Writing Op for Bloggers

Hey friends,

A couple of blogging friends are collaborating on a project called More Than Conquerors.

Keep watching for updates here. The series will begin sometime in July and I plan to submit a story of my own heart healing.

If you would like to participate you can sign up at http://www.vision61.com/ or https://communitymoms.wordpress.com/

If you have any issues with where or who to submit your story, feel free to let me know and I’ll get you hooked up.

Where Are Your Boundaries?

What a couple of whirlwind weeks this has been. My 82-year-old mom had major back surgery and she’s recovering really well. In the process of setting aftercare for her at home, I ran into relationship issues with other family members. Of course, my first reaction is anger and withdrawal. I can do this myself! But I can’t do it myself! My sister and her daughter graciously helped as much as possible. She is such a sweet girl, my niece. Forgive my long-windedness. I’m setting the scene for the meat of this blog today.

It’s all about boundaries. I absolutely love boundaries and I try really hard to respect other’s boundaries. Here’s a couple of things I’ve learned about boundaries.

  1. Boundaries are like fences. People have to ask permission to enter your space.
  2. People will become upset when you set your boundaries. Don’t give up. Kindly stand by your boundary and don’t back down. They will get over it and eventually, respect the new boundary.
  3. Boundaries help you maintain your sanity.
  4. Boundaries give relief from stress.
  5. Remember that you can set boundaries with EVERYONE in your life; parents, children, co-workers, bosses, friends, spouses.
  6. REMEMBER….Respect other people’s boundaries. ALWAYS ask permission if you feel a need to overstep.

So here’s how I can connect the setup with my boundaries. I’ve had to remind others of my boundaries and at the same time respect other’s boundaries. Such a fine line and so hard to do and I also need to remember how hard it must be for others to respect mine.

So, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve had to covet my down time! I’ve had to take the time to care for me. How I do that depends on whether it means expressing my needs to the others in my life or looking to the ones who will hear me to help me make that happen. I’ve still experienced stress. I’m certainly not perfect. I still struggle with guilt, which means I’ve allowed someone to jump over my boundary fence and allowed myself to feel guilty.

Just a side note about guilt…the enemy loves to see us anguish and wallow in guilt. I hate giving him that satisfaction.

This boundary setting business is a work in progress for me. So that’s a guarantee that this post will either be edited or a part two added in the near future. Stay tuned.

Guilty As Charged

Hope everyone had a restful weekend last weekend. I really took advantage of it myself. I’m getting ready to visit children and grandchildren this week. I’ve also been helping with my 82 year old mom as she prepares for major back surgery on 5/3. I’m the oldest of nine and sometimes I can feel sorry for myself because it seems all her care is left up to me. I’ve learned that all I have to do is ask. Most of the siblings will help if I will just ask. That’s a subject for another post.

What I want to address today is the fact that I stayed home from church Sunday. I was raised in a very legalistic family and religion so I’ve had to talk to God often, over the years, about this guilt I often feel if I’m not at church every time the doors are open. Yes, scripture does tell us not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together. (Hebrews 10:25) And yes, scripture does tell us to take a day of rest.

Think about this…..My weekend of rest included time with my Lord. I don’t think that Jesus died on the Cross to cause us to live with the guilt of not following his commands. Quite the opposite….He died and took on all of our shortfalls, including guilt. We need to keep this in mind. I need to keep this in mind. He loves you and I so very much that He would never want us to live feeling condemned and guilty.

I’m not saying we need to forget gathering with like-minded brothers and sisters as Scripture teaches. I’m just saying that when we need a break from normal routine, He’s okay with that! Thank you Jesus for always having my back which includes my feelings, relationships, emotions, etc.

What are your thoughts? Do you sometimes live with the guilt of not doing all you’ve been told you “should” be doing? I had a counselor, who told me flat out to stop “shoulding” on myself. Wise words from a wise woman of God.

You Are So Loved!

HESED

A few years ago, I had been studying Psalm 25. In the course of my research, I discovered a word, hesed or chesed. It’s a Hebrew word generally translated as loving-kindness and refers to God’s attitude and dealings with the people of Israel. But the word encompasses much more than love or kindness. The word implies a 2 way relationship but even more than a relationship, a sacred agreement, or covenant such as Jehovah God had with the people of Israel in the Old Testament and with us now through His son, Jesus. But I’m am focused today on the hesed from God toward us. In one place the following expanded definition is given: the consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love of our Father God! (www.hesed.com) Oh, I love that! When I read that I began to understand the depth of my heavenly Father’s love for me. He is consistent and scripture does say that He never changes. That’s so comforting to me. He is ever faithful, never forgetting me as he blesses me daily. Oh and constantly pursuing? Wow! At the age of 23, I asked Jesus to come into my life. I really meant that! I was so sorry for the my sins and determined to turn my life around with the help of my Savior. To live for Him only! So, a few years later, when I strayed, I always felt His pursuing presence. If we agree to it, this covenant, His presence will never leave us. The Holy Spirit constantly prodding me along.

Ok, so, His love is lavished on us, unrestrained, and extravagantly in all the large and small blessings of each day. And yes, sometimes, I have to really focus on how He has blessed me because life does seem tough at times. And a father who loves that much! I never had an earthly father like that, so it took a while to understand that my heavenly Father could love me so intimately. When life does get tough, He has given us words to uplift us and set us straight. For instance, Philippians 4:8 which says, “Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.” (New Century Version)

Dear all loving Father God, we thank you that you are ALWAYS there for us, even when we don’t realize it. We ask you to help us see and feel the depth of your love. We ask your help in extending your love to others, that you would open our eyes and hearts to the need of others who surely would welcome your kind of hesed-love.

Where Is Your Battle?

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Yesterday we started the bible study, Armor of God. Awesome first session. One thing Priscilla Shirer said really stuck in my head!

We all have people in our lives who are so irritating, who bring out the worst in us, that we believe were placed by Satan himself. Could be a relative, a co-worker, a boss, etc.

What Priscilla said that stuck with me is this: They are not the enemy. The battle is in the heavenly places. Of course, this is my paraphrase and how I heard it. I think because God wanted me to hear this especially.

I have one person at this time who drives my head to a point! And she brings out the worst in me. The need to be right, the need to have the last word, impatience, lack of compassion, etc. I often pray before I spend time with her but after listening to the teaching last night, I will pray every time. I KNOW prayer works. I’ve had personal experience in answered prayers. So why do we forget to pray or just neglect prayer?  Because we think we can handle the situation and/or person? We call on our own abilities, skills, etc. to handle a bad situation when we should be praying. Especially, because the battle is not of this world, we are really wasting our time and energies. And believe me wasting energy, by relying on our own efforts, can make us physically sick. We can even pray while in the presence of the person.

When I’m with a client, I always prayer prior to the meeting and often silently call on Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom during the meeting.

So again, why do we let Satan get the better of us! That thought just makes me angry. God has ALL the power. Satan is a deceiver and part of his game is to deceive us into thinking he has any power at all. Today I’m saying NO to him and very loudly declaring he will have no place in my home, in my life, in my relationships!

I’m declaring Holy Spirit will have full reign over my life and anyone I come into contact with including those difficult people.

Just some thoughts of mine this morning. Hope everyone has an awesome day!

 

My Top 5 Character Traits Needed in Life

I wrote this 2 years ago when I was working part time at a contract post office. I think I still struggle with the being teachable part but God helps me with this and often points out what I need to improve.

I had a Post Office customer ask me the other day what I thought, as a Life Coach, is the most important trait for a person to have. I told her I really believe that a positive outlook would be ranked in the top 5 best traits. Of course, that began a discussion as to whether a person is born with this or does a person develop this trait. I’m certainly not a modern day Pollyanna and I have had some bad things happen that weighed me down, sometimes for long periods, but I don’t stay down. For one thing, I have a Savior who picks me back and His Word says that anything bad that happens He can turn around for my good.  How about you?

The next of the top 5 best traits to have, I would say is being teachable. I don’t care how old you are, how educated you are, what you know about a particular topic, we can always learn something from each other. I try to be teachable but sometimes my pride gets in the way. Especially if someone comes across as a “know-it-all”. You might want to keep this in mind when you are tempted to tell someone what you know. Here’s what I try to do. I examine my motives. Am I trying to sound smart, funny, got it all together, etc? Or am I truly interested in helping that person? And sometimes the other party just needs to be heard. She doesn’t want your advice or know-how just yet. Maybe later. Are you teachable? Do agree or disagree? Why?

Straightforward

Say what you mean and mean what you say. No word games here.

Honest

Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no.

Love

Do everything with love and compassion. It’s not always about you. We all have bad days and sometimes you may have to put your bad day away for someone else.

As of today, these are the top 5 traits I think are important in the life of an effective woman. This doesn’t mean that I only think these 5 are needed and three years from now I may change this list to what I find important in that season of my life.