Bold and Beautiful ©Donna Reiners

BOLD & BEAUTIFUL 1 of 3

Bold and beautiful 20140806-NDI20316Tell me, did you read the poem I wrote not that long ago called Healing the Wounded Heart? Before you read the rest of this note, please – Click here to read Healing the Wounded Heart Poem. When I wrote it, I was pondering about how long I had hidden in my cave. I was thinking about how I had, for many years, hidden from man, God and myself. As I continued to ponder and write, it turned into a cry for Him to break through my self-made protection of lies and pain and bring me into His Truth so that I could be free! Do you understand that He has a life for you that will go beyond anything you can ever think up or imagine on your own? He, the God of the Universe, has a plan for your life that is satisfying if you are walking and living with Him and willing to become BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL!

God is faithful and desires for us to live life to its fullest. He wants me to live life to the fullest, and He wants you to live life to the fullest. He desires for us to know Him intimately and fully. Even in the cave, He called out to me to come and be with Him. Even at home, when a family member would hurt me because of her own issues and self-hatred, He called out to her to come and be with Him. There are so many reasons we live and stay within our self-made caves. That person lived inside of her cave due to anger and confusion and pain, because of the abuse she experienced. She wanted what every child wanted, someone to love and validate her life. In God, there is a power, a love that enables us to stand and deal with pain and abuse and self-hatred. If we don’t access it, then we walk through many things alone, and we turn hard and calloused and closed off to the work of love and relationship.

Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

I challenge you today to look at your life from His perspective. HE made you in HIS image – therefore you are bold and beautiful. It is not about what you feel or see – it is a stronger more reliable truth than what you can behold with your eyes. This abundant image is about what you cannot behold without spiritual eyes. #BeBraver and agree with God about His beautiful creation – you.

Father, come and make Yourself known to me. Let me know remain in a self made cave. I’m coming out. I’m coming out! I’m ready to be loved by the power inside me in Jesus name.

Send this to friends who need to see how beautiful they really are – BOLD in Christ!

to be continued…

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Until next time,

d

 

Still Stuck in a Parking Lot

Surely, I won’t be here long…this is what I would ponder…as I asked myself why on earth was I still stuck in a parking lot.

I am at the end of an odd season. Everything within me wanted to give up and turn back and give in and look down. However, this was new territory for me since my mantra for some time had been just the opposite. I pondered a little bit on how many friends would stick around if I was no longer the go to friendly let me pray for you person who encouraged when life was bleak or dark. It only crossed my mind but let’s me honest now…how many friends have you chosen NOT to hang out with or be friends with WHEN they are not their usual fun self? This may not be you but it is some of you. God wants us to rejoice when others rejoice…but He also wants us to weep when others weep – not condemn, not try to change, not try to hurry them along so they can get with the happy program. But how about you take just a moment out of your day to be their sunshine, lighten their load, give them a word of encouragement, be their spiritual mom, friend or confidant. Are you able or willing to make room for others when they are not who you want them to be in YOUR season of life? Don’t be condemned and don’t be upset. God says it’s okay to go there – after all – honesty is a fabulous place to sit when still stuck in a parking lot.

Encouraging Myself

Thankfully, I’m about to the end of a season where I have been weeping any given moment of the day. Sadness would take me over and I would just cry and cry and then cry some more….and then I would be fine again – until the next wave of sad rolled my way. It was as if I had turned into a Hallmark commercial because I teared up at the strangest moments! I could have thought I was losing my mind but that was not the case. The LORD is my light and my stronghold whether I’m in the dark or in the light. HE still lives in me and through me and does not leave when I’m not on the top of my game. I think that is the challenge with all of us when living out life with one another. It’s easy to be around someone who is a happy camper but a whole new story when their day has turned dark and they need a friend to light a candle for them because they have no strength to even find the matches. Still it’s a beautiful season for me personally because of my relationship with the Lord…its so sweet and so timely and so good. I’ve been sitting in my prayer room listening to some specific lyrics from Merchant Band when they sing, “You are so good – You never leave, like I think You should. You are so kind ….You still give me life. I’ll let You make me, I’ll let You break me, I’ll let You fix me until we’re One.” It’s on repeat until I switch over to another song by Jason Upton when he sings, “Come up here, come up here My beloved” and he sings about John on the Isle of Patmos and his encounter with God. Powerful. In case you don’t know, John was banished to an island because of him being a follower of the Christ. He had to encourage himself in The Lord for many years because in a much stronger way than me, he was definitely stuck in a parking lot.

Enemy of Our Souls

You might ask if I’m feeling sorry for myself – no that’s not it. You might ask if I’m hurting or in pain – no, not as far as I know – but it could be part of it. Frankly, I have a sneaky suspicion that some of the emotions and ideas stem back to earlier in the year. Also, I feel I made some sort of emotional covenant with an ungodly source and this is truly the enemy to my soul right now….granted…yes…God is living and breathing in me and loving me….but some of this emotional duress is due to something other than God drawing me.  Yesterday, I dealt a bit with the enemy of my soul and felt a strong breaking through into my true self. I will tell you that whatever season of life you are in –  if you don’t deal with your emotions, ideas, feelings – they WILL eventually deal with you. So all of that is pretty much why I’m still stuck in a parking lot.

Superwoman Cape

I’ve experienced some loss –  our sister moved to heaven in January of this year. Prior to that we had some friends who decided they were no longer our friends. My sister’s husband also, suddenly passed. We had strong changes as well as several deaths in our church family. In addition, we have had sicknesses in our immediate community. I’ve been taking in one thing at a time like a good soldier 🙂 with rare discussions with myself on how I am handling these shifts and transitions. I laid down my superwoman cape many years ago or so I thought…apparently, I had a spare cape in my closet that I slipped on….and have just been going going going…. Though I’m a spirit being, my human being part of me needs ministry and loving and stopping and considering this thing called life. So, that’s kind of what I sense The Lord doing in me in this particular season. Though it feels very odd and out of sorts to be stuck in a parking lot, I’m cognizant that I have a good Father Who cares for me and is drawing me into His lap. We are reasoning together in this season – Him doing the talking and me doing the weeping – I mean listening. HE is building me back up and encouraging me and strengthening me. Admittedly, I’m thankful HIS love for me is so deep and wide. Though you may not be stuck in a parking lot, I want to encourage you to take deep breaths, look around, breathe again and give yourself a great big HUG from God. HE is never too busy to love on us whether we are on the road or still stuck in a parking lot.

BE BRAVE

Therefore, it may be time for you to prepare yourself to be BRAVE and #bravetobraver. Get ready to GIRD yourself up with BOLDNESS and realize you CANNOT live in a parking lot. So, have some RESPECT for yourself and get the plan of ACTION you are going to take when it is time to take it. Know it will prove to be a VICTORIOUS move over your past and very ENCOURAGING! God loves you and HE is for you and HE knows who we are and where we are and HE is not in a hurry to be in a hurry. So, I declare over you and me a release from false obligations, false responsibilities and false relationships so that you and I can BE STILL AND KNOW how good HE is and how for us HE really is….

PS………I’m not living here and you should not either – I’m already planning my escape and writing my next word –  LEAVING THE PARKING LOT……..LOL – how about you?

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If this speaks to you – let me know-let’s encourage one another. Let’s be a pathway of strength for each other through spring, summer, fall or winter – famine or harvest.

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Until next time,
d

Let it Go Again

Please forgive me – I had to RESEND this due to an incorrect link in the previous email. Let’s start again shall we? In the famous words of Frozen – let it go – let it go – let it go! This soars through my thoughts like wind through the trees! I hear so deep I can’t touch it yet I find myself deafened by the sound with the knowing that I must LET IT GO! LET IT GO! LET IT GO!

Donna Reiners www.bravetobraver.com

Honestly, it seems like we have been in transition forever and now we are finally over the hump and positioning into position. Now what? Let it go. It still feels awkward and it still seems like we are not quite there. It FEELS transitional even though we have indeed moved into the next place. Real life is stranger than fiction and more complex than soap operas. You just can’t make up real life and in all of life we must all learn to let it go.

AT THE END OF THE BLOG – I am offering a free conversational PDF teaching called WAR IS MESSY.

Friends Become Family

Our closest friends who have become family are moving away after ten years of living life together.  They are our children – we are Mom and Dad on many many levels though her mom lives and his dad lives. How did this happen? Living together – eating together – dieting together – learning together – crying together – forgiving together – deciding together – praying together –  growing together  – this has been a season of loving and being loved and it has changed us all. It is a new day and the old has passed away and so we are letting that old day go and embracing the newness God offers us all. Family is not based on geographic location or church membership. Family is a positioning in Him and one another. Part of our family is repositioning 4 1/2 hours away. Birthday parties will be a longer commute. Dinner may have to be via Skype. Weekends may turn into 4 day holidays. It will be inconvenient and take much more effort and we all have our own lives, our own ministries, our own identities yet we know deep within we are life long family members and our calling to know one another and be known by one another is far from over. Now, we will cross culture even again – we will get to know their new community and wherever we go – our community will get to know them too. We will still be Mom and Dad and they will still be the kids. We cry with peace for all we have waiting before us – some known and some unknown and as we watch with joy, we let it go.

Left – Right – Middle

Let’s talk about two real life scenarios of lives taken before their time. On the left hand, we have a strong, godly invincible man who unexpectedly died. He fought the good fight and suddenly, he was gone. He left a beautiful wife,  young adult children, a thriving business, and a strong ministry in his church community. A city was strongly and brightly impacted by his mission of kindness, love, mercy, integrity and purity. Countless men and women, boys and girls were impacted by his continual faithfulness. Faithful. Faithful. Faithful. Not his choice. Not what he wanted. He chose life over and over and then it was let go. At the same time of his passing, in our church family, a woman was fighting for her life with similar symptoms yet somehow and thankfully – she pulled through. On the right hand, in that same twenty four hour period another young woman passes and leaves children who will only see her through Facebook and picture memorabilia. I did not know her personally, but knew of her and knew her family through social media and prayerful thoughts exchanged over time. Interestingly, she died in the same town our family friends are moving to – small world.  I don’t understand but my troubling heart has had to let it go. Right smack dab in the middle of my private world and community, there is a woman in her late twenties, who has been in pain for many many years. She has been sick for many many years and been on pharmaceutical prescriptions to help her stay alive for many many years has chosen what some will feel is unthinkable. She prayed through an excruciating thought and decided to also let it go. Sustained by the care and expertise of medical professionals and in hospitals countless times – a day came when her rubber met with His road on the inside of where her trust in a real God lives. Blood transfusions to live. Saline solution to rehydrate. Exhausted, she was pricked by this needle and that doctor and sliced by this knife and pierced by that life saving apparatus. Then, one day,  she decided deep inside to let it go. She decided she did not want to live a lifestyle composed of needles, blood and pain and she let it go. She let her parents go. She let her aunt go. She let her sibling go. She let her grandparents go. She let her friends go and she let her fears go. She let herself go. Not an easy decision for anyone to make but in this case it was not anyone’s decision – it was hers. Painfully. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. She let it go.

Live Fearlessly

Everything within me wants to rescue. Everything within me screams so loud inside my spirit and soul, NOOOOOOOOOO!!! IT’S NOT TIME! IT’S NOT TIME! I ask myself – did the enemy steal, kill and destroy early? Did he plot and plan early? He certainly did this in my own life…I see his traces in my steps. Even so, we have a faithful Father Who sees and knows the strategies of the enemy and positions us to know Him and to be known by Him and so the enemy DOES NOT WIN this round with these lives.  The man impacted more than one can count with his life and knowing God the way I do – I guarantee God will live through this UNEXPECTED event and cause many more to come to know Him. This would be his desire. This was his heart throb – that a world come to know HIM. Moreover, HE drew this amazing young brave young woman to His side and captured her with His unconditional love and mercy and holds her tight. HE so tightly holds her that she has no fear but knows she will move from this side of eternity in His arms to the other side of eternity in His arms. WHAT?? ZERO FEAR?? YES! ZERO FEAR! This bravery for passing onward into the next place of living is because of a real relationship with a very real Father. Common Denominator between these two strong saints? Jesus is real and they both knew it. They both lived fearlessly. Fearless living is one of the strongest lessons we face is it not? It is what HE wants all of us to learn! At the crux of it all is the trust in an unseen FATHER not just a God. This is the kind of stuff that unravels untried theology and this is the legacy she leaves that will impact a world.

Let God and BE BRAVE

What is the bottom line to let it go? Scripture tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep. I’ll be honest with you – I’ve been weeping for the past three days. The last time I felt like this was when my sister died – CLICK TO READ END OF LIFE.  As I have been mourning, HE has been comforting me and loving me. And truly this has been my state of being  – weeping…crying….asking….seeking…knocking…interceding. I’ve been taking my troubled heart and unsettled questions to the Only One that I know has REAL ANSWERS regarding these real life situations – my Father and this is what He has said to me, “There comes a day – a time – to let it go.” HE has been walking with me long enough for me to know that HE REALLY means it…it is time to let some things go…it is time to press forward.  I mean – REALLY. So, I challenge you today to move into tomorrow and truly let some things go and the first place HE looks are in the issues of our heart. So, be BRAVE. What do you need to let go? Are you speaking critically to yourself or others? Be BOLD and admit it. Let it go. Are you a shotgun sending gossiping and complaining bullets about events and people that are just not your business? Grab a greater RESPECT for yourself and others and take ACTION and why don”t you just LET IT GO? Change your mind. Don’t be a weapon of the enemy when you will never be VICTORIOUS armed with shots of disunity. BRAVELY decide to be in one accord with The Most Faithful and Loving One we know.  You see….in the midst of living real life with real challenges….we have a real God Who intervenes and offers Himself as the Buffer, the Comforter, the Stabilizer, the Peace, the Joy, the Strategist, the Companion and finally, the Home Coming. I ENCOURAGE you to put your hand in the hand of the Man Who stills the water. Be BRAVE  and let it go. All of it. Then, let God.

I am offering a free conversational PDF teaching called WAR IS MESSY:

To Receive WAR IS MESSY:

1. Share the following link on your facebook: http://bravetobraver.com/2014/05/23/let-it-go/

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3. Then leave your email in the private message area and I’ll send you WAR IS MESSY at no cost. 

Don’t be frozen – let it go! #letitgo #bebraver #loveisthenewgreen

Much love and until next time,

d

Face to Face with ME!

The way I viewed me – unbeknownst to me – kept me from me! It also kept me from those around me…I was always arms length from anyone knowing the real me for fear that they would not like me. WHY? Because I truly did not have the reality of HIS LOVE living in me. I did not like me and did not think anyone else could like me either.

20131011-NDIP10604
Loving myself after all these years!

THROW IN THE MIX THIS AMAZING GOD WHO sees you and me as His beautiful, hand-chosen, perfectly-molded children, and who loves us with a never-ending, ever-lasting love.

Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk for I lift up my inner self to You.

Can you hear the Psalmist cry out to God, asking Him to rescue him with His loving kindness? Why? Because he knew the Love of God was the only reason he was still alive…….years of being threatened and chased down by a man who wanted him destroyed…years of being taken on the verge of retaliation himself…he KNEW he could not live without LOVE. IT was GOD’S LOVE THAT prevented him from killing the very man who wanted him dead. It is the love of God that changes us, convicts us, and molds us into His image. It was the LOVE of God that brought him face to face with himself. It is the love of God that brings us face to face with the reality of the cross and the blood God shed for us. 

Though I felt like a very ugly duckling for the majority of my life, through a process of receiving this incredible LOVE from God…I have been changed. 

Do you know what the greatest help has been in my walk in life as a Christian??? It has been receiving and accepting God as my father………my FATHER….and not only as my LORD. YES…HE is my Lord….HE is GOD ALMIGHTY….but in the garden…God was their Parent..Father…and if God was THEIR Dad and this was way before Jesus hit the planet…how much more is HE MY DAD? Oh…it was not easy…seeing this….chewing on it…accepting it….knowing God as God is much more holy to my mind…but…HE sent His Son Jesus why?? To give us RELATIONSHIP WITH HIMSELF. WOW. Its not just God. Its Father.

So, as I saw HIM as my kinfolk…my family – and I mean that in the most respectful way…then…when HE received me as His own and allowed me to be me…and He received my confession of wrong when I was wrong and forgave me and loved me…..then I finally caught it….and then….as HE was my Father…then I saw it…HE wants to be my EVERYTHING – Maker, Husband, Daddy, Brother, Best Friend, Companion, Closest Confidant – there is NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST… and if there is no condemnation in Christ…how can I allow condemnation to continue to live in me? ANOTHER WAH!LAH!!! I got it. HE LOVES ME. PERIOD. I CAN LOVE ME TOO.

In this process I learned to accept me. As I learned to accept me, I also learned to like me. As I learned to like me, I also learned how to love me and then, I began the process of learning how to see myself through His eyes. Then, in time, I actually began to see His beauty and now when I look in the mirror, I believe I am beautiful. It is never too late to begin the process of knowing God in an intimate and relational way. I can truly say it is the only pathway for real and lasting healing for a heart that has been wounded and scarred. God’s faithfulness even reaches into our very last moments on earth right before we take our last breath….to remind us of His nearness and HIS love and our need to move into HIS shadow as HE takes us into the liberty of living the rest of eternity with Him…THAT’S LOVE. THAT’S OUR GOD.

God really loves you…and HE really loves me. Get to know God…get to know yourself. When you give LOVE a chance………then you will give YOU a chance and as you give YOU a chance – you will find yourself giving your neighbors, co-workers and others a chance too. Will you be hurt? YOU BETCHA! YES indeed……it will happen BUT……when you learn to turn TO HIM for strength THROUGH the hurt…..through the betrayal…..through the pain…..through the devastation…in time….you will look more to HIM than to your circumstances to determined that you are okay……..and you’re gonna make it………and as you go face to face with yourself you will indeed discover that you are not just a survivor but in HIM you are not just a thriver but a LOVER…no matter what life throws your way.

Please like and share a comment to encourage me or someone else!

Until soon…

d

Ugly is the NEW Fabulous

Ugly is Fabulous!I’m FABULOUS now…but my ugly lasted way into my thirties. How about you?

Our family was on vacation in Tennessee when I was around six or seven years old. Bored, I went riding on a bicycle in the neighborhood looking for something to do. I happened to come across a group of boys that were riding their bicycles down a street. Now, in this part of Tennessee, the streets were pretty hilly and this one had a steep dip and curve at the end of it. The boys were bragging about how it was a really hard ride and how there was no way that a girl could do it. Since my pride never allowed me to back down from a challenge, I looked at those boys and looked down the hill and with confidence said, “No problem.” Frankly, I was scared to death but there was no way these “boys” were ever going to know it. So, I took off down the hill. Had I known then what I know now, of course I would have just ignored their little challenge and gone about my business but I was young and good sense was not in my mind at that moment. Let me explain. As soon as I began to roll down the hill, the bicycle picked up speed so fast that I had to lift my feet to keep them from getting sliced from the pedals because at that time all bicycle had those little sharp pointed pedals. It was as if my life (all six or seven years of it) was passing before my eyes. I wondered quickly how I would ever stop the bicycle and then before I knew it, I was near the end of the deep rolling hill.

ALL OF A SUDDEN, I felt the front of the wheel of my bike lift up in the air and me with it. I flew out of the bike and later folks told me my body soared as tall as the nearest pine tree before I fell face forward into the gravel like substance that lay in the middle of the road. Apparently, the bike had hit the gravel and caused it to flip and lose what little stability it might have had. In addition, later, doctors said I was fortunate that I did not break every bone in my body because of the force of the fall. Some thirty-five years later, I still have the memory etched as scars where the gravel found my legs and arms. What resulted from this pride filled fall was two weeks of ice baths and broken front teeth that had to be capped with UGLY hideous silver and porcelain. I was then what myself and others considered a very ugly duckling. I had to keep those ugly caps until I was a freshman in high school and there was not a day that went by that someone did not make fun of me in some way regarding my looks. Needless to say that I grew up feeling very inferior, very insecure, very unwanted, very unaccepted and most definitely very very UGLY! Little did I know that Ugly is the new fabulous.

Words to inspire you – 1 John 4:7 – Psalm 143:8 – Romans 8:28 – Philippians 1:6 – Romans 8:38-39

FAST FORWARD………I turned 51 just last year and I gotta say I feel like the ugly duckling was beautiful throughout my entire journey……..I just did not know it. Could this be the secret per chance? Knowing who you are determines HOW you see yourself and how you see you determines what others see too.

Is your identity in your looks?  Do yourself a GREAT FAVOR!!! Go look yourself in the mirror and say with me, “UGLY IS IN THE PAST!  I AM FABULOUS!!! Say it until you believe it and when you do-those around you will too!! It’s NEVER TOO LATE to see how FABULOUS God ALREADY MADE YOU! It’s all about perspective!ayer

Jesus, when I look in the mirror, I sometimes only see pain and heart break and ugly. No one around me really knows how miserable I am at times on the inside of me! Well, I want to experience and understand how You see me so that I can feel and think like the beautiful, hand chosen hand crafted person You love with a never-ending, ever-lasting love. I want to see me as You see me! I desire to look in the mirror and truly smile on the inside and not just on the outside. Help me God for I need to receive and comprehend this unconditional love You have for me. I give myself over to You and ask You to make Your love real. Free me from myself and bring me into Your great and perfect love. Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done as You have already determined in heaven. In Jesus name.

Jesus, I am willing to get to know You and I want You to get to know me. I’m afraid to have anyone really really know me deep within my heart. But, I recognize You are God and I cannot go on hiding from You.

God, help me say goodbye to the ugly and hello to what and who I really am –  fabulous.