Friday, January 18, 2019

You Can Find a New Familiar



The burdens. They come. They come and it’s as if, at times, we feel like they will never leave.

They become thorns in our flesh that we carry with us daily.

I think, sometimes, we find that we don’t really know how to remove the thorn from our lives. We accept the fact that it will be stuck in our flesh forever.

We’re just not very good at asking for help.

We’re not very good at letting others speak into our lives, and helping us unload that burden that came to stay with us.

But, we don’t have to stay “stuck” forever.  

We don’t have to sit in an unhappy marriage. There are so many out there, who not only want to help us have a thriving marriage, but have the tools to show us HOW to get there.

We don’t have to stay “stuck” in a cycle of living a legacy of an emotionally dysfunctional and unhealthy family. There are people who have been there, and can help us get into new thought patterns, and establish boundaries.

We don’t have to stay “stuck” in loneliness, low self esteem, eating issues, or whatever the “thorn” for us may be. 

It’s just that we seem to stumble over ourselves - get in our own way.  And we block our own path to asking, accepting, and receiving help.

Trust me. I know that sometimes it’s scarier to remove that thorn and step into freedom, than it is to live with it. Because living with “it?” It’s familiar. We know how to do that. We don’t know how to do the “other” thing.  But I promise you, if you ask for help? You won’t be walking into that new way of life alone.  There will be someone to walk and talk you through it. 

Step. By. Step.

You don’t have to stay “stuck.” You don’t have to sit there and watch everyone live the life you wish YOU could live. Because you CAN!! 

Reach out for it. Admit where you are now, so that you can get to where you want to be.

The first step is always the hardest. But you can find a new familiar. A better familiar.

A familiar you thought you could only dream of.

Lay those burdens down. Let someone help you remove that thorn. Take that first step.


Don’t wait any longer to be the YOU, you were meant to be.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

It's All In What You Tell Yourself



I was watching a movie recently, and I cracked up at the internal messages they had the lead character telling herself, as she faced different dilemmas throughout her day. One line really amused me. Every time this lead character was faced with something hard, she would internally tell herself… “I AM a fierce warrior.”

I knew right away, that this was a line I could really use in my own life.

The actress, would tell herself this, when she had to deal with something she dreaded.

She would tell herself this, when she had to swallow and deal with something hard.

She would internalize, “I am a fierce warrior.”

I LOVED it.

I could use this phrase so often. Couldn’t you? The messaging is FANTASTIC.

When we are faced with dealing with something hard? Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we can swallow, tilt our face towards it, and say, “I am a fierce warrior.” Then walk into it the situation with that kind of determination. That kind of confidence.

For it’s all in what you tell yourself.

You can look at a storm and say, “The sky is falling.” or… you can look at a storm and say, “There is going to be a fabulous show tonight!”

It’s all in how you look at it, and it’s all in what you tell yourself about what is coming.

We can feel like the world is against us. And we can so easily fall victim. But we can also, easily become warriors.

I know which one I want to be.  I know what messaging I want playing inside of my head.

What kind of messaging and internal thoughts do you want playing inside of yours?

Look at whatever you’re facing today, take a deep breath and tell yourself that YOU are a fierce warrior. Then walk into it.  

Walk into it, with belief in yourself.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Did We Open Up? Or Did We Shut Down?



Do the changes and transitions in your life open you up….or close you off and shut you down?

Each season of our life brings with it changes, adjustments, and alterations that need to be made personally, internally, and sometimes - physically.

Our children grow up.  Illness happens.  Loved ones move away.  Jobs change. And these things, are really only the most predictable things that can happen on our journey of life.  There are those other “less predictable” things that can happen along the way, as well. The unexpected things. The life-altering, how-can-I-breathe-today kind of things.

And then months and years go by.  

How are we different from those changes that happened in our lives? As we look back on them, did we let them overtake our heart and soul? Did we stay stuck there in that moment, or season - letting it permanently embitter our hearts? Did we use it for good?

Did we open up? Or did we shut down?

I think one of the most common traits we see in people we admire and respect, is that they never close off their heart.  They continually open it up. They push themselves to learn, grow, and persevere DESPITE what happens in their lives. And sometimes, maybe, BECAUSE of what happens in their lives.

You are a “well” of untapped possibilities.  You can dig, and dig deep inside, and you still have so much more to give and learn about yourself. Why would you close that “well” off, to a thirsty world?

Life loves to throw curve balls at us. It loves to change the directions of our path. It is gifted at stepping in, scooping us up, and dropping us down into something that is both foreign, and uncomfortable for us.

But we can use those moments, as opportunities. We can take those lemons, and turn them into delicious lemonade that gives us just the nourishment and fuel we need, to keep running our race in life.

No one can avoid changes in life. They. WILL. Come.

But don’t let them close you off. Don’t let them shut you down. 


You only have ONE life. ONE.  Open your arms and love with abandon. Live with joy. And use those hurts and pains, to gift you with great gentleness, compassion, and understanding that someone else in your life will need.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The You, You Were Meant To Be



What energizes you?

What inspires you to be a better person?

What moments in your life, bring a smile to your face, and warmth that radiates in your heart and soul?

Who in your life, make you feel better about yourself?

What kind of weather, puts a ‘skip in your step?’

What passions, make you feel like you have something to contribute to this world?

What hobbies, help you relax?

Do more of THAT.

Let more of THOSE people in your life. 

Recall THOSE precious moments and memories.

Move to THAT kind of place.

Yes. Do more of THAT. Be more of THAT. Love more of THAT.

Often the very things that make us feel more alive, get shoved out of the way in the name of “duty,” and “obligation.”

Often, those who we love the most, pull and tug on us into THEIR “that.” But it’s not ours. 

It was never meant to be.

A people pleaser, is not a God pleaser. I’m learning that. And God gifted us in certain ways for certain reasons.  

Use those gifts. Enjoy those passions. Partake in those moments.


They are for you. And in them, you will truly be the you, you were meant to be.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Why I Don't Often Write Holiday Articles



So many writers are good at focusing on holiday-themed articles around each upcoming holiday. 

I enjoy reading them. I often share them on my facebook or twitter feed. But write them? I haven’t dipped my toes into that water too many times. 

Don’t get me wrong. I HAVE written articles focused on Christmas traditions, Valentines ideas, etc.  But they have been few and far between.

At this time of year, I normally, still write and publish articles focused on insecurities, loneliness, healing over past hurts, and encouragement.

Why?

Because those issues don’t go away just because it’s Christmas time. You don’t start feeling confident just because it’s Thanksgiving. You aren’t suddenly free from old bondage just because Christmas is here. You don’t feel more loved automatically, because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Actually, it’s often times the opposite.

Loneliness can rear its ugly head even MORE around the holidays. Insecurities that you thought you’d dealt with, can remind you they are still alive and well in your heart MORE around the holidays. We can need encouragement MORE, when people are having parties, get togethers and celebrations.

Those issues exist. Every. Day. Of. The. Year.

So, although I enjoy reading holiday articles and may even feel led to write one here and there over the years - I will most likely still write and publish regular, ordinary, everyday-type articles. Even at Christmas. Especially over Valentine’s Day. Through Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Easter, and other events that come up throughout the year.

A hurting heart needs encouragement all throughout the year.  A breaking spirit needs support and reminders every day.

I know. I remember. I have felt it too. Those low moments when everyone else around you is celebratory.

And I am here. FOR YOU.


All year long.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Don't Work For Someone Who Doesn't Appreciate You



Don’t work for someone who doesn’t appreciate you.


I know this sounds possibly… impossible.  You may think you have no choice. But life is so short. And you are so precious and valuable.  Some jobs just suck the life right out of you. 

You need to be somewhere you can flourish.

I am so blessed. I work for someone who constantly affirms me.  He actually writes, “You are so appreciated,” on my paychecks. And it makes me work harder. It causes me to want to go the extra mile and to do my best.

On the other hand, I know someone who has a manager who can be very “hot” and “cold.” Sometimes she can be rude.  This “someone” doesn’t ever know when to approach, or not to approach the manager. They always feel a little tentative around them.

Listen. I know jobs aren’t a dime a dozen. 

I don’t know what your gifts are, or what field you are in. But if you are not in an environment where you are encouraged for what you do, or are given the motivation to WANT to do “extra” for the people you work with… you need to move on.

I’m not saying quit. I’m saying, “Look around.” Stay where you are, but keep your eyes open and roving. Actively pursue another position on your own free time. 

Even if it means a small pay cut.

Encouragement, kindness, support in what you do, affirming help to be better - those are all more valuable than a few extra dollars.

You need to be where you can be the best you.

No customer wants a grumpy sales clerk to help them. No patron wants a hostess who doesn’t enjoy their job. If you are working somewhere you enjoy, the people you work for and with, will enjoy YOU more!!

It doesn’t matter if we are 25, or 55, we all still have growing to do. We all still have untapped potential and gifts. We can all discover that we can do more than we thought we were capable of doing - and enjoy it!

Find an environment that encourages you to be the best you.  

Work for someone who appreciates you.

Of course, you need to appreciate them, too. But if you do find this place, hold on. For it’s a gift. One so many other people envy to have.

Be someone who is willing to flourish. Be SOMEWHERE where you can flourish.


Life is too short to be somewhere otherwise.

Friday, November 30, 2018

We "Park" Where We Shouldn't "Park"



“No parking zone.”

We are all familiar with those signs. But how often, do we “park” somewhere in our life… that we really shouldn’t?

If only we had “no parking zone” signs clearly displayed for us in our daily interactions, right?

Think about it.  How often do we “park” and “sit” in our emotions? Emotions that don’t do us any good? These emotions only make us feel grumpy, irritable, lonely, depressed, anxious, and/or tired.

How often do we “park” in our thoughts? We replay conversations and social interactions with others. SHOULD we have said something different? SHOULD we have elaborated more? DID they not like us? COULD we have done something differently or better?

How often do we “park” in the unfairness of what is happening to us in our life?

We “park” where we shouldn’t “park.”

It’s too easy to ignore the signs and just plant ourselves somewhere that isn’t good for us. (Or anyone else in our life, for that matter).

What if we retrained ourselves to move along? Sure, maybe that spot was the one we really wanted. But maybe, we can find another spot that turns out to be just as good - if not, better? 

It’s too easy for us to accept and dwell on the negative. Maybe it’s because deep down, we really do think we are unworthy, unacceptable, or unfit.  But you know what? EVERYONE IS!  That is why God’s grace for us is so valuable. So precious.

Put yourself on a level playing field with everyone else. Forget that they have a more beautiful face than you - a slimmer physique - better health - more friends - money - whatever it is. Know that somewhere in their life, they feel (and are) just as unworthy as you are. 

Would that give you the inspiration to move on, easier? 

Would that motivate you to reach out and grab that blessing for your life, that you so desire?

Stop “parking” in the past. Stop “parking” in someone else’s comments of you. (God is the only one who has the right to label us - and He deems us priceless). 

Stop “parking” and wallowing in what is unfair, what you SHOULD have done, or WISH you could do. 

MOVE ON.

Find a new “parking spot.” One that is sitting by a fun new spot with new delights that you’ve never discovered.

Maybe you’ll have to walk a little farther to where you want to go. But it might have just the thing you’re looking for along that walk.

What do you have to lose by trying? And what do you have to lose by refusing to sit in that “no parking zone?”

Nothing.

You have everything to gain.

And it’s time to grow. It’s time to gain. Don’t you think?


Move on today.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

What Is Best For You, May Not Be What Is Best For Me



What is best for you, may not be what is best for me.


People have good intentions, sometimes. They get excited over something in their life, and they just want to share it.  

They want you to experience what they did, on a mission trip.  

They want you to enjoy running, like they do.

They think you ought to partake in the same eating diet that they partake in.

They approach you about it, and they invite you into it.

And sometimes, we get pulled in by their excitement. It’s our choice, of course.  But then we wonder why we don’t feel the excitement that they feel. We wonder why we are left, with an empty feeling inside.

And it’s because, what is best for one person, may not be what is best for another person.

An introvert is not going to be fully immersed in the same things that an extrovert is. 

A “techie” will not get a kick out of the same things that a sports fanatic does.

A “girlie girl” who thrives on shopping, makeup, and fashion - will never see how a tomboy enjoys to ride motorcycles, or hike.

We are each made to be different.  And on top of that, we each have our limitations in life. Maybe I DO really like to travel, but my knees prevent me from riding on long jet rides.  Maybe I DO love makeup, but my sensitive skin induces me to go natural and makeup-free.

What is best for you, may not be what is best for me.

We can get excited about the things we enjoy in our lives. We can let them fuel us, and energize us. But it’s good to stop short of making others feel “less than” if they don’t feel the same way, or choose not to enjoy what WE enjoy.

We should never make someone feel bad, for not liking what we like. We should never try to push someone into something, just because we want company, or want to share something we love, with that SOMEONE we love.

What is best for you, may not be what is best for me.

And that’s ok.  Enjoy what you enjoy. Love what you love. But try to expand your horizons also. Slow down, if those you love only walk the slow path.  Go out once in awhile, if those you love, just can’t seem to stay home.  Still be YOU, but try new things once in awhile, things that are within your limitations, your personality bents, and your character.  Pick and choose, what WILL fit into where you are, and WHO you are.


Never let someone tell you that you should try and be someone different. You are YOU. And you are at your best, when you know who YOU are.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This Is How I Fight My Battles



Life is hard. Isn’t it? There are so many beautiful, precious moments along the way, but there are also some gut-wrenching difficulties.

Life doesn’t pick and choose who has to wage this battle or that. We all get chosen at one point or another.

We all get a “turn” at heartbreak, at rejection, at overcoming adversity; at going against the ‘odds.’

Those moments become etched in our hearts. In our souls.

You never forget them.

Some of us put our fists up ready to fight. Some of us curl into a ball.  But however we choose to respond, the battle comes to our front door anyway.

My battles in life may be the same as yours. Or, they may be different. They may leave me scarred, or they may empower me.

I choose the outcome of how they leave me. Sometimes it takes longer than other times to make that choice, but I still choose.

That’s how I fight. 

I decide to choose my attitude.

I decide to run to… to cling to.. and to dwell on my God and my faith.

I decide to gather as much info, as many resources, and as much Godly counsel as I can.

I decide to run into battle with support - not alone.

These things strengthen me. They give me peace so I don’t panic. And they keep me in the “light” instead of the ‘darkness’ that creeps to overtake me.

I choose to have Scripture verses in prominent places where I can recite them over and over. 

I want to have Christian songs, podcasts, Bible verses, and prayers play into my ears and my heart.

I know when to give myself time alone, and when to saturate myself with the presence of others.

These things focus me. They keep my mind on the things above, instead of the things down here on earth.

It is how I fight my battles.  It is how I am not defeated by my battles.

For I never fight them alone. I know that and I embrace that.

How do you fight yours?



TrekkingThru





Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Perfect Isn't So "Perfect"



Part of me loves how a mom can weave and hold the fabric of a household together. The other part of me at times, feels so overwhelmed by it.

Over the years, God has taught me some very personal lessons on this very thing.  I have seen, how I used to be so easy-going as a young adult woman. Then, as a young mom, I somehow became more serious. I got intense about each and every decision I made as a mom - so fearful of “blowing it.”

Can you relate? Do you know that feeling?

Although I never want to regret being intentional about making the right choices and moves in life… I do look back and see how those moments could so easily elevate into “high-strung” and “intense” moments.

All because of the elusive desire for “perfection."

So, I worked on changing those attitudes and desires; worked on moving into a more balanced way of managing my home.

You see, God spoke to my heart. He  showed me over the years, that perfection is highly overrated. 

What is "perfect" anyways? 

Someone will always be more perfect than us in our minds. Someone's home will always be more perfect. Someone's look, style, way of speaking, way of parenting, and even their way of handling life, will be more "perfect" than ours. 

So what is perfect?

When Jesus came to earth, He never tried to be perfect. 

Let your mind grasp that for a minute. 

He was here as a man. Did he make sure his feet were washed and he was "perfectly" clean and presentable before seeing others? No. 

He felt their presence was more important. 

Did He care that Mary and Martha's home was perfectly in order, or that their meal was immaculately prepared? No. 

He wanted their companionship more. 

And that is what God is showing me. That, people matter MORE.

God has shown me that "perfect" isn't so perfect. We can try to do our best out of love for those in our life, but we need to reframe our priorities and standards of perfection.

Our best today might be to clean our whole house; whereas tomorrow, our best might simply be to make the bed.  You see? It’s not perfection that matters.. it’s simply doing our best at the life we’ve been given.

We have all been too hard on ourselves, holding ourselves up to standards that no one can live up to.

Do your best. Do your best out of love for yourself, and for others. But prioritize being with people, more than delivering something TO people. Prioritize soaking in your moments together as a family. They won’t remember the dust-free shelves as much as they will remember the laughs or the tears you shared in conversation together!

Let’s walk together in the Lord, faithfully doing our “best” - but saying goodbye to “perfect.” For it will ever-tempt us with its elusive and unattainable standards that will only overwhelm us.