Call me a Confident Woman?

I was recently reminded by two of my followers that I had not posted anything lately and that is true.  I like to just pop off the saying….  “life happened”.  But,life  just did not happen for me, it was all planned out even before the days that turned into months passed.

During the past two years, I lost my mother, blossomed in my artist’s journey, and learned a lot along the way about myself.  I had many tears but they were both sad tears and happy tears.   God took my mother home but allowed me to be there in her arms when she passed.  God opened doors for me in my business and answered each soft prayer I whispered.  Believe me I was bold in  my requests at times.  (future blog)

But before I list all the things that have happened in my world, I just felt compelled to talk about the word “a confident woman.”

I believe when we ask God for something He will answer that prayer.  I also know that many times we (and I include myself) are afraid to pray for something as we do not think we deserve it, or it is too big for us to think God will give that desire to us.  Believe, if we are not supposed to have it, it will become apparent that we are to either wait for it or allow God to show us what we are supposed to have.

I have had other people, both men and women tell me they feel I am a very confident woman.  While this did not happen over night, I am 100% certain that this confidence people see in me is my letting God have control of my path.  I guess you might say this has made me fearless in stepping out and doing new things,  Along the way, I have had people tell …. “don’t you think you should do this or that?”  Well, my answer to that is… if I felt what I was doing was God leading me, do, I do not second guess what I am doing.  Are there days I feel vulnerable and hiding under my covers….. yup!!  many days, but then I feel this little voice telling me to get my heels on and start kicking again.  I honestly think many of us are afraid to ask for something as God just might give it to us and then we have to be confident enough to step forward.  IT is like we are so surprised God would actually open that door.  Well, I ask and then when God says YES, I confidently walk through that door.  When I feel afraid, I remind myself, I am not alone.

I also know that there are things I would like to do in my life, but I am waiting on God to open that door.  I know all too well if I rush it, I in my own power will fail.  If I wait for God’s timing, how can I fail?

So what you see in me, those that call me confident, is not MY strength or my doing….. it is all God’s.  I guess a better way to say it is that I am confident in Christ.

Do not be afraid to ask God for the desires of your heart.  Do not be afraid to then step out with confidence when the door is opened.  AND then know with your whole heart, God it there with you.

I am not sure who will read this as I have not posted in so long, but my prayer is if even one person will step out with me on this journey of being a confident women, then I know it was meant to post.

Love, Cheryl

God’s Perfect Timing…..

2015-12-18_16-47-16I am in such awe at the thought of how many times God’s timing has proved itself to be “perfect”. I would say that there are also MANY times I have not understood His path… at first. I am reminded of the saying I once heard….

“God does not say no, He says, not now.”

As mere humans, this can be such a hard thing to hear. We pray for a situation and in our hearts, wait for that answer and many times think the outcome will be one scenario or another, and then we wait ….

God might have a different plan from our desires and many times, He does. If we can only sit back and let God work His plan, we will see in the end His perfect love and answer. Is this easy? NO, it is not. In fact, at some times during our pain, we might get depressed.

I want to tell a sweet story about how God answered a prayer in His timing and how the end result was incredible, or in this case, perfect.

As many of you know, my sweet daughter in law lost her dear little dog, Holly. She loved Holly and she was her little furry companion. Holly was such a sweet part of her life when she was going through so many trials. In September, Holly became very ill and died in Addy’s arms. God has to have a plan in his vast master blueprint for pets in our world. They give us so much joy and comfort. Their requirement of food and shelter matches our need to give. When they are gone, we are left with heavy emptiness.

Holly was not just a pet; she was a confident, a girl friend, a soft pillow, a late night girlie movie best bud.

I remember my daughter in law asking me to pray for them to find another pet to fill that very lonely void. As we all know, a new pet cannot replace our lost friends, but they can fill a hole of loneliness. Tears turn into laughter.

So here is her story. My daughter in law found her little perfect fury friend. The cutest little white Pomeranian came available in Florida, but so far away! They lived in the Mid-west!!! But this sweet little boy was perfect. How could God have the perfect puppy so far away? But my daughter-in-law could not get this sweet white ball of fur out of her heart. She called about him even though the miles were far and the center informed her they just adopted him out. Addy would have found a way to get to him, but he was gone to someone else. Why did God allow this to happen? He was perfect.

So, let’s fast forward… a couple months.

Addy still prayed for a dog. She still longed for this little sweet pup called “Pumpkin.”

God was not saying NO, He was saying, NOT NOW. Wait Addy, wait for me to allow my plan to be perfect.

God knew Addy was going to be in Florida in December. The day before she arrived in Florida, (3 hours away from the site where this sweet pup was adopted), God plan was going into effect. The family that adopted Pumpkin, realized they were too old to handle an active little puppy. Sweet little “Pumpkin” was again up for adoption the day Addy was to arrive in Florida, 3 hours away. NOTE: Addy was initially 25 hours away!!!

Addy called the center and they told Addy, she could adopt “Pumpkin.”

SO, what is the message! Many times God puts a plan on hold for a reason. We might become impatient, or upset that we think God is saying NO, but what He is saying is…. not now and please wait for me to work thing out. We may hurt and desire to have an answer and even want to take the reins but God has a perfect plan.

It is not easy to wait. But God does have a plan and His plan is perfect.

PS… his name is now “Meiko”

Put a Wig on Your Head and be Happy!

I Dark Hairrecently bought two wigs to wear.  When I bought them, I had the intention of looking like the model in the picture and taking 20 years off my entire body!!  Seriously!! Well, that did cross my mind.  But that is not the reason.

Let me tell you what happened when I got them.  I put on the short haired blonde wig and surprised my husband when he came home from work (I work from home). He honestly thought I had cut my hair.  He could not tell.  By the way, my little girl cat Diva could tell and she wanted to grab it off my head and run away with it.  Maybe she thought it was another animal for her to play with.

After I laughed at my husband I took the wig off and said “see… I still have long hair!”   He asked “Why did you buy that wig?”   I said, I not only bought this short haired blonde one, I bought a mid length dark hair one.  Well, he hated that one.  I would have been a bit mad at him for thinking I was crazy, but I did not buy them for him, I bought them for me.

I LOVE  both my new wigs.  So why did I buy them? Am I going to wear them? And the answer will perhaps surprise you.  It is not to look younger or to change my looks, but to just have fun.  Menopause and post-menopause can only be explained and truly understood by those that have or are going through it.  Even perimenopause which was a long time period for me is hard to deal with.  No man can, no matter how sweet he is,  understand the emotions, the lack of emotions, the depression, the tears, the desire to be free, but be held all at the SAME TIME, the fears, the …. fill in the blanks here ladies.  I bought them for me to allow myself some “me time” so I could be a better me FOR HIM.

Ok, I have heard, take vitamins, exercise, do not eat dairy, drink green tea, stand on your head….. yup, I have heard it all and yet, we may try these things but do we find that they work?  Some combination might, but underneath it all, is the body that is strange to us.  I have had close friend tell me she feels like the “body snatchers” came and invaded her.

I also have had some really close sweet friends (that have not experienced this yet) tell me I was depressed all the time and I should get some advise.  SO, I trudged to the doctors to ask for help.  I listened and ended up crying because I thought I was letting those around me down because they thought I was  depressed.  I also felt like I could not tell anyone I was sad at times, because I was afraid they would tell me to “get happy!”

Here is what I have come to the concluded for ME ONLY, but wanted to share with you.  I am going to be depressed.  I am going to feel like I have no friends.  I am going to feel like my husband will never understand me.  I am going to hate that my skin is dry, my hair is thinning, my body is sagging and I will accept all this because as Christians, that is what we do, right?  But, I will NOT HIDE from it.  if I hide, I am not helping anyone especially myself.

I have now learned to ALLOW myself time to be NICE TO MYSELF.  If I want to cry and watch a sappy girly movie all by myself, I will and not let those around me tell me I am … acting funny.  I am going to also get over that emotion and come back to earth, but not allow myself to feel like there was something wrong that I needed time alone.

Once I told those around me that I needed time to mourn my bodies weirdness, I allow myself the time to heal.  I do not beat myself up.  There are days I am so blue FOR NO REASON at all but I will allow myself to be blue as long as I know my ground rules.

The KEY…. is to not let any of this become a habit.  If I feel grumpy, I allow my time, but I to not let my grumpiness become a habit.  Once I allow any feeling to last too long, or get in the way of my relationships, I ask myself, do I need more time to heal or do I need to fight through it?

So the wigs are one of my ways to be nice to myself, and enjoy my good moments.  If I need time, I will put on one of my wigs and just be happy.  I can laugh to myself and no one (but you that have read my blog) will understand my silliness.  I am allowing myself to have my time.

Psalms 44:21 ” Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.”  God knows how hard this is for me and he knows how I am and how I react.  I pray daily that God will walk with me through this path, and I know He will.

I am wearing the dark haired one today!!  With bright pink lipstick.

Is All Well With My Soul?

My Painting cornerFor two weeks I have been depressed and could not figure out what was the trigger.  Many times if I can go to the trigger of my feelings, I can take steps to work through my issue.  But  I just could not figure it out.

Well, this morning I DID!!  I started painting 6 months ago from being inspired by my daughter-in-law Addy.  I remember our first painting together, I still have it.  (look to the upper left corner of the wall)  Addy and I love to make messes.  We do crafts when we are together.  Note here:  God gave one of my best friends when he have me my daughter in law.  So, I made a visit out to their home and she got out all her canvases and paints and brushes.  I was so excited but sat down with a little canvas and paint and a brush and was paralyzed.  Looking a blank canvas is such an intimidating feeling.   I did not know where to start.  So Addy helped me.  In fact we did the painting together.  She taught me balance, shadowing and so many other things that day.

That was my start into loving painting.  I love new blank canvases.  I love the chaos of my little office having no room to move because of all the paint, brushes, and easel.

But, God was working in my heart.  This week someone asked me why I named one of my paintings a certain name?  I thought I was giving  him the answer he wanted, but he kept saying I was not telling him my inspiration for the painting. I answered him THREE times and was getting a bit frustrated with him.  He said he did not want me to tell him  how to look at the painting, he wanted me to tell him what inspired me.

So that took me on a journey.  What is  my inspiration when I paint?  Is my heart in the right place, am I really doing this for God’s glory?   Was everything right in my soul?  I thought so.

Here was my journey.

I called my dad (it used to me my mom but she has dementia and I have lost her).  My dad is a musician and incredibly talented artistically.  He said each painting should say something for others to feel.

I looked to my FB page of new artists in their journey for their input.  Many of them paint from a photo, or another painting and paint realism.  Their inspiration is already formed when they pick up the brush.  Many of them struggle with inspiration on a blank canvas.

Then I got on my knees and went to ask God.

I have always been a controlled business person in my business career.  Rarely did I stray from the proven into the world of an unknown outcome.  Even as a Christian I always thought I had to be controlled and structured all the time.  I never made a mess.

Even my dear husband told me several days ago to stop painting for awhile and let my inventory sell.  That very day I painted a painting that sold for $850 within 2 hours of posting it.  I am not saying do not listen to your husband, but I am saying listen to your heart.  Trust when you are asking for God to speak to you that He will do just that.  AND THEN LISTEN!

I am almost 60 years young and for the first time I am letting go of the safety net of structure and a controlled state and I am letting myself the freedom to actually be inspired.

I have found that I feel more alive doing abstract where I have no idea of what I am going to paint.  I let the paint land on the canvas and take on a life of its own.  I cry when I paint many times because the feeling is like none I have ever had.  When I paint, I WANT to be uncontrolled and be free in my mind.  I want to let creativity run wild and throw caution to the wind.

The battle I  was having is that is it is ok to be free and unstructured.   I am not a failure because get paint all over the floor or that I left my brushes in the water for two days because I was painting for 2 days!!  I am so out of what I felt was the norm all my life, but I am walking this path with God and it is ok.

YES, all is well with my soul today.

PS, my $850 painting.

20150517 24x30 Cradle to Grave

 

 

Passionate enough to “Survive”

Painting by Cheryl Wilson Allurrence-Art.com
Painting by Cheryl Wilson
Allurence-Art.com

                          “Survivor”

Painting my Cheryl Wilson

When I painted this picture I called it “Survivor.” On my last brush stroke on this canvas, I cried. I have never felt the feeling of such deep connection to my own emotions and yet I was not even sure at that moment what the feelings meant? How could a painting I did created make me feel so emotional?I think God many times wants us to stop and listen and be emotional and ask: “what are you wanting me to hear, feel, and know and how to you want me to change? Do you want me to listen to you about something?”

This painting is in honor of two VERY special women in my life. Two women that have overcome struggles but through God’s intervention have overcome and survived to accomplish great things. I believe God makes NO mistakes.

In my personal journey, I am very passionate and emotional about many things in my life. I also am an introvert, but I am a strong woman. That might all sound like a huge contradiction, but it really is not. Through my life as a passionate and emotional woman, people have mistaken my emotions sometimes as a weakness. I think sometimes people mistake passion for a weakness because this world seems to have gotten so hard.

As I am 58 years young, I have experienced tragedy, sadness, loss of my family, along with joy, happiness and at times success. I have had to learn how to overcome thing I wanted to share with you in case my experiences might help you become stronger.

I believe in having mentors in your life. I have one now. I always have had a personal mentor and a professional mentor. The personal mentor is for the spiritual and personal side of me and I have always had a Christian woman in this role. My professional mentor is separate as I want a different person as the focus is different. My business mentor is a male.

I wanted to share with you something that both my personal and professional mentors have taught me and is has taken me YEARS to master and I am still mastering this.

“ACT and do not REACT!”

No matter if my pain is from a personal relationship, an emotional situation, or even a health issue, if I react to it I could let the event overcome me and eventually emotional drain or drown me. If I give the situation its own control then the situation (or person) has control over the event.

I have had to learn to be the one in control. I have the personal walk with God and want to be still and let Him talk to me. God uses my passion and shows me the way, whether it is with a small voice or a stroke of my paint brush, I want to know I am in control of me.

I hope this makes sense.

Self-Reflection, part one.

Photograph by Christina Toole  Photography(R)
Photograph by Christina Toole Photography(R)

There was another blog I wanted to write today, but I felt that I wanted to share with you a tool I use to help me reflect on who I am and who I feel God wants me to be. Psalm 139:14 says: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

In other words we are all unique, again God made no mistake when He made you. You are exactly who He wanted you to be, but it is up to us to take care of our bodies, our minds, our gifts…..

I started a while back my own unique statements that define me. Some were for a season, but they still seem to fit. I add to them often.

I hope you start a list like this and read it often.

  1. My life is like an unfinished painting. There is always something to tweak.
  2. Everything in life is about balance.
  3. What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? (Lord Byron)
  4. Our scars remind of us our incredible journey.
  5. Stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax
  6. It is not the failure, it is how we turn that failure into our growth.
  7. Eventually all the pieces fall into place, until then, laugh at the confusion, live in the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.
  8. When you repeat a mistake, it Is not a mistake anymore, it is a decision
  9. God makes no mistakes
  10. A true friend is to is to see all of their magic, and to remind them how magical they are when they have forgotten it themselves.
  11. Love is that unselfish desire to meet the needs of the cherished object.
  12. Just when you think you have me all figured out, the seasons are already changing.
  13. We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
  14. I can be a blank canvas some days, but the goal is to end up with beautiful paint at the end of the day all over me!
  15. Music makes me change my mine from grumpy to happy.
  16. Be kind to yourself when you think you have failed.
  17. We cannot control the filters that others choose when they look at us. God made us who we are supposed to be.
  18. Life is like a piano; white keys are the happy moments, black keys are sad moments, but together, they play beautiful music.
  19. On days you do not want to do anything else, go to the piano shack and play music loud.
  20. A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on one another.
  21. Love can be just a word, but when you find someone it fits, it becomes a definition.

God lays on my heart what to say.

How to “Get your Passion On!”

addy at the sea 2013310“The more you fail at being someone else, the more you succeed in become you.”

I believe you cannot have true passion in your life without your walk with God being as sweet as it can be. Start your day with God and be sure to have this walk with Him first and foremost, but I truly feel God does not want us to just stop there. He gave us desires that we feel so we should explore these desires and talents. He wants to encourage us to have the deepest passion that we can have. I have always thought that if we love music or art or looking at photography, then God put that desire or love within us to enjoy that passion. It is up to us to explore why we are passionate about these things. For instance, when I see a movie, I am always looking at the pictures on the walls, the colors and I find I love BOLD colors. Lines in a movie move me and I am always scrambling to grab a pen to write them down and ponder on them.

I was raised with very traditional style homes, colors and furniture, so I bought the same things for my home.   I loved my houses, but kept looking for how to decorate and felt I was not living in the rooms I always wanted. In other words, I did not feel passionate about my rooms. UNTIL, my precious daughter in law introduced me to color. I was too busy working that I never thought about changing my surroundings, I did as I always did and stopped short of listening to my passion within me. BUT when I did stop and think about what was the desires of my heart, I found that I was missing the bold colors in my house I was so passionate about I nature. SO, I started with all the cushions in my living room, by removing them and replaced them with COLORFUL ones!!! It actually took me several trips to Home Goods to buy cushions and return them for new ones, but I finally found what I love, bold oranges, blues and greens. (PS, one trick, take a picture of your area you are working on and then look at the picture, it helps give you a different view of what you are trying to do!)

So what am I saying?

To get your passion, stop and reflect on what makes you happy? God wants us to be happy. Look at where you are and decide steps to get these pieces of your passion into your life.

For me, decorating my home (on a budget) and writing was what I wanted to do. I now also added painting, but more on that later.

I had to decide on how to put the passion into my day!!

There are days I wake up energized and cannot wait to get my work done, paint, write and encourage others. But believe me I have those days where I want to hide under the covers. I become a little girl and cry and pull my pillow close to me and tell myself it is ok to be here under the covers because I feel like I need time to myself. On those darker days, I need to do reset my passion buttons and here is how I do it.

  1. I ask God to be the brush that paints my passion for the day. I know there are days I cannot do this alone. He after all gave me my passions, right? So I let Him help paint and design my passion. Makes sense, right?
  2. I have a notebook where I write down my passions. (I will pass on some tools in a later blog that I use)
  3. I set goals on paper as I am a goal setter. If you are not, just impress your goals in your mind. I start by day dreaming my goals and my work. I “daydream” about where I am in my projects and where I want to go that day. If you are a photographer, daydream of those pictures you would like to take. If you are a painter, daydream of those pictures you want to paint. If you are a musician, day dream of playing your music. Try to feel the daydream. (PS, if you do not reach your goal that day, it is ok!)
  4. I set aside time each day to do something that helps me focus and feel my passion. For instance for writing, I have downloaded authors that speak to the topics I write about. Have either a laptop ready or a notebook to start writing down what they say that inspires me. Believe me, soon, I turn off their work and I start writing my own work. It works every time for me!! Others inspire me to write. It is like God gives me the gift to hear what I need to get going.

Right now I am painting and learning how to paint for the first time. Believe me, being a beginner can be so intimidating and discouraging. In fact, two days ago, I completely washed off two canvases of painting that I hated, the passion was just not there, and I lost my confidence. So I stopped and googled some art that I liked and looked at some You Tube videos that inspired me. I always encourage you to have a sketch pad ready and soon you will find you will be drawing some of your own thoughts and your passion will start taking over and… Katie bar the door!!! Move over discouragement, here come my passion. Will the passion produce a work of art, perhaps not, but I have let go of the blockage that was taking away my passion.

Will this always be easy, NO… but be kind to yourself. Let yourself breathe. Stepping back is sometimes that best thing you can do. Go for a walk, daydream, talk to God and better yet, and LISTEN to God for a while.

  1. I let the passion replace the negative in my soul. I do ALL I can to remove the negative from my mind. We all doubt ourselves and have moments where we have no confidence in ourselves. IN fact, I feel those with the most passion can become very discouraged. I have moments of discouragement throughout the day!! (I feel the devil would LOVE for us to be discouraged). A phone call, a rude person at the store, someone that cuts you off in traffic. The world is full of events that can distract us from our goals.
  2. I push negative thoughts out of my mind as soon as I can. Sometimes negative thoughts can help us grow, but we need to channel them in the right frame of mind. The ultimate goal is not to let these negative thoughts turn into insecurities, or fears or events that steal our passion.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……

If you are a photographer, take some pictures of silly things. Take pictures of your dog or cat, listen to podcasts of other photographers the inspire you. Have your camera ready with you everywhere you go (as much as possible). Enter contests even if you know you are not going to win. Take that step to do it anyway.

If you write, have a pad of paper or a tape recorder to take notes on things you hear that inspire you or are just different. I have found that what helps me in writing is to set goals and time frames for myself. I do an article a day. I do a detailed outline to get me started if it is a piece that I am not as familiar with and I include research. I turn off spell check and the first time though. Someone told me that creating writing and typing are from two different sides of the brain. So if you stop and correct your mistakes, you are stopping your creativity over and over again. I just let the thoughts flow and then go back and correct my mistakes. Learn what works for you, perhaps speaking into recorder is better than typing.

I heard a great quotation I want to share with you. “The more you fail at being someone else, the more you succeed in become you.”

The reason I call my blog Ruby Prose is because God tells us in Proverbs that a virtuous woman’s “price is far above rubies.” Virtue means morally good character. As women, we need to know how to develop our character and I believe passion is a part of who we are and developing our passion will help us become more of what God envisioned and created us to be.

I thought about talking about “Self-Reflection” tomorrow.  I hope some of my journey will help you in yours.

Do you have Passion?

imagesPassion means to have a very strong feeling about something or someone. It is an intense emotion. Recently, I painted a canvas with little regard to style, form, or design, I just let passion direct my hand into this painting and I painted what I felt. I posted this painting and within minutes, my painting made its way to someone that absolutely loved it and bought it for their office.

I tried a couple days later to do the same painting but without the same passion and that paining will never see the light of day as it is now painted over with another coat of paint!! I let other things dampen my passion and I knew it.

I decided to sit back and understand what was the reason behind one painting being a treasured and looked at and a motivator to others and another one just a painting on the wall. I realized it was the passion I felt when I painted. Now it also goes that the one loving my painting has to also have this same passion for it.

So how do we get passion and how do we let passion give us the creativity, the drive, the desire to enjoy the day and allow ourselves to be used by God to actually make a difference in this world. Are we on this earth to just live each day to just breathe or are we here for a purpose?

I realized that I was not meant to be a great singer, or preacher, or composer, but I can be that person that can encourage the great singers, preachers, and composers of this world. I can be “their person” by being passionate in what I do and how I do it in hopes that others will be encouraged by my words or actions. Have you ever read a quotation by someone and it changed your way of thinking? Your entire day changed. The poem created passion in your life. The day actually went better and not much bothered you.

You can be that poet in someone’s life. You can give that inspiration with your smile, your patience, your willingness to listen to someone. See, we do not have to be someone great to make a difference, but we can be the wind that swoops in behind of them to push them to greatness.

Tomorrow I will talk about what we can do to get that passion …. It is not always easy, I think we have to work at it sometimes. We have to have a plan.

But for today…………… think about it, do you have passion?

Will someone listen to me?

youremypersonDon’t you hate it when someone tells you to stop complaining and whining when you feel bad and really just want someone to listen to you? I am normally a very positive person and am the “go to person” for many when they are hurting and need to share their heart.

I am not a stranger to pain, hurt, loss of a loved one, loss due to miscarriages, health issues, among other pains. I guess at 58, you would have to expect a life of some pain and challenges and I have had my share of them. I thank God He knew to give me a sister to lean on and share with.

I think as women, we do need to have someone “your person” that you can share with, talk about anything with and even complain to. There are times that I do not want to load her down with my problems, and frankly I should not. She is dealing with her own issues. Don’t get me wrong, sharing with another woman, especially if she is a believer, is helpful. And sharing our burdens, our heavy hearts with someone we trust provides us an emotional balance. In a way, it restores us.

But, here is what I have learned in my 58 years and what I wanted to share! I have to be careful to not let all the issues and burdens overwhelm me to the point that I cannot see through them. I think God puts “things” in our life that we totally miss because we are not looking. If I let the feelings of hurt or depression overwhelm me and blanket me I tend to wrap up in the blanket and not peep out. If we allow ourselves, no matter how hard it is to let go of what we are going through to breath deep and actually peek out of what we think is our safety bubble, for hope or encouragement, we will find it.

I am not saying this will be easy because I know when I am hurting, the last thing I want is to expose myself to more hurt. What if I look for that happiness and it is not there and I find more pain. I know this feeling. But, keep looking. God many times is sharing His blessing in small things like a kind word from someone, a stranger that lets you in front of them in the line, even someone humming a pretty tune around you. If you can let the small blessings around you into your day, you will possibly not let the next hurtful thing drive you deeper into your hole.

Once you start looking for the small things, you will start to SEE them around you without looking!! God does not promise us every day will be without pain, but He does promise to be faithful in His love and be there for us when we are going through pain. To everything there is a season. When my brother was missing and then found dead, life stood still for me. I could not breathe for days. But I did eventually breathe and He was there waiting for me.

One verse that is a promise I hold onto is: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. No one can be there for me on every occasion. But I know that God is there. I might not reach out to Him as my first source because I am hurting and think He is not listening to me and cannot comfort me like a phone call to “my person” but, actually, He will never be working, be on the phone, or on vacation, but His phone is never busy. Let God by “your person.”

Can God use us if we are a mess? Yep!!

woman in sunriseI recently got a call from someone that I had not talked to for a couple years. This woman was a mentee of mine and at the point we stopped weekly communications, I felt she needed to stand on her own and that she did not need me anymore.

When she texted me last week to ask if she could set up a time to talk, I wondered how she had been, what she had been doing, how her career was doing and whether or not she had worked out some of the issues she had been struggling with.

As I wait for the call, there was a thought, did I say the right things to her to help her move on? What was she going to tell me? You see, there was such excitement in her text (yes you can read into texted words). When her call came, she still had the excitement in her voice and she thanked me for taking her call. After we exchanged our pleasantries, I asked her what was new in her life and what her exciting news was. She went on to tell me that her job she had just started when we stopped meeting was sending her overseas for a year to work and she was so excited.

As she talked, she mentioned several times a platitude of some sort and then would end the sentence, you know you taught me that! She filled me in on how strong she was and how she had grown. I was so happy for her. She was like a small frail bird at one time that took her flight and now was strong and had wings of air.

As we ended the call, she told me that what helped her was my words I gave her when we worked together. She said she never gave up her dream to be strong and that she knew she had to take steps that scared her to know that she was not going to fall down, but that each step was going to make her stronger.

I reminded her that the words were not mine but always God’s words. I gave her advice I learned from having to take the same scary steps.   I remember times when I was faced with questions I wondered, where am I going to get the words to help this young woman, and then I would let God speak through me to her.

I did not need the strength, I just needed to let God speak through me. I needed to let God use me as a beacon. There were times I really did not want to go met her because I wanted to stay curled up in my warm bed, but I knew God had words she needed to hear and I was the beacon God needed to use.

My challenge to you is to always listen to what God is telling you and always take that step to let Him guide you. Helping others is hard to do when we are needing help ourselves. I know this more than anyone else!!! But God does not always use the strong out there to help others, he uses those that are weak and most of all willing. Be willing.

"Her price is far above Rubies"

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