.

So let me start by saying this, I feel ALL kinds of things to varying degrees, pain, joy, happiness, sadness, grief, loneliness, heartache, etc. There are some things I would obviously love to feel more than others, but let’s face it, life happens and we gotta feel all the feels.

I am sure at some point in your life you have felt one of these feelings. I am going to go on a wild guess and say that you don’t particularly like the “negative” emotions that tend to come your way. Well, that makes two of us…..or should I say more honestly, “it used to make two of us.”

You see as odd as it may sound I have learned to welcome deep pain. The kind of deep pain that hurts so intensely that you feel like your physical heart is going to shatter upon the glass floor of your soul and your body is aching in agony….yeah, THAT kind of pain.

I used to run from this kind of pain. I wouldn’t even let myself feel the pain because it was just too heavy, too raw, to real. But it was in the quivering moment I inquisitively opened myself up to feel the pain, to become acquainted with it, to let it take its bloody course through my veins, I realized it was in and of itself, the anecdote for what ailed me. (yes, as I opened the door to feel the pain there were floods of tears whilst I rested in the fetal position for hours…just keepin’ it real!)

Pain brings with it the announcement that something is amiss, something isn’t quite right and it needs to be mended and made whole.  If we continue to dismiss the pain, pretend it doesn’t exist or modify our behavior or actions to accommodate our avoidance of said pain, we are ultimately delaying the healing process with a great potential for the pain to fester.

Pain has this lovely way of continually trying to get attention and make itself known. If  we continue to avoid and ignore it, it will find its way out some other way. Sometimes it is through overwhelming sadness, anger, depression, avoidance, un-forgiveness and anxiety, to name a few.

Pain is an invitation. It invites us to ask questions, to process, to grow, to learn and eventually to heal.

Pain is not a dwelling place, but a place to pass through to find healing. It is something that we can welcome, even when it is hard and seems to never want to relent. I know pain can seem to come often and stay longer than we had hoped, but don’t give up there is light at the end of the tunnel!!

Give yourself permission to feel the pain.

When pain comes, take time to process through the pain.

Do not let others shame you into thinking that you cannot or should not feel the pain you are feeling. You don’t have to “get over it” at another’s demand.

If you feel that you are stuck in the pain, ask for help. Go to a trusted and reliable friend or a professional counselor/therapist, but for goodness sake please don’t go through the pain alone.

Embracing pain shows courage and vulnerability.

I want to leave you with this poem I wrote awhile back:

REALITY

Dour is the infinite hour

Of gaping holes and bleeding thoughts.

A fierce tsunami rips through the sorrowed soul

Thrashing the heart with its ceaseless torrent.

Come swiftly, come strong, don’t delay in your pursuit.

I feel you close now, I am bleeding with truth.

I inhale, I hold my breath, I feel the sweet release.

There, there it is.

The pain that sounded the alarm is now giving…..

I exhale, life.

 

Be strong and courageous today!

 

Looking Back

In the last couple of weeks I have been thinking and reflecting on this past year. I have spent many moments flooded with tears of overwhelming gratitude and a heart of thankfulness for all that has transpired. It seems just like yesterday that I was transitioning careers. It is so surreal that it has been a full year since that change occurred and yet the volume of things that have filled this last year are unprecedented.

As I look back I see this nervous and scared girl who didn’t fully know what I was getting myself into…(ok let’s be honest, that first month I was freaking out inside and questioned daily if this new job was really for me). But as I begin to take a closer look I see a girl who was brave, courageous and willing to be marked by obedience. A girl that despite physical and mental hardships was willing to trust God. I could trust His nature and character beyond what I could sense or feel in the natural. I knew that if He called me to this new adventure He will be the one to see me through….and HOLY WOW has He seen me through!!!

The past year has brought a plethora of adventure, trials, hardships, disappointments, victories, hurts, joy, greater understanding, abundant grace, new freedoms and restoration. Within all of the aforementioned, I can assuredly say, that this last year has been a year of extreme growth.

I haven’t seen this much intensity in the growth process as I have in this last year. I don’t know about you, but when I am going through growth I don’t always see that I am actually in a growing process. I definitely FEEL the growing pains, but I am not always aware that the process is taking place.

The following phrase was dropped in my noggin this morning, “what has been germinating and growing in the darkness is about to come to light.” This sentence kept repeating itself in my mind so I knew I better give some attention to it.

Have you ever seen the time lapse of a seed planted into soil? If you haven’t, take a few minutes and check it out, it is so fascinating !!! In the time lapse you’ll notice right away something so remarkable, the first roots that forge don’t grow up, they grow down. The small seed first begins to stretch its roots deep into the soil. You’ll then notice the roots begin to stretch horizontally. Keep in mind all of this is happening underneath the soil not yet visible to the naked eye (sidebar: why do we even say, “naked eye?!” Do I even want naked eyes?! I digress….ok, back to our little seed)……As you keep watching the little seed starts to have a tiny shoot beginning to grow upward until it meets the ceiling of the soil. Then something so miraculous happens, the tiny shoot starts pushing….and pushing….and pushing…..the soil begins to break up….there’s resistance….but it keeps pushing and pushing…..the soil starts to form what looks like a mountain…but the tiny shoot keeps pushing and pushing, until all of a sudden the glorious green shoot pokes through the soil!! It made it through!!! It is feeling the light of life!

I confess, that no matter how many times I have watched these time lapse videos, I find myself cheering that little seed on, “you’re almost there! Don’t give up! Just a few more pushes and you will break through!” I am convinced this is how God views us as well!! He is constantly cheering us on!

Today it has become more clear and evident that God wasn’t growing me “up” He was growing me “down.” Like the seed in the darkened soil, He was causing my roots to grow so much deeper. Then, as we saw in the time lapse, the horizontal growth started and I got a bit excited thinking, “Yes, this must be it, I get to grow up-ward now!” But nope, false alarm we needed a root system that will help stabilize the growth needed to survive the fruit above ground……so there it lies STILL under the soil, moving its roots to the left and to the right.

That is, until this past year. I am beginning to realize this last year has been the beginning of the emerging. The struggles, the failures, the getting-back-up-after-failures, the friction, the rubbing, the stripping away, the molding, learning new muscles (not referring to physical ;)) and being stretched, has all been a part of the strategic plan.

The plan that has caused me to persevere when I felt like throwing in the towel. The plan that makes me want to continue to fight for truth in the inward parts. The plan that makes me want to yield to the process. The plan that allows me to receive/give love and grace. The plan that requires patience and understanding. The plan that hopes in what it cannot see. The plan that holds on to promises God has given, without wavering. The plan that solidifies more of who God is; faithful, provider, healer, hope, confidant, assurance and peace (This list could go on and on!).

The plan that ultimately has led me into a deeper TRUST. Trust in the One who started the work will also be faithful to complete it. Somehow I got the notion I could help Him with HIS plan! Did I not learn anything in the Bible from Sarai, Abrams wife?!?!?! Face palm.

Disclaimer: do NOT try this at home—–> do not try to control your life! Loose the grip, friends! Let go of the notions that you know what you need. Let go of what you see in the natural and look to what God is saying (whether you like it or not)! All I know is the moments I have tried to control a situation or control my life it has been a frightful mini disaster. I in turn become a hot mess thinking I have to strive to make my life happen, FALSE!!! Believe me, I am not a pro at this whole thing, BUT I have learned quite a bit about trying to keep my hands gripped over my life. The results are in: it is not a wise choice.

Today, if you find yourself trying to dictate your growth process (whatever stage you’re in) I encourage you to let go and allow God into that place in your life. The moment you let go I promise you you’ll have peace but don’t be alarmed if you feel push-back or resistance. You may reach for control again, it’s ok, God sees and has endless grace for us as He woos us back into that yielded place of surrender.

Today, take a moment and look back. •Look back to see how far you’ve come. •Look back to see how God has been faithful even when you’ve wanted to take matters into your own hands.

•Look back and find, whether you were in hope or in trial, God was there and never left your side.

•He has a plan, and it’s never changed.

He can be trusted.

Have an amazing joy-filled day!

Identity

We have all been privy to defining words like, “You’re so fat,” “You’re so tall,” “You’re so gullible,” “You have an amazing job,” You’re so talented” (fill in the blank with the vast assortment of talents in this world) etc…etc…etc. This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination but I wanted to get your mind percolating to think about what we say on a daily basis. Whether it’s our internal narrative about ourselves or how we view others (good or bad) or our external verbalization toward others (good or bad).

I thinks it’s safe to say that when I started rattling off some of the defining words from above you began to wonder how you truly see yourself and how others genuinely see you. Do I really look like what they say? Am I really as talented (or not) as what I’ve heard? What if I am too much or not enough?

We all do it. We all have this internal narrative about ourselves that wreaks havoc on our souls if not stemming from a place of true identity. We seem to equate our negative views of ourselves as who we are. (Spoiler alert, it isn’t who you are!!) Conversely, we also seem to latch onto the good press that others say about us and who we are.

“I have a great job and can do it well!” “I am so gifted and/or talented with ____________!”……. awesome!! But I have a big news flash for ya, that job you’ve been laboring over is NOT who you are! That talent you have doesn’t define you and it is NOT who you are. Yes, the gift we can honor and perhaps even admire but the real value needs to be seen in who you truly are.

You are called to be a son and a daughter of Jesus, your true Beloved Identity (Beloved Identity is what I am gleaning and growing in through a dear teacher and apostle). To accept the invitation of living kingdom family life here on the earth.

Beloved Identity is viewing ourselves through the grace and mercy lense of Jesus. To know that no-thing can separate us from the love of God. We are no longer sinners with a guilty conscience, it has been washed clean! To know that I don’t have to wake up in the morning and think, “oh great, what sins am I gonna do today and then need to strive, beg, plead and work for God to love me again?!?!” That thinking is long gone, THANK GOD!!!! He loves me even if temptation gives way to doing something I know is wrong. His love doesn’t change just my perception of Beloved Identity has. When we are fully walking in Beloved Identity and filled with that relational truth the temptations will remain just that, a fleeting temptation because we have an awareness of who we are in His love and Beloved Identity. When we are filled with His love for us there is no room left for things that we once used to fill the gaping holes we felt prior to Beloved Identity.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38 NLT

Once we receive and become rooted in the truths of Beloved Identity the fruit of our lives will be the product of who we are within the relationship and inheritance we have through Jesus. We no longer have to strive to become, we already are, in Him.

Beloved Identity has been a game changer for me in so many ways. I am still learning and growing of course but it is such a beautiful thing to be fully known by Christ and His love never changes even when He sees the WHOLE me. It has been a few years since I learned that I am not what I do, but this new awareness of Beloved Identity has transformed my thought processes once again into invaluable truths. There is so much freedom in knowing that I am something beyond what I do! I’m a daughter first and foremost who has been invited into a love relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

When we are rooted in Beloved Identity it affects all that we do and see. I often share with the team I work with, “I am more concerned about you and who you are than any talent you bring to the table.” We need YOU as a person first, then the gifts and talents become a byproduct or expression of that. Jesus wants a relationship with US, not what we can offer. Although what we offer becomes an avenue to become more connected in divine relationship with Him.

It is amazing when we see who we are, and whose we are, how that affects our fruit of response. It’s because of who you are that others can glean from the fruits of your gifts or talents.

•Do you know who you are?

•Do you know Whose you are?

•What fulfills you?

•Does what you do dictate how you feel as a person?

•Does what you have accomplished or failed to accomplish dictate who you are?

•Do you strive to regain or earn God’s love after you have given way to temptations?

•Are you walking in Beloved Identity?

I leave you with the questions above as a catalyst for you to think and ponder about how you see yourself but more importantly to hopefully have you look more into how Jesus sees you. You are so loved by this beautiful Jesus.

May you daily walk more fully in Beloved Identity.

Have a joy filled day!!

Spontaneous Plan

I’ve heard it said often, “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.” I know that in and of itself this quote has merit and good intentions but whenever I’ve heard this quoted I am often met with a weighty guilt that if I don’t have a plan I am doomed to be a big eminent failure.

You see, by nature, I wasn’t blessed with the gift of a full blown minute by minute planner. I have a good friend that is gifted with this and I admire the dedication and determination in not only making said schedule but sticking to it so faithfully. I am challenged (in a good way) and motivated daily to try and be more planned out because I see how it works so well in my friend’s life. I do see the benefits of a plan like this, and I do implement them but it takes waaaay more effort than if it was my natural bend. 😉

Although I may not be good at being a goal-setting planner I absolutely LOVE to have a plan! I like to have organization and know the plan ahead of time so I can be prepared. I think it’s the bit of administrative in me and a bit of I don’t like chaos or change. So if I know the plan I can prepare my mind to administrate what the plan will look like like. I know, some of you are like, “what in the heck you don’t like to plan but you like A plan?!” Just roll with me here, it’s how my noggin is wired.

I feel loved and function best when you tell me the whole plan (cuz if you don’t be ready for lots of questions).

Now, there is a little plot twist to this whole plan thing…..ready?……What I really love most is to have NO plan or agenda at all. I guess you could call it the “un-plan plan.” The times when I can wake up slow, have a cup of coffee or be in creation in the early morning does something to me that I often cannot articulate. I feel safe within the confines of what a generous day can bring. To be flexible and go with the ebb and flow of the day (yes, I can see all of you ultra planners starting to get the planning shakes…trust me it’s gonna be ok).

I think this is why I love spontaneity so much! I love to just jump in the car and take a quick road trip or meet up with friends spur of the moment to go on an adventure. The thrill of discovering a new place, experiencing something I’ve never seen before or experiencing creation or fun activities with close friends makes my heart smile.

This happened the other night when my spontaneity tank was filled to overflowing! I felt like a kid in a candy store! There was nothing fancy about being surrounded by a plethora of cars, standing on black pavement with bright lamp posts shining fiercely. But when you give yourself permission to have no agenda and live a little whimsically, being in the moment, is the plan that turns out to be the best and most exciting plan, ever!!!

We lingered (we weren’t in a hurry for the moment to pass), we laughed (mostly at ourselves because we are pretty great) and we watched the sky turn from radiant hues of summer blue, to being filled with a display of fireworks in the near distance. Thankful for friends that indulge me and my excited-ness over simple things (ok, sometimes I probably get extra excited haha). It was one of those moments I didn’t want to end. All seemed right in the world.

For me, Summer officially started that night. It ranks up there with one of the best un-planned moments I can recall.

So, today I have lots of “to-dos,” that are on a pretty little list I made, but I know in order to “do” I need to take a moment to “be.” To sit and listen to the river flowing below me. To hear what God is saying. To quiet and reset my soul. To be still. In these tranquil moments is when I find restorative strength, mental energy and clarity for the days and moments ahead. I intentionally filled up my tank with a slow morning, filled with a bit of spontaneity. There’s a verse in the Bible that says it well……

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

When we delight in God (His creation, who He is…) His response to us is always that He WANTS to delight in us as well and bring us the desires in our hearts (even ones you sometimes don’t even know you need!!!!). Remember that spontaneity tank that I had filled?! That was a surprise tank -filler-upper and I didn’t even realize how much it was needed! To know that God delights in me (us) BLOWS MY MIND and excites me all at the same time.

So what’s your plan today?

I am continually learning what it is I need to do (or not do) to keep my tank from being depleted and re-fueled.

What are the things that you need to do to re-fuel? Here is the fun part, you get to pick and choose what re-fuels you!!

•plan to be

•choose to re-fuel

Happy Summer to you!! I know this is going to be the best summer yet!! God is always up to something good!!

Til next time….have a joyfilled day!!

What I Need

It’s often said, “Do what you love,” or “Follow your heart,” or “You be you.” I definitely have adhered to these coined phrases more than once in my lifetime and they have made my life richer and more meaningful. These are example phrases of encouragement that get us to live more fully alive and aware.

I am a huge proponent for living life in the moment and being very aware of my present reality. I enjoy taking in all that surrounds me and looking for ways God is expressing Himself through people, license plates (y’all it’s a real thing with me!! If I could tell of all the times words I needed to hear or scripture references to address something I was going through, have showed up “randomly” on license plates you’d be amazed!!!) or my most favorite expression, creation!

I get butterflies inside my tummy when God displays an incredible cloud formation, an intense thunderstorm, showers of rain or even beautiful silent rain (aka snow). Just recently He wowed me with two rare sightings in the sky; an epic sundog (See pic below) display over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning and then a few days later a fire rainbow (sorry, for some reason it wouldn’t upload)!! I was beside myself with giddiness! He loves surprising me with what I need even when I didn’t know I needed it!!

I think there is a vast difference between having a need and being needy. Let’s just say I never want to be the needy person. Having a need, yes. Being needy, no.

The other day I was talking with a friend who was helping me process through a difficult situation. He asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks. I was stumped. I truly couldn’t respond. He asked me the question, “What is it that you want to happen?” I was shocked, didn’t have an answer. I felt paralyzed. I tried to think of an answer but nothing came. In that moment I kinda was panicked because I realized I didn’t know what I needed.

I sat on the question for a bit and some things came to mind but I was halted when I was greeted with a hidden lie that what I need isn’t important or if I expressed my need it would be seemingly selfish or deemed as insignificant. I couldn’t possibly express what I needed, innately it felt wrong. I had a fear that if I express what I needed that need would be unmet and unfulfilled. Come to think of it I think this is why, to this day, I don’t ask for specific gifts for Christmas or my birthday, because the thought of unmet expectations sounds too daunting. I am just so grateful when I do receive a gift, whatever it may be. Knowing that the person was thinking of me is more than I could have asked for.

As I was eagerly sorting through the question my friend had asked, mostly because I knew it would be the pathway to bring resolution to this difficult situation, it finally hit me what I actually needed. I needed to let go of my expectations. I needed to let go of my internal stipulations of how I wanted the matter to be resolved. This wasn’t easy, but it was definitely what I needed to do.

It took a little bit of warming up to this new way of thinking after my initial release of expectations. I could feel my heart softening and my body starting to be at ease. And wouldn’t ya know it, within less than 24 hours of me embracing and responding to my need, resolution came. It came in a beautiful way. It came on time. It came with grace. It came with honor. It came with understanding. It came with compassion. It came with care. It came with being heard. It came with needs fulfilled.

Looking back I kinda have to giggle. Here I was trying so hard to hold onto something thinking I was going to fill my own need for how I felt resolution should come, when really it could only be fulfilled by letting go. And amazingly, in the letting go, other needs were met that I didn’t even realize how much I needed. God is pretty good at this life thing!

I am still actively working on this whole “what I need thing.” To me, it still seems pretty vulnerable to say “I need _______,” especially with close friends or even family.

Although God has done a pretty fabulous job thus far at providing all I need, He still is ok with me verbalizing my need(s). We have not because we ask not.

•What do you need today?

•it’s ok to have a need

•your need is significant

•you having a need doesn’t make you too much or not enough

•It may be a need for you to communicate with your spouse on how you feel about a certain matter or even about the relationship.

•It may be a need for you to create a boundary.

•It may be a need for you to express how you like receiving love to your spouse or significant other.

•It may be a need for you to finally let go of something you’ve held on to for far too long.

•It may be a need to do something that is fun just for you.

Whatever you need to do, do it.

Resolution comes with reward.

Have a lovely and joy filled day!!!

Forget About It

I am sure you have been met with several situations in life where you have been wronged or someone did something to you that you didn’t deserve at all. You recap the situation and try and figure out if you could have done something differently so the person wouldn’t have hurt you or caused you unwarranted pain.

I have had several situations like this in the past and some more recent than others. I was hurt. I felt the sting of unbridled pain rip through me like a hot knife to cold butter. I didn’t deserve to be treated so carelessly, but it happened.

When someone wrongs us or hurts us I know the right thing to do is always extend forgiveness, so that is what I did. I really meant it when I said, “I forgive you,” but I somehow forgot about the fact that just because I am able to forgive quickly doesn’t mean I will forget just as easily. Believe me I WANT to forget the wrong done but our minds have this amazing thing called “memory” that we just can’t escape no matter how hard we try. Our memories are like a permanent hard drive that you can’t erase, they can be replayed anytime day or night.

Forgiveness is one of those things I have had to learn how to do. I used to think that if I forgive someone that would negate what the other person did. It seemed so counter-intuitive to extend forgiveness. I felt like if I could just hold on to un-forgiveness long enough then I could control or dictate the retaliatory pain I wanted the other person to feel, but in reality the longer I held on the more the pain increased and bitterness would set in.

I don’t hold on to un-forgivessness like that anymore, but something I am realizing and asking myself is how to deal with the incapability to forget what happened. How do we move on from the memory of said painful situation? How do we deal with flashbacks or situations that trigger memories sometimes on a daily basis? It kinda tempts me to rescind my forgiveness (I don’t ever do that but I can’t say I haven’t entertained the thought!).

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this whole memory thing. One thing I think that has, and is, helping my mind process hurtful situations and their plaguing memories, is that it is OK to not forget about it. Contrary to popular opinion you don’t have to forgive AND forget. I would even venture to say that you shouldn’t forget about it.

I believe we need to remember so that we can learn to love who we are as God created us. We have value and we didn’t deserve to be hurt or mistreated. We aren’t at fault for the pain that was inflicted on us. By remembering it helps us to do some self care and create good boundaries. I am not saying to become mean or defensive, build unhealthy walls or exclaim, “no one will ever hurt ME again!” What I am saying is that it is good to create healthy boundaries so you can reflect love not only for yourself but for the one who hurt you.

There isn’t a magical time frame, but I will say that the memories do become less frequent and it won’t feel like a fresh scab that is being picked and is now bleeding all over again.

I’m not so sure that time heals but I do know it takes time to heal.

If you’re going through a time of needing to forgive know that it is your responsibility to forgive and release yourself from the burden of trying to make the other person pay for what they did. You don’t have to forget about it, but you do need to forgive.

One last thing, memories aren’t for keeping long term track of wrongs done. It says in the Bible, “Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.” What I believe that means is that I don’t get to keep a tally. I don’t get to keep a score sheet of the wrongs done to throw it up in their face next time something happens (believe me, I definitely want to at times….I am still a work in progress).

•Memories are not for building walls but for eradicating the desire to build one.

So, remember…

•remember to forgive

•remember to remember

•remember to love

Hope you have a lovely and splendid day!