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I was first ‘saved’ a few years ago and surrendered my life to Jesus.  As I’ve continued my path to become a better and better Christian woman, yes….I still have my struggles and understand I likely always will.  The blessings are that most of them are changing and new struggles emerge.  When I thought about surrender, I thought….yes, I’ve surrendered my life to God. In my mind it was almost like a checklist item…yes, I’ve done that.  As the months and years have gone by, I see myself trying to grab the steering wheel from God to put things in my own control.  Of course, that’s when I’m least joyful…yet I still try it every once in a while.  Much of this control issue after ‘surrendering’ I find is linked to trusting the Lord.   Yes, we all say we trust the Lord.  But, when the check is a little bit less or later than usual, do you get that anxious twitch in your stomach or side?  Does your chest tighten a little?   How long do you stay that way?  Do you recognize that it’s happening?   When you get into a relationship that is going well, and then you get anxious about it.   How long does it take you to realize what your mind is doing to the relationship?  Where is God in that?  Whatever it is that is your ‘hot button’, how long do you stay in fear or anxious over it?

What I’ve come to realize is that surrender isn’t a one-time offering.   The days I’m most joyful, feel I’m living more purposefully and have the most peace are the days I remember to surrender myself to the Lord in the morning.   To declare to Him that I trust him with everything in my life.   I don’t want to give the wrong impression.  I don’t just exist and think God’s going to get me to work, although, He will get me there safely.  Our responsibility is still to take action, but to do so in faith.

There is a LOT rolled into surrender and trust, isn’t there?  I would ask you if you have stress and/or fear in your life, are you putting on the whole armor of God every day?  We are not strong standing as an island.  Our strength comes from God and we can ask for it.  He will build you up.

For me, the biggest battle by far goes on in my head.   Negative or incorrect thoughts….projecting thoughts into the future which makes no sense.   There is a lot to be said for living in the present moment with total faith.  In order to maintain joy and peace in the face of society today, I strongly recommend using all the tools at your disposal.  I think many of us pray and read Scripture.  How often do you read Scripture out loud?  Our words are very powerful.  We can use them to protect ourselves and to strengthen our armor.

Try putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6: 13-17). If you don’t currently arm yourself with any, start with one or two pieces.  Start reading Scripture…then move into adding prayer…living more and more righteously….I bet you see that your life and your trust grows creating more harmony within you.   It will affect your relationships with everyone and more of satan’s darts will bounce off.   Once you’re more protected, beware of your weaknesses….satan’s a lion and will jump the moment you’re not squarely facing him, ie: be watchful.

I make the above observation because when I get lazy in putting on my own armor, my mind goes places it has no business going and it affects all of my relationships and my quality of life.   The moment I move back into my Bible reading, using my promise book to read Scripture excerpts out loud, pray, and do my best to live more and more as God wants a Christian woman to live…..my mind turns into a very calm and peaceful place.  I guess you could say that whatever shoes I’m wearing turn into my “shoes of peace”.

The goal of my posting is to encourage those that are having stress and anxiety to relieve those feelings.  They are so harmful in so many ways, spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc.   It is also to help you recognize when you feel anxiety and fear, how to find trust in the Lord.  I recognize this isn’t like turning on a switch but through faith and the armor of God, you can get there.   It took me about 8 months to lose my financial fear when I was going through divorce.  When I feel a twinge of financial anxiety, I recognize it quickly and turn to the Lord to get rid of it and trust that He is taking care of me.  I am very far from perfect and hope to encourage anyone in fear.  I understand and wish you blessings and pray for you.

I leave you with a quote from my favorite Casting Crowns song, “Just Be Held”:  “Your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place, you’re not alone stop holding on and just be held”.

Wishing you peace, love, perfect health, joy, faith, trust, surrender, blessings, and tons of laughter!!!

Remember, God made you and loves every bit of you.

CD

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This blog is nothing but consistent: relationships and God.  The interesting dance of how relationships can bring you closer to God and how God can clarify and form relationships….and change your perspective.

As a woman born in the Northeast US, I had some ideas of what the man I want to marry might be like.   My marriage that is now ended was one where I was co-dependent.   Now that I have come through that and have a relationship with Jesus, that picture has changed significantly.  Even now, I am finding lessons in my ideals versus what I could and should be looking for in a partner.

In this recent blizzard, I was left alone.  My “boyfriend” (I quote it becuase he’s a grown man) said he’d rather stay in his apartment than be here to help me.  Knowing we were likely to get about 30″ of snow and potentially lose power, I was very hurt.  Now that I’ve come through the storm and he obviously feels like a worm at this point seeing what it was like and that there was a travel ban so he could not come to help me…..what a different place I view that relationship from.   I have been praying and mulling over how uncared for I felt…feel.   I made it through last winter alone and was fine.   Which brought my mind to, “when I was alone”….so now what am I?  Not alone?   Yes, you can imagine a slight pity party in my head, can’t you? Luckily, I don’t allow myself to stay in self pity for very long.   However, this did make me look at my relationship with a whole new perspective.

Is it fair to expect a man to be my rescuer?  I think to some extent, yes.  A man’s love is demonstrated through actions.   However, if his apology is real, genuine, and he was truly being a block head for a moment, then what?   Is it devastation that I couldn’t count on him?  Is it significant? Yes and no.   We will see how things go.   I’m hurt, disappointed, but mostly, very pensive.    If this life truly is a temporary assignment before eternity, then how much does all of this matter?  It matters more, I think, that the person has a relationship with Jesus.  It matters if he does think more about how to be a helpful and supportive partner.

Then, it came to this.  Who can I count on 100% of the time?  Me? another human being?  Not really.  The only one, Absolute entity I can count on 100% of the time, is the Lord.  And you can take THAT to the bank!

People will be what they are going to be.  We make decisions about who we have in our lives and how we can best serve our purpose here.  When you understand that God has you, it becomes SO much more important to walk with Him, closely. It matters to have a close relationship with Him and that you work on building that relationship every day.  God will be there long after this brief life we have here. Jesus will hopefully welcome me to Heaven.  Can you truly ask for anything greater?

Given that knowledge and when we start to walk more closely with God, I think we shed a lot of baggage.  We do not get ‘offended’; we realize that everyone is only capable of being who they are on their journey.   Expectations, whether we set them or someone else sets them for us…they drift away.   To a certain extent we become naked again.   No baggage, no pretenses….just you in front of Jesus wondering if you’re being the person He would want you to be.   Once you are standing there, raw, really seeing yourself, the other person becomes ‘naked’ as well.  You don’t look at what they say about themselves.  You observe their actions and who they are to you without expectation….just the thoughts and actions exchanged.   You stop judging them and you shed your expectations of them.

Then, through the emotional processing and prayer there is the blessing.  Knowing that you choose to walk more closely with the Lord and that only His love is never-failing, beautiful, graceful, and something to consistently strive to build inside you and in your life.

How can you be angry with someone that builds your faith? I don’t think you can.

Wishing you perfect health, love, joy, laughter, and knowing your purpose in this life.  God bless!

CD1

 

When I was a little girl and watched cartoons on saturday mornings with my brother, it was always a treat when we caught the Pink Panther.  One of the cartoons was the Ant and the Aardvark.  And every time I think of the voice, “Hey Ant”….it just cracks me up.  In case your’e not familiar with it….here’s a little youtube link for you: http://youtu.be/E_LX7_48oLA

So why Ant?  I had the recent experience of starting to deal with the financial end of my divorce….what he expects, what I expect…etc.   If you’ve not gone through it…don’t.  It’s not a lot of fun.  I had always gone into fear and small mode.   In this feeling I’m more of a victim that has to accept my circumstances or what the other person insists on having.   So when he emailed me yesterday that he wants to force the sale of the house, the house that I owned before we met that is now a bit upside down, I went into that same place and got fearful and very upset.   And as I sat there, soaking in my sadness, victimology, unempowered-ness…..I started to ask God what He wants of me.  And I felt this shift start to happen from the inside out.   I am not a victim.  I have no reason to be sad.   I am fully empowered and strong with God and Jesus in my heart.   Just because the ex says something does not make it true nor what will happen.  My mind went a lot of places I’m not really proud of for a little bit but then came back to grounding.  So I let go of all of the old response/reaction and embraced my new self who knows that I am fully taken care of and trust God implicitly…that He is showing me the path of what is the next best step for me.   And I am more than ok…I am peaceful.

I went to sleep very early last night so I was wide awake and bushy tailed at 4am.  Instead of leaping out of bed like I used to…I waited for wisdom and was thankful for all I have…and then…the next wonderful lesson came.  We face things all the time that seem like they rock our world; they are paramount in and to our existence.   When really if you take a step or two back from the situation…it’s a speck.   It’s a speck in time and a speck in the world.  It’s just a speck in God’s overall plans.  And you have to always know that you are going to come out of whatever situation it is..happier, healthier, and an overall better person, better equipped to help others that might face the same or similar challenges.    As my pastor once said, things don’t happen so you can say ‘so what’; they happen so THAT you can help someone else…..so that.   The difference between that little double-u and tee is huge.

I write this blog so THAT maybe someone else will find some strength in knowing he or she is not alone…that we all have our struggles…and no matter what…there is always love for you.  In the overall picture we are ants in a way…carrying our own world on our shoulders.  It’s important to remember that the struggle that feels like the world on our shoulders will seem no more significant than the size of an ant some day.   If you have a struggle and you’re able to…let it go, even if for a few minutes at a time…and know that you will be ok.  Having said that, I know there are many people going through health issues…my prayers for you and I wish you no pain, perfect health, laughter, blessings, and optimism.

Wishing you love, happiness, joy, grace, perfect health, and tons of laughter, always….

CD1

Wet, Add Shampoo, Lather, Rinse, repeat until hair is squeaky clean.

It’s my thought that we continue to experience similar events in our lives until we learn from them….really learn with every cell in our body.  I am going to share something very personal for the sake of demonstration.  Please know that I have no animosity towards my mom and I know she was doing the best she could; she was likely not very happy with herself or her life or she would not have done this.  My example takes place between 6th – 8th grade.  At least three mornings a week my mom would wake up completely grumpy and send me off to school after screaming at me that I was fat, unattractive, and why would someone like me have any friends.  She would be really violent with her tantrum though never physically hurt me.

Now that I’m an adult I have choices.  I can resent her forever or I can understand how tortured she must have been to do that to her only daughter.   What I have taken from this are incredible gifts, though it has taken me years to process and truly forgive my mom.  I regret that I did not fully lose my resentment until much later in life because she is no longer here on Earth as of May 16th this year.  However, having come out of this experience and analyzed how it has affected my choices and behaviors, I have a gift.   I can relate and empathize with people that have come from worse hardship than I have.  I have a deeply felt compassion for people in emotional pain and sometimes I can help them.   I would not be the woman I am today if I did not have this experience.   I feel deeply and can establish a connection quickly with most people and enjoy learning about them.   I can’t imagine a bigger gift.

So why repeat?  It struck me that I am being attacked by my father’s girlfriend of 23 years with whom I was very close until about a year ago.  She has been criticizing me to my father every day for a large portion of the day; it’s become very prominent in the past two months.  It struck me today that this is very much a repeat of what my mother put me through years ago, though a bit less direct…yet still as hurtful.   And I realize now, that she must be in a lot of pain to lash out at someone who has been nothing but kind to her.  I have endured many an evening of too much wine when she might have insulted me or my family but assumed that wasn’t her real intention as she was more elaborately looking to build herself and her family up due to some lack she feels in her heart.

How large must her pain be to spend so much time in anger and hatred?  For me, as of this evening, I am feeling a great deal of compassion for her.  I have been praying for her but tonight and moving forward, my prayers will be even more heartfelt.    No, it doesn’t mean I’m going to subject myself to abuse; it does mean that I can look at her and the situation with a great deal of love and extend my heart to ask God to comfort and  heal her for whatever she is going through.  Her behavior, which I cannot control, has laid heavy on my heart and now….that weight has been lifted.  I am grateful for the learning and am happy that I don’t believe something like this will repeat in my life.   I am finally at peace with her actions.

If you have a source of pain in your life from someone else’s behavior, something you cannot control, maybe there’s a gift in that.   Maybe there’s a way you can be grateful and figure out how to heal yourself and find compassion.

This evening I experienced a significant shift in who I am and how I choose to live.  I thought maybe someone else out there might be helped by this post.  If so, I’m grateful and thank you for reading.

Wishing you love, compassion, joy, and peace…always.

CD1

I thought my learning might help someone out there so I’m posting this little tidbit.
Take everything you miss from your last relationship and write it down.
I miss feeling safe in his/her arms
I miss sharing my personal growth learnings with him/her
I miss feeling desirable to someone
etc..
Take all of the things you miss from the relationship and create a map for getting those things into your life…without someone else in your life.
For example…I miss feeling safe….for me, that means a roadmap to being financially independent. So what do I need to do? For me it means three things…
a. Grow my business within my company as that’s the fastest way to get more revenue
b. Look for a marketing position while I’m growing my busienss (this happens to be what I’d like to do eventually either instead of or in addition to my business)
c. Grow my skillset…for me, learn about Google Analytics, Google Adwords, SEO, Dreamweaver, and digital marketing as that’s the direction the marketing world is taking.
When I focus on improving my financial situation I know I’m taking steps towards feeling ‘safer’ in my life. This I have found is where my need for ‘safety’ has come from.

Next? Well, sharing my personal growth learnings…hmm….that means I need more friends that are more like minded. How do you do that?
Depends on what your beliefs are and your philosophy is. I’m open minded so for me it goes from getting more involved in church, signing up for a 2 hour meditation with tibetan singing bowls, and finding other events or organizations that would likely attract people of a similar path.

Now how on Earth do you feel desirable when someone else isn’t in your life? Not so hard. Buy a sexy outfit or something you think you look particularly great in. Whiten your teeth. Color your hair. work out. Eat healthier. I laughed to myself last night when I had an acquaintance suggest diving into a pint of ben and jerry’s cookie dough to sooth my heartache from my previous relationship. My mind immediately went to how would I feel better? I’d feel ok eating it. Afterwards, I’d feel much worse. So it motivated me to go to the gym and do longer cardio with a few pushups and things because after I work my body, I always feel better. Focus on the end and work your way back and find your motivation from wanting to feel better about yourself. I find that has been a very pivotal part of my change in behaviors. It can break old, strong habits if you are very goal focused and know for sure what you want…than just work your way back. IE: If I do x then when I’m done or get home or whatever it is..I will feel _____. If it’s a good feeling..then do it. If it’s not….then maybe figure out a better alternative.

Ok, this turned into a bit larger than a tidbit but I hope it helps someone. It was a significant learning for me so I hope it helps someone else, too.

Love to you always..and happiness and health.
CD1

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