On Brokenness.

Brokenness.

So.. I don’t claim to be the best at interpreting why God has to allow brokenness to be a blessing for us….but I want to explain  why it was a blessing for ME.
Brokenness sort of invades our lives like a sore, we didnt intend — to a injured part of our body we use to function every day. Yet injuries heal. If we let them. Choosing to hold onto the worst, and the ‘aching’ pain and bitterness prevents us from healing. And some of us, unfortunately dont get that doing this can make it much worse.

  In the years of 2004 and 2005, man I went through a brokenness that felt like I would not return from wherever I was lost.  When I sought God, I knew he was there, but I couldn’t really tell by how I was living. He seemed so very far away. But when I chose to feel, he showed up. Miraculously. What I mean by that is, I acjnowledged my pain. I shared and talked with Him, I opened up.

In The Midst of My Brokenness.

And sometimes, I really didn’t care, honestly,  if God was there, or not. I thought He had forgotten me, anyway. Not that this meant I didn’t love God, still, but I was just too hurt. And licking my wounds just seemed to feel better than talking to God about them.

Ever tried to reach for God and felt like your arms were just way too short?? Well, that was me. I knew God was real, but I was so very angry at Him.

My life had fallen apart. I was divorcing, I felt like relocation was my only option for beginning a new life, and I felt like the Spirit of God was forcing me to leave the city where I lived. I was ashamed. Hurt. DEFEATED. At least that’s how Ifelt, anyway.

Divorce made me feel as if I had failed.
So I felt like I needed a new start.

And that, I did.

But things became sort of blurry along the way. I felt like my entire life had changed, and I didn’t know where  God lived. Church was not a place to call home, and neither was the new place I had moved. I felt like life took a grave turn and I had to find my way back home.

Brokenness feels like youre almost dead. But you know youre alive, because youre still moving.
So.. what I have found is– that no matter how dead you feel, you survive – because its a “go through ” moment that has merit. HIS MERIT. God’s merit looks like grace. Undeserved favor. He sfill lifts you up, vives you a reason to smile, if wend are look outside ourselves fkr one moment. We recive rewards for going through,  with God. Somehow when I was going through, I knew God would spare my life, because what I endured, I just knew it was for someone’s benefit, just like Jesus’ stuff, his mess – the stuff He didnt create,  was  blessing, for me.

So here I am. On the other side of brokenness,  and I feel real FREE. I HAVE HOPE.
I can’t quite explain it all… all I know is I no longer feel bound; I am not crying all the time; I am not heartbroken- going through crazy cycles of shame anymore…I don’t use anything like “aids to help me sleep”; nor am I still trying to find myself. How about this: I DON’T FEEL LOST.
I just feel… NEW.
DIFFERENT.
SPECIAL.
LOVED.
And… I LOVE MYSELF.
Because… I know myself.
So there it is.
The secret  is out.
With brokenness, just ask God for help with surrending.
Healing, is on the other side.
Selah.

(If this post blessed you, please leave a comment, below and let us know. )

No Longer A Wounded Soldier.

9/2013 written.

One day, I was in the woods, and I freed my soul.

I really cannot recall the exact  wounded soldier story; but perhaps this one fits.

I went to an awesome retreat a few months back, maybe ten months ago  and  did some soul work. I came back feeling so invigorated.

It was in the fall. It had begun to get cool in the mornings, and I was  trying to rejuvenate my soul. I was soul-weary. Just tired. The kind of tired you can be when  no one else can understand it, kind of tired.  

During the  retreat, I noticed the weariness of my soul. I didn’t quite know it was weary til I really took the time to pull away and spend time on myself. Alone.

Yet observing Self.

Well, if you read the story above, you will understand the  place where I was. 

Sometimes, our souls can become weary because of ourselves. We then find ourselves without aid or assistance even we are really in a hard place.

I never want to be there, ever again.

So we were given this exercise on the retreat asking us to nurture and care for our wounded soldier by walking out into the woods and comforting her. Taking time to  empathize with her and tell her that she had every right to protect this space inside of her and  to stop fighting fires and putting out other battles but to learn to fight our own battle, and not feel quilty or alone any  more  about doing it. So  sympathize and empathize with our need for compassion and herald the battles we have fought, but also  congratulate ourselves for a job well done. And for having the COURAGE to endure.

We were encouraged to take time to HEAL.

And I made a declaration in the woods, that day that I would  build my own fortress and support my own cause and begin to  herald my own work before I supported another’s cause.

And I  was set free.

Like a bird, I flew that day in the woods.

Since that day, many things have been born. And I am grateful.

So even if you don’t have time, today, read that story,  ( either here, or above).

And herald your own cause, fight your own battle, and save yourself.

You’re so worth it.

High Time for ‘Getting Away Time’!

So last weekend I did this…

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Walking the path.

I went with a very special friend to Robber’s Cave, a small woods and cabin retreat in Wilburton, OK. It was all of two hours away and just a nice get away for the fall weather. It really brought back memories about being with my Mom , Dad and siblings when I was very small and feeding the raccoons. Funny how memories fade, until they are renewed again.

My cousin Kim, spoke to me about saying “Yes” to things you enjoy doing over the holiday, and I wouldn’t shake me. I knew this retreat was what would get me back on track with my writing after a long, dry spell.

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Friends…How many of us have them?

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KB

I got away with a friend to focus on writing. It was a mini-writing  retreat, but so much fun to do this with a friend. Friendship has always been this ambiguous kind of relationship for me, since I’ve been in Oklahoma. I’m not sure why, but instead of complaining about it, I decided to finally DO something about it. It’s was Kristi’s idea, but what a good one!

We ate  shrimp and scallops and grilled outside and I found out and remembered I could really grill food!

And now, I know I HAVE to just go ahead and buy a grill. I love grilling so much.

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Kristi is the cook and I am the griller person, I guess….but I’ll get better. Here was one thing In was really good at…and that was, taking pictures. My love for photography was renewed and re-established. Not sure where all this went, over the past few months, but I was so glad to get away again and find myself in fun.

More than anything, I think this was confirmation of my word for 2017: EMBRACE.

Many  to my friend Kristi and God …for the love of nature, and Kim, for helping me to say YES.

Again.

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Greater..is Who We Are On The Inside.

There’s no denying who we really are. Once  I   got a hold on  who  I was in Christ, the possibilities of what I could DO, became  so very believable.  I began to  take more risks, and really pursue my calling, but all of it  was  done by faith and trust in the “God-message” in me.

People are often amazed by how much peace I seem to have. I just laugh inside, because byou know, it’s so funny, only we know how we really were, right?

I am not perfect. I still struggle. But after having lived 49 years and seeing God change me from the inside out… I now know it’s not about me. Yes, I have peace , now… But it sure took a very long time to get here. After I  got through the muck and the mess of my past regrets,  insecurities and shame, I was able to stand again on my own two feet.   Of course,  some of the way, God carried me to be honest. But although  I  made it to the other side, and  the journey’s not over. 

I am learning, there is always a better place to be in God, and as we grow, it does get easier, we we learn to be in agreement with His plan for our lives.  Sometimes we have to let go of trying to understand it all. Or trying to figure it all out.

There was a man in the Bible who was courageous and didn’t  really know he was innately courageous. His name was Gideon. Now Gideon has a long story in the Bible, but he  also had a lot of fortitude. He had to listen for God’s ” specific instructions”and as he did, he was blessed immensely, and his call and his assignment was  magnified immensely, by God ridding him and others around him, of the  fear in his camp.

As I was studying this last week, I found out Gideon’s’ name  means “hewer” – he was a woodcutter –  and  a hewer is one that holds or sticks fast to what he believes, in terms of his or her purpose .  The men Gideon were to pick  to be in  his tribe were also men that  were of  similar stature, and they too, stood fast to what they believed and walked in it, with  great commitment. I am learning, even as I write, “really” who God intends to be a part of  my tribe.

How wonderful for God to give Gideon men of similar stature as himself,  when he  was ready to fight great  battles.  When God first called Gideon, he didnt want to fight, and he was afraid.  Even before God built his army, he called Gideon a “mighty man of valor.”  Because he knew what was on the inside of Gideon.

We too, are wonderful, and we have great stature inside,. When God calls us – he calls us from the inside

On the inside… is who we really are. Whom he made us to be…once we RISE UP “choose” healing and walk in faith, and  truly conquer our fears – we  can prevail. We prevail over our insecurities, our  vulnerabilities, our hurts and our  weaknesses.  All God  ever sees in us –  is our strength and that’s often where he is trying to get us back  to being: Strong. Once God gives us  greater strength , he gives us greater   ability, greater capacity, greater armies to defeat,  greater tribes and a  greater revelation of knowing  who we really are, in Him.

What’s Intriguing Right Now… in my life…

What I’m WATCHING…
I’m watching on Netflix “The Fosters”.
It’s a cool drama about foster families and I think I love the ‘kid actors on here And all they face from day to day. The show plays with the dangers of secrecy, and all that comes with it. And I love it.

What I’m READING…
I’ve been reading a few things. The last exciting book I read was Homecoming. Ex-cell-lent!
It was long …and you had to stretch your Imagination a bit but it really got me lost in the lives of the people, their experiences and the mystery of family. Before , during and after the Middle Passage.

How I’m MENTORING…
Mentoring has been successful. I’m very glad it’s started. I began Mentoring a group of about ten women in October 2016. I love when women come together to nurture themselves and have a bit OS Self- introspection and “me-time”. It always helps keep be grounded and uplifts me a bit.😇❤ If you’re even the slight bit interested, we participate in discussions online video, in an intimate app, and in person if you live near Jenn. Send an email to: mentormysister@gmail.com for more information.

What I am LISTENING to…
Well my music life is shifting…
I am liking recently everything that even sounds like Todd Dulaney, an amazing gospel artist and musician Johnathan Reynolds. They inspire me immensely through song. And when my soul needs a lifting, that’s where I go.
How I’ve  been FEELING….
I’ve been feeling sort of isolated  near the end of the year with my illness. But I’ve had a lot of contemplative talk time with hubby, and  we’ve prayed , dreamed and searched one another’s thoughts together. It’s been real.

What I’ve Been WRITING
I’ve been writing more.
It’s cool because my blogging experience is focused on self development and I write on those topics. I like writing about self-development and self-awareness, although I can see how others may be confused about my ‘self-focus’ cause I post a lot of selfies and talk about myself quiet a bit! Yet join me on this journey. It can be life-shifting!. (😄 👊👊) The journey is vast and enlightening. Why not learn from an introspective person who is trying to love herself more, about how she gets there, and what she makes more room for self care, confidence and self-awareness and self-love,in that space.

I’m LOVING…These days…I’m really loving just ” Being”. Possibly on any given day you can learn from me in that way and see I get a lot out of being, so that may not change. But that’s how self-awareness happens in this space of learning and loving yourself. Through Journal-sharing, Self-evaluatiion and Encouragement …we grow..

What I am PLANNING…
So that’s one  (of many areas) of my life where things are “just. not. perfect.” I am a planner at heart. Sometimes it just gets colluded, though. Not sure why…need to think a little more thoroughly about that. But I bought a planner for next year and I’ve decided for the first time I’m going to plan to write read, research and study. And all that is going in my planner.  This year. Yeah. Even the fun stuff I never get to do. Like pictures and scrapbooking. Just because I love memories and reminiscing. Cool. So that’s where do am. Thanks for listening.

Crazy Confessions.

I have a confession to make: I am a writer, and I haven’t felt like writing much in the last three months or so.

I also find that I am not very consistent.

There are times when my head and thoughts are  so jumbled, I can’t even think straight.

I have a fear of passing a test that I know will.make me successful.

I fear successful opportunities.

This is what’s here, right now.

I know it makes sense not to even dwell on these kinds of things, but I do.

I guess that makes me imperfect.

Am I ok with that? No, I’m not.

Sometimes I wish I didnt have a call towards things that are so freaken  hard to do. ( That’s another confession.)

It demands my attention and the  all is like babies that scream all the time… You don’t find them great company.

On the other hand , I love people  and I love motivating them.

I also love the adrenalin rush I get from a good read of something I wrote.

I love seeing my work in print and hearing others say: “This is just what I needed today, thank you.”

I also love working on teams. Teams of people with like once and like purpose.

People who were once  where I was; but. Ow I can not get them to”  be more, do more see more..”

So… even though I get overwhelmed , stagnant and discouraged, somefimes, I still tend to seek out the good. I maintain that I will keep going.

Despite myself.

I took this picture below because I went a step further.

I opened my eyes, was sleepy as all get out, saw those rays out my window, and  (decided as tired as I was), I was gonna watch this sunrise. and better yet capture it.

Because it made me happy to catch  sunrises.

I decided then, that I would “press in” often and continually make me happy, despite myself.

Because “stepping up” makes things epic as all get out, you know what I mean?by-the-river

So why stop reaching for the stars?

Eventually I’ll catch one.

As big enough as the sunrise I’m chasing.

Selah.

Thanks for listening to my imperfect rants.