The elusive search began at such an early age. Without even a true understanding of the word, Dina had been searching a lifetime for this and yet all the time and effort, money and thought, it’s elusive quality still remained the greatest obstacle to overcome. Nothing she had done had acquired perfection. Dina had realized sooner than she wanted to that as well as elusive, there was no standard by which to measure perfection. She knew that God had so eloquently stated that because of our imperfection, He loved us anyway. Accepted us as we are. Why not? He created us.
However, by the world’s standard, perfection was real. The perfect job, husband, home, children and church. She had been searching for this since the age where perfection in beauty had claimed her heart first. Pam, her best friend, didn’t understand what all the hoopla was about. She had accepted herself for who she was at such a young age. However, Dina knew that Pam’s mother had had some real issues with Pam’s father. Not sure that is why Pam couldn’t get caught up in the hoopla. She was too busy focusing on the drama in the house. But, in reflection, Dina could see the calmness of Pam, there was a quiet peace she couldn’t put her finger on.
Pam had been a true cater-cousin. The intimacy they shared had been perfect. Pam had accepted her for who she was and as well, she had accepted Pam. They shared what they were experiencing at such a young age. The conversations ranged from everything about their families to boys and God. In reflection, Dina realized that Pam had found God early. She thought about the summer camp she had gone to with Pam. It was a Christian camp. It was fun but full of learning about living and working with others. Dina had not been into God when she was in her teens. However, Pam’s relationship with God had certainly put an aspect of God on her mind. Back to the perfection thing. Pam never tried to reach for perfection at any time that Dina could remember. Or did she? The quiet confidence Pam had spoke volumes even now. Though she had not spoken to her in quite a few years, Dina’s reflection continued between the two subjects, her best childhood friend and perfection.
Dina’s reflection turned to focus more on the perfection matter. When did she even start striving for perfection and based on what standard? That question boggled her mind at this time. She thought about how she was always comparing herself to someone else. The aspect of beauty she learned had been from magazines and television. Dina did not recall any conversations with her mother about what beauty was, whether real or imagined, true or false. She thought about what she had seen that was classified as beauty. The size eight, long hair, perfect makeup and trending couture was in the front of her mind at this time. She could afford none of those things. Being tall and somewhat gangly, the perfect size eight still did not fit her. Too skinny. And now: Big hips, big thighs, big lips and brown eyes. Not the picture that she compared to.
Thinking about perfection in love. What does that even look like? She knew the perfection of this one relationship she had with Pam. Maybe that was what it looked like. Someone loving you no matter what. Accepting you for who are, flaws and all. Being free around you and just living life. Was she confusing Pam with God? Or was the relationship with Pam presented as an element of what a relationship with God would like? God would have to be better, though. Wouldn’t He? Pam is a human being and with all the great things about her, she could change. God doesn’t. He is same yesterday, today and forever. Now, is that true perfection?
This is an interesting word of inspiration to write about. Understanding doesn’t necessarily mean agreement. Understanding does not mean acceptance. When you explain what you may be going through at any given moment, the person you are sharing with may nod in understanding. However, it doesn’t mean they agree with you. I understand how a child trained a certain way behaves because of the way they were raised. However, that doesn’t mean I accept that it is okay.
Let’s talk about what’s going on in the world today. The mass shooting that has occurred in Orlando, FL of the LGBT club is a tragedy. I understand that the Isis person believes that he is doing the right thing. That Isis believes they are to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with their philosophy. I understand that they believe the United States of America is the enemy. That understanding does not concede that it is okay, that this is the way people should deal with their feelings or beliefs.
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What phase are you going through? I love this one-word prompt because life is about the phases that make us who we are. As I go through my phase of rebuilding and receiving the revelation from God about His plans, I am excited. I look forward to my mojo phase. You know, where everything goes right and flows in the moment. We have all had those phases. They come so we can be prepared for the curve balls, darts or any other object that comes flying at our heads. Laughing out loud because I can see the agreement from many of you out there.
A phase lasts a period of time. Now, we all know that sometimes we want the challenging phases to be brief. God knows better and knows specifically what we need. When the phase becomes increasingly uncomfortable, we begin to wonder. What are we doing wrong? Did karma come back on me? Should I have made a different choice a month ago? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The bottom line is that no matter what phase you are going through, trust God. He knows how long we will and can last. Only He knows us so intimately that He numbers the hairs on our head. Have you ever thought about that? I lose hair daily (my current phase) so I can’t image counting to number the hairs. I would have to start over every day. Laughing out loud again. Today I feel excited about this phase. New dreams and new directions.
Mojo phase. When you are feel like you are on top of the rainbow and nothing can go wrong. I recently posted about the challenges me and my adult children were facing and the question was “How long will this phase last?” Well, when the mojo phase comes, we don’t ask that question. We just go with the flow. We’re excited, can’t seem to make a wrong choice at all. Wow! I am so excited about the mojo phase. However, I won’t forget the distance traveled to get to this phase. I believe that is why God allows the challenges, so we won’t forget what He brought us through. In all honesty, the reason why I am writing these posts. Because I believe that God wants to encourage those who are going through. It is a phase. It won’t last forever. Just make sure we get the lesson we need to from the experience.
As I enter this new phase of an empty nest, writing, photography and driving, I believe that God has some awesome things ahead for me to pass along. I would like to encourage those reading this to get excited about the mojo phase. Check out where you are and your understanding of what you need to get from the phase. Even if it is your mojo phase, what does God want you to get from it? Patti Labelle’s song phrases “when you’ve been blessed, pass it on.” The mojo phase is to pass on the blessings. I am excited! Amen and Amen! There is a joy bubbling up inside and I want to share. As believers, we should be excited. Rejoicing and celebrating in what the Lord is doing.
I have to highlight (https://thedaddyblitz.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/pew-shakers/) this article by The Daddy Blitz writer because as I was writing this and looking for something I came across this article. It is right in line with how I’m feeling. We should be excited. That is truly one of the things that calls others to question what we call “Christianity.” We should be an excited people! Excited about what He has done, doing, and is going to do and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Rejoice and dance before the Lord like David. He loves us. So lastly, I’m excited and rejoicing! How about you?
Serena ran to every door. Everyone was locked! Why? What was going on? She didn’t know or understand why she couldn’t get out? Someone was playing a trick on her. Locked in. No way to get out. No keys to open the doors, locked from the inside out. “What’s gonna happen to me?” The thought was fearful. Dwelling on it would only make the fear worse and cause a panic. A deep breath seemed to slow the heartbeat. But the thoughts kept coming. “Suppose no one comes and I am left here in this locked space to die. Never knowing how or why I got locked in. What is going on?”
Serena had to stop and take more deep breaths, to slow the heartbeat again. She had to minimize the negative and fearful thoughts that were bombarding her brain. She was unsure about how this situation came to be but she was determined not to let it get the best of her. Deep breath.
“God, I know you are with me. What is going on? Help me to get out of this place. It is claustrophobic and I feel like the walls are closing in without a door to open to escape. Lord, You said You would never leave me nor forsake me, so I know You are here. What is going on? Can You please shed some light? Please, Lord, please.” She heard the whisper of “I am here with you.” Like a friend in the room just a little ways away.
Serena looked around. She realized that she had been frantic and had not sat down for quite a while. She decided to sit in the armchair and deep breathe again. She realized, “This is not even my own home? How could I get locked inside someone else’s home? Why would I let them do this to me?” Deep breathing helped to calm the nerves as she realized panic would do nothing for her. “Okay, Lord, I am here, trying to get calm. I just need to know what’s going on? Why am I here, Lord?” She heard the whisper of “I am here with you.” Again, she slowed her thoughts to recognize the whisper.
She began to look around some more to see where she was. Her thoughts about the day before and how she got here in this place were still blurred. Not sure on what vehicle or route brought her here. And, why was she by herself? Wasn’t she with friends, or was that last week? The jumbled thoughts were un-nerving. She realized that she had increased her heart rate and the anxiety was returning. Okay, deep breathing…the whisper, “I am here with you.”
This is outside of my normal posts in some respects but serves due diligence to the prompt responses. I love that as bloggers we respond when moved. It is also a part of the journey, right? By the way, I love omelettes, especially made with lots of veggies & cheese. This is my finished plate, adorned with avocado and tomatoes. By the way, I love these two items also. I would like to share with you my makings of an omelette. Although a breakfast food, you can eat anytime and not just dinnertime. I have to leave for work at 4 pm so for me, it is an early dinner. Continue reading →
What’s in yours? Obviously, the suitcase is an object used for traveling or moving. What would you pack if you only had one suitcase and knew you were leaving things behind? What would you take with you? Or, could be considered baggage. Kind of what we drag around with us in this life, holding on to stuff we need to let go. Addressing both aspects in this posts, I can say I relate to both.
I have had situations in my life where I had to leave a place quickly. Now, some of my family and friends would consider my purse a suitcase, laughing out loud. And, considering what day it is, I might tend to agree. Back to the point, I had to leave a place quick, fast and in a hurry. When I considered what I had to take with me, it was my purse, my Bible and my shoes. I couldn’t leave without these three items.
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Envy…a very dangerous place to be
Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by another’s better fortune. This definition includes jealousy, bitterness, animosity or covetousness. Of course, I have to go here and give you several of the Scriptures that speak to this because it is one of the Ten Commandments. “Thou shall not covet.” Envy is a condition of the heart and I do believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, had to put it in writing for us. Because it is a condition of the heart, it is a danger zone. It is part of the things that defile you. And, according to the Bible, it is a sin.
Romans 1:29 – “Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.”
Galatians 5:19-21 – “(19)When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, (21) envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort life will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
The operative word here is living. It is necessary that we confront the uncomfortable areas of our sinful nature. God is love and His love for us is what changes us from these harmful ways. Now, of course, the following Scripture contrasts the way we should be living as believers.
Galatians 5:22-23 – “ (22)But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23)gentleness and self control. There is no law against these things.”
There are quite a few Scriptures that address envy. It is a good thing to be familiar with them and when it’s time to evaluate where your heart is, you know the standard by which to do so. From a Biblical perspective, it is taken very seriously. We should also. It is an evil and destructive force that when it becomes uncontrollable will not only destroy your very life but the lives of others. It is very important to recognize the undercurrent of jealously. It doesn’t just rear its ugly head at first. Most times it can be a very subtle adversary and before you know it, it’s out of control.
Envy leads to a multitude of other sins such as hatred. Titus speaks to this. Titus 3:3 – “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our livers were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.” We are called to drop these things; to separate ourselves from whatever separates us from Christ. We are called to examine ourselves and most of us know when we have crossed boundaries in our personal hearts. If we are walking the Word, of course, there is a check in our spirits. Once we have that check, we need to decide what we are going to do. Be obedient to Christ or continue in our own way? The choice is ours. God gave us free will and in that, desires that we give our hearts to Him.
It is not easy to accept when we experience such things. However, when we look to the Cross and know that Jesus died for just this reason, we will be overcomers in these situations. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. God has something special for each of us and jealousy, envy as well as other such emotions need to be checked at the door, the door to our hearts.
Drop…Anything that takes you away from Christ
There are quite a few definitions for this word. However, for the purpose of this post, the definition used means to release, let go of as well as discard, get rid of, and forsake, relinquish. This may seem like a daunting challenge. In speaking of his lineage, education, etc., Paul says that he counts everything as loss except for knowing Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8 – “ (7)I once thought these things were valuable, but now consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. (8)Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”
We have so much distracting us from the cause of Christ these days. I am surely a fan of social media for the good that can be accomplished through its use. However, staying focused for the purpose of bringing others to Christ is challenging none-the-less. Dropping anything that doesn’t draw yourself and others closer to Christ is certainly a work in process. It does require that you become very aware of what this looks like in your life. What can it look like? Too busy to pray, too busy to answer the call of helping your neighbor, too busy to read the Word just in case God has a word for you to share with another, and any number of other things that pop us to distract from the call of Christ on our lives. Continue reading…!
Legacy: Something handed down by a predecessor.
What is your legacy? What are you handing down to your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren? At this point in my life, I would like to leave a godly legacy to my children, great grandchildren. I would like to leave them with the knowledge that they are loved and accepted by God. That the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. They have to choose this legacy. God has given each and every one of us free will. I, logically, cannot impose on this except to pray that they will choose God and that I continue to be the godly example from which to make this choice.
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I pray that my children do not wait until they arrive at my age to consider how important legacy truly is to the future generations. That building the blocks must start now. The sooner building starts, the better the legacy. As I travel this journey now, I see there are things I could have done differently. While I am not one to wallow in regret and do not begin to even with this, I acknowledge that had I done things differently, they may have been different. Hindsight is twenty twenty though. I know that there are generational legacies that are passed down whether we like them or not. The good, the bad and the ugly are part of the DNA of a legacy passed on. However, we can choose to make a difference in how much negative is passed on to our children and the following generations.
I pray that I leave a legacy of learning to my children and that they would empower their children to be so. Learning means that you are open to God changing your life for His glory. I pray that the characteristic of resiliency is seen by my children and that they would know and believe that when they fall they can always rise again in strength because they learned from the fall. I pray that my legacy of being a Spirit-filled believer would inspire my children and the next generations to share the Gospel with those around them and be that example of a godly person.