Sunday, March 31, 2013

Seek and You Will Find...

Seek and you will find... yes, it really is that simple. I think sometimes we think finding God in this life & hearing His Voice is complicated or tricky, yet with a pure heart and a loving mind He is present and ready to answer any question at any time. He wants us at Peace and he desires our better good. Our best is always with Him. He knows All and therefore has the Best Vision for our lives.

Fear can cloud His ability to direct us. Discernment and fear are not the same. We must only listen to His Voice of Peace and Love. If we seek the truth we will find it. What truth do we wish for? The truth of man or His Truth? God does not try to trick us nor does He take pleasure in keeping the Truth hidden. The path towards Him is neither complicated nor difficult... if we are truly with Him along the way.

When we are anxious, when things get scary or seem overwhelming it is a sure sign we are not relaxing in His Arms and that once again we are relying on our own Earthly strength and understanding and not on His. He is more powerful & loving than any difficulty or deception! We simply must relax in Him and listen to His Voice for guidance! His Voice comes in many forms... a message in a song, the healing words from a friend, a line in a book, or even a Bible verse that appears at the perfect time with the perfect words... He answers us in ways as unique as our human experiences.

I was recently warned by a dear God-loving friend that sometimes the voice we think is God's may not truly be His. She cautioned that although this imposter voice might speak near truth that this voice means to do us harm and lead us away from the Truth of God. This scared me... actually, it down right freaked me out!! My body became tense and rigid, and fear trickled through my core. How could I ever know what voice to follow and be sure it is the Voice I am seeking? She insisted we needed to question each message against His Word.

So every time I hear His Voice I am to question Him? By "His Word" I am pretty sure she meant the Bible... but that's where things can get even more difficult! For every Bible story and verse there is a different understanding... and for each interpretation there is the likelihood someone got it wrong. All you have to do is attend a few different Bible studies in a few different Churches to see quickly how many different understandings there can be! Confusing... difficult... contradictory... divisive... sigh. Who's right? Who's wrong? What's a girl to believe?

This is when I turned to God in the darkness, with my 3 boys sleeping nearby. In the quiet solitude of the night, I turned to God and He answered me. Simply. I was still and listened without fear and with an open heart and mind. His message came clear and without complication... His Voice as familiar to my ear as His Love is to my soul.

I'm not to fear the Enemy but turn to Him with all my thoughts, my anxieties & fears and He will guide me & keep me safe. Fear not as He is with me Always. I will know His Voice by His Peace & His Love.

The gift of discernment is just that: a gift. Without special effort or works Gods Voice is clear and consistent. His Loving guidance resonates unlike any potential imposter... as our God can be recognized by His Love and Peace that cannot be received from an other god or source but Him. He is the Only Living God... the only True Voice above all. Simply: He will always reveal Himself to us. He is never hidden from us, nor silent. We must but be still and listen.

Seek God and you shall Know Peace.
Seek Peace, and you shall find God.

God also has given me some Bible verses, mostly I think to ease all fears and for Loving reassurance:
❤Seek and ye shall find (Mathew 7:7)
❤Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:20)
❤Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God (Isaiah 41:10)
❤And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Love My Enemies... Really?!

Everyone knows someone, or two or three someones that are horrible human beings... or just plain difficult to like, not to mention LOVE! They are self-centered, passive aggressive, pushy, insensitive, or just plain "evil"! It seems impossible to tolerate being in their presence without having our skin crawl with the immediate desire to flee, let alone use precious energy in trying to cultivate feelings of love for them!

How can I love someone I just cannot relate to or understand... someone so different from me? How can I try to love someone so obviously undeserving? How is this even possible? I must need a major "supernatural attitude adjustment"!  Doesn't love imply some type of commonality? Common ground? Mutual respect? Doesn't it require lovability? Or at the very least... likability?! It's just so (insert whiney tone) haaard to even want to try... it just feels so unauthentic and completely insincere! Should I just "fake it til I make it"? I, myself. Just. Don't. Know.

Thing is, God DOES know... and His call is quite clear... love is the Answer. Love is my Direction, love is what is needed. Love without condition or complaint... without expectation or restraint! The harder the person is to love the more love is needed not less. He asks us to do something that on our own would be utterly IMPOSSIBLE!

How can I do it? First and foremost, I need to forgive them their trespasses... and remember they have forgotten who they are and that is part of the problem. I am here on Earth as part of God's solution to remind them. They have never known or have forgotten they are spirits created by a loving God... as we often forget as well. We are souls constantly being called to Him... to love.

The next thing I am to do is seek for their better good, pray with them and/or pray for them! I should listen to God's nudge to serve them in some way... big or small. I should never underestimate the power of even the little gifts we can offer that cost us nothing... a listening ear, a smile, eye contact, a positive word, a silent prayer for their blessing.

Acts of service, prayer, and forgiveness are all ways towards the Love of our enemies. Isn't this what He has done for us? It's so simple... and yet so hard sometimes to let go of our anger, bitterness, and resentment! Even though we are promised so much more in return for our efforts!

Loving our enemies really is God's desire for us... by loving them we open ourselves up to receive much more Love from Him. By loving our enemies we can better know His Love for us and receive the many blessings His Love offers us!

❤ God is Love is God.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Choosing Forgiveness... Choosing Love

How could I ever forgive them? Look at what they did! They are so undeserving, hateful, mean, annoying, selfish, arrogant, strange, conceited, unlovable...

We may not think those thoughts specifically, but the deep down the thoughts are there. We know we need to forgive those who have hurt us, but we just don't see how we can! God loves them.. well... cause He's God! How am I suppose to just look the other way & turn the other cheek on something so clearly not right?

And so we stand still in the middle of Forgiveness' road. Stopped dead in our tracks unable to move towards the goal. We are stuck in the thick of the love the humanly unlovable seems impossible... too difficult of a task to achieve!

The obstacles on our path of forgiveness can be countless... boulders or pebbles all blocking our path, keeping us from moving forward. Removing the obstacles to love is the secret. Seeing that person and defining them not by what they have done wrong... but loving them for what they've done right.

We must focus on that bit of inherent good that is in each of us. Focusing on their strengths, their gifts, looking for what we like about them... or our dreams for them. Forgiving truly begins by looking at the ones who hurt us through the lens of love. It's through this lens we see others as Christ sees them...and also how he sees you & me.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Love Is Not Boastful... Or Braggy!

"It's not a game unless you play" is something my husband says to my kids when they get frustrated at losing a game they were pulled into before they fully agreed to participate. Typically this "game" consists of racing (up the stairs, down the sidewalk, etc.) or accomplishing a specific task (like getting into their PJs, brushing their teeth, etc.) to see who is the fastest... the best.

This game typically begins with one child announcing the competition and the other child automatically, almost instinctively following along. It ends, of course, with the opponent's predictable "loss" and resentment with the fact that they didn't really even want to race in the first place! They are left feeling depleted and defeated. They are then reminded that it was their choice to play and to go true!

Sometimes the behavior of children and adults isn't much different. In fact, I have been pulled into a game I have not really wanted to play. What is this game? It's the game called "Bragging & Boasting"... where one person, the "bragging-boaster" initiates the game by boasting of a recent accomplishment (paying off their house, getting a promotion, receiving an honor), a recent purchase or gift (luxury purse, designer jeans, expensive shoes), or "amazing" experience (trip to Disney, exclusive resort, fancy hotel) in order to feel superior and elicit a feeling of admiration or jealousy from their opponent. These brags and boasts are flung out into conversation like a fisherman casting a line into the deep waters of their opponents fears & insecurities... hoping for a bite.

The next play consists of the opposing player either attempting to forfeit with a forced smile "I'm so happy for you" or making a counter play ("My son made the Honor Roll again!","I'm in a size 2 now!", or "We really enjoyed our last family trip to Paris!") to either tie or better yet, one up the boasting-bragger to hopefully end the game, for this round anyway!

Even on those rare occasions the opposing player is able to out score the boasting-bragger the feeling of defeat still stings strong. This is when the friendship begins to unravel... and trust begins to fade. True friends don't find joy in being better or having more... but by spreading joy and lifting up those they care about!

So why do I play? Honestly, I don't know sometimes! I really do try not to get sucked right into the competition, but sometimes I just react with my ego before my mind knows what just happened! Who cares if she is thinner, richer, and leads a "better" life, right? But I guess a part if me (hopefully a part that is shrinking more and more every day) still feels like somehow that stuff actually matters!

Let me be clear... sharing wonderful news or recent accomplishments isn't necessarily always boasting or bragging! I love celebrating good news with friends! It is all about the intension behind it and with full consideration of the feelings of who you are sharing with. Sharing good news should be about sharing joy... not part of a repeated attempt to assert "superiority" over another.

I am grateful that the majority of people in my life do not play this game... the majority of the players being left behind in adolescence! ;) I am grateful for all my dear beloved friends that would never wish me ill will and always want the best for me... who would never keep score let alone play games! Yet, I am also aware that I am responsible for my part in this game, for playing along (even as I hate it) and for allowing anyone's bragging or boasting to affect how I feel about my life and myself!

I've come to realize this game is often initiated by those who have an "identity crisis". Not understanding their True Source of self-worth they try and get it through extrnal things. Because they feel deep down they are less... they boast and brag to convince others, and even themselves, that they are more. It's as if they were raised or have come to believe that their value, worth, and lovability is somehow tied into external things... that they are more valuable, likable, and lovable if they have or do more. But the truth is none of us are any more valuable, nor any less than another... and nothing we can buy, no place we go, no fitness goal we achieve will bring us that feeling of value and lovability we crave.

I've often asked myself and have been asked by others why I would remain friends with someone who played this divisive game. All I can say is that it is because of love. My soul feels called to friendship, not because of my friend's behavior but her heart. Inside this competitive spirit is someone who is forgetting their lovability and that this stuff doesn't mean anything. No one is perfect, especially not me... for after all I was a losing player too!

This relationship is teaching me something I could never been taught without her! She is essential to my walk with Christ and to my Salvation in letting go of the old and reuniting with the Spirit. I am learning how to lovingly decline the game... to resist the urge to play. To learn how to love even during unlovable moments. To learn it isn't about the sinful nature of the bragging-boaster, but the lovelessness and fear in my heart each time I engage in the game.

Only Love and the relationships that share love have true meaning... none of these "treasures" on Earth will ever give us the meaning and value we crave. Until we understand that the bragging/boasting game is actually sabotaging our ability to recognize our True Worth we will never be able to claims it as our rightful inheritance as a child of God. We are beyond value... Priceless to our Creator! So loved are we he comes to us through the Holy Spirit if we but ask!

So the next time I am presented with a request to play this fruitless game I will remember I do have a choice and I will seek guidance from the Holy Spirit and choose love... the only winning choice there is.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Don't Care What You Think...

Actually, I do care what you think. As a recovering "people pleaser" sometimes I care more than I should. In fact, I've missed out on authentic moments because of the fear that you might not like me. I worry you may not like me because I'm too liberal, or too conservative, too talkative or too boring, too sensitive or too insensitive, too Spiritual or too "churchy", too agreeable or too opinionated, too nice or too harsh... or just too "whatever" to ever be accepted for who I am!

These of course are all deep seated projections and not based on any true feedback... just causing me wasted time worrying about the unknown "what ifs" of my many imperfections. It actually is difficult for me not to care about what others think... not just for a need of external validation but even more because I don't want to be messing up and unknowingly hurt an innocent soul due to my ignorance & stupidity!

Earlier this week I bumped into someone who repeatedly has given me the cold shoulder... and I wondered if I should say something (nicely, but honestly what do you say?) or just let it go? I immediately thought "I wonder if it's me she just doesn't like or if I said or did something wrong?" My first instinct is to worry and wonder if it was it was some kind of failure on my part... the second is to just not like her back. Sigh. I know, I know... Not. Good.

So, here I go... worrying about the unknown... making it all about me. Truth is, maybe I did do or say something unloving or unkind... and I should acknowledge it, and do something about it! If so, I would definitely need to make amends, try and repair any damages, forgive myself and move on. Everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect... and someone somewhere is bound not to like me. Yet it's also possible it has nothing to do with me at all! That's just the truth... and I am directed to react to those people not with worry, fear or returned disdain... but with love.

When I sense weird vibes or feel I've been snubbed for some unknown reason I am called not to worry about it endlessly nor am I to just let it go! God has a bigger plan for me! God wants me in Peace, but he also calls me to love as He loves. I'm to notice their pain and pray for them, love them in the moment whether or not it's "deserved"! I am called to return their forced smile with a warm one, sincere and full of Christ's Love.

It's not that we shouldn't care about what people think at all, but it is senseless spending time worrying or wondering about the unknown. It is my hope one day I will no longer be controlled by this fear of what people think... but seek to care about how they feel! I will focus more on learning to love. I will let go of my fears and expectations of others. I will not make it all about me, but instead... all about love. I can't please everyone... but I can love everyone.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Who Am I? (aka The Case of the Mistaken Identity)

I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an Auntie, a friend, a Christian, a worker, a Healthcare Provider, a blonde, a Taurus, an American, a girly girl... and on and on and on...but is that who I truly am? The answer These words describe me as I appear on this Earthly plane, but in many ways distract me & others from my true essence... my Spiritual identity as a child of God.

My Purpose and my Peace are independent from these Earthly descriptors... none of which hold true happiness and true Peace. Each of these roles and descriptive characteristics can indeed bring blessings into my life but can also trip me up if I confuse them with who I really am underneath. These descriptive categories can lead me into a false sense of self and away from who I truly am.

I see myself as a woman and if I base my identity on that... what happens if I were to lose my breasts to cancer? If I define myself as a worker... where goes my happiness when I lose my job? If I define myself as a mother...where does my happiness flee when my children grow up & move away... or worse if I were to lose them through Earthly death? In life I will likely always feel the pain of loss... but God wishes me to never confuse what I do, where we live, what we look like, or any role with who we truly are.

Looking for Peace & happiness in our Earthly identities will always leave us feeling the sting of pain, emptiness & loss. Living constantly in Fear of losing our identity we could live our life with subtle anxiety keeping us from Peace. Eternal happiness & everlasting Peace belongs only to things of the Spirit and of God. Looking anywhere else will always be futile & unfulfilling. What most of us need is an "identity adjustment" to correct the mistaken identity we have created for ourselves.

The true identity of who I really am... is a Spirit, a Soul, a child of God, & a vessel for His Love. This identity cannot, nor will never be taken away... it is unchanging and everlasting. Building our worth and identities on this is like building a house on stone. This is so much better than the "sand built" identities we might create for ourselves in hopes this will bring us the worthiness and fulfillment we crave. We can correct our mistaken identities simply by remembering... we are Spirits having a Human experience... not the other way around!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Miracle Moment

My miracle moment was both the most extraordinary and ordinary moment of my entire life. The day of the miracle started out as a typical day. On that day I felt just as normal as ever. I wasn't vigorously seeking God nor actively turning from Him. Honestly, until that miracle moment I hadn't thought much about Him that day at all.

It happened several Summers ago during a family reunion that was being held not too far away from my home. I headed down to the gathering place with my two eldest sons. Much of my family was there including my twin sister, my mom, my grandmother, and many of my aunts, uncles and cousins. We were sharing in the normal commotion, good conversation and good food that the typical reunion offers.

It was during this reunion I was able to talk face to face with a dear Aunt of mine. She and my Uncle had been going through a very spiritually anxious time with the stress of future work and finances at an all time high! I was listening to her as she shared the complicated details of the painful situation. I actively listened to her heartache as her fears bubbled over and she questioned what was to happen next and how God would provide.

That's when it happened. The Miracle. The Voice of God. But it actually wasn't really a voice at all... more of a Knowing with a message for me to share from God through the Holy Spirit of Christ to her. Directly. As I was being instantaneously told what to tell her...the words came out as I surrendered to the message... she looked at me and she nodded, receiving the message without bewilderment or question!

It was absolutely clear that the message was from God. When God Speaks... there is no doubt who He is! I couldn't believe what had just happened! Yet my Aunt with her strong Faith didn't seem surprised at all that God had a message for her and she received it openly and seemed to get some encouragement and Peace from His Word.

Before I relayed God's message I automatically stated "God wants me to tell you something" and before I had a chance to absorb what was happening the message poured out out like a fountain of hope! The message was something like "Everything is unfolding as it should for your better good"... the phrasing was strange and not in any way phrased how I myself would talk!

As the conversation concluded I was in somewhat of a heightened I had been hit (because I had!) by spiritual lightening! I walked away in shock and in total awe of what had occurred! I wanted to yell out "Everybody! Stop! GOD HAS SPOKEN!" It still seemed so unbelievable even though I had no doubt of it's Truth!

What the heck just happened?! God? Spoke through me?! So unbelievable yet so Real. I immediately searched the room for my (twin) sister to share with her what had just occurred! Would she, could she believe me?!

Now, I'm telling ya up until this day I had not been especially religious (I hadn't gone to church in months!) nor spiritually driven. I mean, I believed in God and considered myself a Christian, but was more coasting on Faith than actively pursuing God. Because I suppose I have always been honest with her, or perhaps she reacted in Faith, she seemed to believe me...and for that I was so very grateful! I had someone to process this with and to share in that moment. The moment that was in no special place, with no special messenger... completely ordinary in both respects... immediately changed my path and my life for good.

I'm telling you... when God speaks... you listen... and afterwards you want to share it! It was miraculous! And with that I began a new more committed Spiritual path that led me to where I am today. Since that time I have heard His Voice speak through me to others... those stories are beautiful and profound... each a sacred moment of Truth from God through me to them.

The messages from Him have always brought Peace, Hope, and Love in a way only His words can... and I am just the occasional messenger... an honor I do not deserve and will always feel grateful for. Being used by God is the biggest blessing one could ever ask for... and we are all called to His Purpose!

He has shown me that he does not chose to bless us with miracles because of any "specialness" that sets us apart or above any other. There was nothing and is nothing better about me than anybody else... I believe that is one reason I was chosen. Miracles happen when we are open and according to His Plan. It is now my life calling to do my best at listening to his Voice as He speaks to me and live according to His Plan for me...which will always be so much better than my own!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Way...Or the Highway (to Heaven)

Have you ever felt like things in your life were somehow not right? You start your days feeling frustrated, confused, almost restless, not sure exactly what was wrong, just knowing things weren't as they should be? You weren't at Peace but you couldn't say why!

I've been in this situation several times in my life! I tried working even harder, the whole time thinking "Surely this will give me greater satisfaction and Peace", only to find myself feeling more lost & alone than ever! When I pushed on with extra effort towards my goals things continued to go wrong...and as I tried with all my might, my way contined to be blocked again & again! The harder I worked the more my goals seemed to be just out of reach! The more I pursued my plan, the more I felt disconnected from God.

I've always thought "work hard and it will pay off" and although I don't dispute that idea on one level, on another I feel it is all wrong. If we aren't on the right path no matter what we do, it will never be right or bring us (lasting) Peace. Stress, anxiety, and worry are an indicator I am once again jogging along my own self-directed path, not along the path God desires for me.

Not too long ago I worked at a job I loved, with people I loved. I showed up everyday wanting to give 100% and doing my personal best. Was I perfect? Absolutely not! But I really tried, after all, I was doing what I loved with people that I loved, yet over time, something just wasn't right.

At first, I couldn't put my finger on it. I noticed I wasn't being treated the same. Something changed, was it me? I didn't think so, however over time I was feeling more and more misunderstood and misjudged by my superiors. I felt like I no longer fit. The more I tried the more I felt the sting of failure. Trying my best, I just could not get it right! I was stressed, anxious, and felt anything but Peaceful!

After lots & lots of thought and contemplation I realized what others thought about me and how they reacted towards me was out of my control. Feeling disheartened, mistreated and betrayed I knew I couldn't change the dynamic of where I was...I could only change me...and so far, on my own even that wasn't enough. So, I gave up. I went to God. I opened myself up the Plan as offered by Him. I was willing to embrace a better that I was unable to visualize for myself.

Once I opened myself up and resigned my will of staying...a miraculous thing happened! Another opportunity crossed my that fit me even better! A smaller workplace (I often felt overwhelmed by the commotion and noise level of my previous job), better hours that allowed me to be home when my children were out of school (my last job was demanding an evening shift and had increased the frequency of working week-ends), and where I felt appreciated and valued for my gifts & strengths! I was at Peace once again as I was "back on track" where God needed me and desired me to be!

To some looking at me from the outside leaving my previous job didn't make sense! Leaving security to start again in a new company with all of the unknowns. I was even warned by some to "Be careful!" & "Watch out!" Good intentioned folk were sincerely worried I was making a big mistake. And maybe it did look foolish from the outside, but deep down I knew better...I knew I wasn't supposed to stay were I was...I was called by Him to move on His Path. His call was no was the answer to my prayers.

God does indeed work in mysterious and miraculous ways. To be where God wants me living my purpose brings a fulfillment and Peace like Heaven on Earth! Crossing the bridge of Faith proved to me once again the love of His ways!

The next time you are stuck amidst stress & unhappiness or feeling disconnected from your Creator, just ask "Am I on the Path God desires for me or am I suffering needlessly as I try to make it on my own?" If you open yourself up by asking for direction, God will always answer you! He will gladly set your soul's GPS to His way...the High Way...the way towards Peace...towards Heaven...towards Him.