Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lies, Pain and Inadequacy

There are times in life when inadequacy is absolutely determined to bash me over the head.   I think about life and the opportunities before me and feel, in short, unqualified and inadequate.  And then I sit and I listen.  I listen to my own heart and the message it is speaking.  I listen to the voice of God.  As I coach I listen to others and where they are at, what they are going through and my heart swells with a desire for others to grow, change and become all that they were meant to be.

In all of these moments the feelings of inadequacy receive a wake up call.  As I sit and listen I feel my own answers rise to the surface.  Through these times I see clearly that the voice of inadequacy is a liar, not just to me, but to all those that battle its injection of pain.  Each of us is so unique and though there are many things for us to learn, whether through education or experience, inadequate is something we are absolutely not. 

As I take the time to sit quietly and search for different perspectives, I’ve found that I have been well trained and uniquely prepared in each season of life and that truth removes the lie and alleviates the pain.  So I’m calling inadequacy, its lies and its pain, to an all out street fight; and I’m going to win.  I am going to win for myself and for all those I am privileged to serve, for I am not inadequate and neither are you…   So join me, sit and listen to your own heart, the truth will arise.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I just had a feeling....

Over the last year one of the greatest lessons that God has taught me is to TRUST MY GUT!  I know that sounds very "unspiritual" or at least overly simple, but this has been one of the biggest lessons of my life. 

From the perspective of a former people pleaser and affirmation addict, trusting my own intuition, instinct, or what I like to call that "still small voice" within, has brought a radical amazing change to my life.  

There are so many reasons people don't trust their gut and hence themselves.  A few of my own former reasons rested within the lies of, "What if I'm wrong", or "I'll be rejected if I do" or  "How do I answer someone when all I have right now is a feeling" or even, "What if I end up alone."  All strong, powerful, LIMITING BELIEFS.  

I recently heard the statement, "Seeds of faith are always within us; but sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth."  That was certainly the case for me.  A little over a year ago I faced the "crisis" of God pushing me out of the comfortable little nest I was in...... At least I thought it was comfortable.  The reality was that I had denied that still small voice within me so often and so thoroughly that I almost completely lost myself and faded into the background of the lives of others.  

Since then, God has made me fully aware that HE created my particular life for a reason! This was and still is a bigger realization than one might think.  

After taking a leap into the wide open arms of that still small voice within, I faced an enormous amount of pushback.  I found areas in my life where I had huge issues with idolatry of man.... yikes!  But now, just over a year later I can tell you it was entirely worth it.  The results have been: 

  • Gods voice restored to first place
  • The removal of limiting beliefs
  • A destiny unlocked
  • Identity identified 
  • God glorified
and so much more....  

The most tangible event to come from my "leap of faith" towards that still small voice was partnering up with The John Maxwell Team.  Full of fear, countless internal lies and very low self worth, when the offer of partnership was made, I took a leap and trusted my gut.  I listened to that small voice telling me to move forward.  Now over eight months later I have found a path created for me to walk on as a coach, speaker and teacher of the John Maxwell Team, and that is just my story.  

What is yours?  Where are you denying your still small voice within?  The one prompting you to make a move, take a chance, or make a change so that you can make a difference.  While I do admit some days it's a battle, I am no longer easily talked into something when my gut is screaming "Just say NO!"  God has even honored me with seeing the outcome of that trust when I followed it without knowing why.    

So in light of all this I must ask, "What will you do with your one precious life?"

This quote sums it up quite nicely, "Growth occurs outside the comfort zone, not inside of it."  ~ Roddy Galbraith 

Isaiah 30:21

The Message (MSG)
19-22 Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment GOD hears, He’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your Teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!”

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Believe and Follow His Lead

I don't know what has captured your attention of late, but I spent a good part of last year on an in-depth study on the book of James.  Oh my what a challenge!!!  I was barely into it, when I began to have "Ah ha" moments and conviction handed to me in equal measure.

One portion in particular jumped out at me regarding being double-minded.  If you are an old church girl like me, you grew up hearing not only that phrase, but these very verses in James 1:6-8

"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the seas, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything form the Lord; he is a double-minded man unstable in all he does."

Throughout my life, I have hated the thought of being considered unstable and have done much to prove through my actions that I am as solid as they come.  However, in the same manner in which I occasionally risk gazing into a 10x magnification mirror to assess enlarging pores, and more recently my aging skin, (ugh!) I risked the same up close assessment of my own heart and found some areas that clearly need treatment.

As I worked through the study, a few sentences from my lesson cut me to the quick, "Faith receives more than it asks.  Doubt loses more than it disbelieved." (Whoa!!) We are double-minded or as interpreted in the King James double-HEARTED if, when we go to God, we don't hold fast in faith that He will give us exactly the wisdom we are in need of.

Though all of this seems pretty simple, the biggest "AH-HA" that grabbed me was just how often I gravitate towards human leadership while remaining oblivious to the fact that I was bypassing the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  I am in no way implying that human leadership is a negative, it's not.  It's just that in the manner of first things first, why wouldn't I seek the wisdom / leadership of God before any other?  After all, it's available with nothing more than a simple request!    

Man did I feel foolish, and yet in James, this is also penned, "without finding fault."  God not only generously gives me wisdom when I ask, but He goes so far as to say that He will give it without making me feel foolish for not coming to Him first.  Now that is what I call giving generously.  How amazing that only God in His wisdom, has the ability to remove obstacles like shame, embarrassment or feeling foolish before they even has the chance to get in the way.  If He doesn't find fault...neither should I.  

So how bout it?  Would you like to join me in making a change?  I'm making a commitment to ask God differently.... with expectancy and complete certainty.

(Check out the Beth Moore "James" study for a more in-depth look on this topic.)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hello Again!

I started writing this morning by asking the Lord how to even begin.  I know that it has been a long time since I have written and this morning I am writing out of simple obedience.  In short, I know that God is asking me to.

This last year, 2012,  has been a year of quiet silence for me.  I've had to walked through some pretty tough things.  Never in my life have I faced a year of such drastic change.  I don't think there was a corner of my life left untouched.  However with the start of this new year I have been able to clearly see the lessons that God, in the midst of everything, blessed my life with and subsequently, all the difficulties and change that 2012 held became elevated to a place of pricelessness.  

As I start out fresh in 2013 my goal is to share some the lessons I've learned.  Perhaps they'll help you as they have helped me.  I want to make a commitment, here in a place of open accountability, (that would be those of you who read this :*) to share an honest dialogue on the things that so many of us face and begin to walk out the lessons I've learned so that they are not wasted.  And let's face it, I don't want to have to learn them again! :*)

Thank you, to those of you who have taken the time to read the few words that I've written.  I hope you will continue to share words on the page with me, that more will join us and that God will be glorified in the process.


P.S.  First new post tomorrow!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The voice of truth...

The world is filled with so many different voices.  Lately, while traversing the plains of life, I have found myself repeatedly faced with the voices of others, their opinions and the search for truth.  Some say that truth is subjective and while I definitely don't agree with that, some things are open to interpretation and I often find it difficult when perception is factored in and truth is seen for its faceted self when viewed from many different angles.  

It's tough, especially in the process of finding our own way in life, living true to who we are and who we have been created to be.  While I have no desire to hurt or wound another living soul sometimes it happens because of my perception of a reality which directly affects what I believe to be truth and sometimes I am the one hurt or wounded when faced with the reverse.  

So what is the answer?  Is it just to be "right"?  At the end of the day, I cannot give up freedom I have begun to find in the life long quest of responding to the still small voice within.  It is so easy to discount or diminish that internal God voice.  Because we are all so different, the only thing I am convinced of is that this compass, this God leading, is the only space of sanity I can depend on.    (No I am not discounting the is the source of all God leading).

I can't say I have perfected the process but I have learned that denying my own internal (honest - self aware) gut check leads me directly down the merry path of resentment and agitation.  Life shouldn't be lived that way.  In the end I am reminded of this verse:  

Philippians 2:12

The Message (MSG)
 12-13What I'm getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you've done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I'm separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give HIM (emphasis mine) the most pleasure. 

Which means that in the end, I give an account before God alone.  

To help my process I have begun to ask myself this question at the end of day:  If I were to stand before God alone on the decision I just made, action I just completed or opinion I just voiced would I be uncomfortable (convicted)?  

By asking this, I have found that I can live true to who He created me to be and feel His approval speaking peace to my soul.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Winter Season....

There has been a lot of talk lately about wholehearted living within the circles of my life.  My relationships have discussed it, the books I've been reading have proclaimed it a worthy goal, and my own inner examination has revealed the need for it.

What I know for certain is that I am not alone in my need for soul-heart repair.  So much of life seems specifically designed to puncture and blister wounds, into the very portion of the anatomy we were designed to live from.  As I have sought to make an honest assessment of my soul-heart, I have rediscovered a rhythm still beating out, with staccato accuracy, the cry for freedom.

If you, like me, have found a similar pulse beating within your heart, I would like to encourage you to embrace that awareness and go with it.  Don't view the fact that you may have areas of wholeness yet to reach as a negative.  See it simply as fact and be willing to walk, as best you can, in a season of searching.  I've set myself that task as well.  Who knows what depths of freedom are yet reachable?

Some have called these portions of life a "winter" season, to which I must agree.  It feels barren and cold, dark and lonely.  However, winter always leads to spring; the season of growth and redemption.  As I have been processing my way through this "winter" I've been finding strength in a quote by Albert Camus, "In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

In this journey to wholehearted living, I am embracing that aptly worded hope by Albert.  I have been finding encouragement not only there, but within the pages of Psalms, called by Calvin "An anatomy of all the parts of the soul."  I have reacquainted myself with David there, embracing his own "winter" season.  I have also discovered that winter was not the sum total of his life.  As "a man after God's own heart" he found within HIM an invincible summer.  My goal is to do the same.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Transition....Transition...Giving thanks for a life in process.....

I remember so clearly the first time I heard a message on transition.  The speaker was passionate, eloquent ....and the message captured my heart.  I prayed that day, and for many days after, that God would always keep me in a place of transition.  It became so engrained that even my children began to quote me on it.

Quite a few years have passed since that first message, and the romance of the process has long since worn off.  Transition, being the change you want to see in the world, is messy, hard, and often lonesome.  It is definitely a road that not everyone is willing to travel.

Transition means so many things to me.  Keeping a teachable heart.  Looking inwardly first when faced with a tough situation.  Growing in character.  Lancing wounds.  Having grace for others unwilling to change.  Learning patience (ugh) while embracing the journey.

But years later, I still have a hearts cry to live a life of transition.  To be willing to look at the hard stuff in my life... the hurts, the areas of character development, the risks God wants me to take, are still what drives me.

The reason?  God meets me in the process.  After all of these years of life with Daddy-God, living out transition has brought a closeness, an intimacy and a desire for more of Him than I have ever known.  He has set me free from so much of what held my life in bondage.

As I look towards this Thanksgiving season I find myself thankful to the pastor who first taught me this wonderful truth.  I'm thankful for those I live life with who have also embraced being teachable for a lifetime.  My heart is full of gratitude for the wonderful grace, growth and redemption that God has provided in the process of transition.

So this morning once again, I breathe deeply, close my eyes, gather my courage and whisper, "One more time God, help me to transition and grow.  Give me eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart willing to............."

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.