There was a time…

IF you can relate – type I GET IT! There was a time many years ago when I would not sleep for #fear I would wake up dead.

There was a time many years ago when I blamed #sickness on disease. There was a time many years ago when I refused relationships for fear they would die and leave me alone.

There was a time many years ago when I agreed with doctors who said I would not live past 30.

There was a time many years ago when I agreed I would die like my mom.

There was a time many years ago when I felt you would not love me if you really got to ‘see’ me.

There was a time when I thought I would disappear into depression.

There was a time when I gave up and wanted to die.

There was a time…

There was a time…

There was a time…

But God.

I said, “But God.”

Yes, it sometimes required a #fight.

Yes, it sometimes required my will overriding overwhelming #emotions filled with #darkness and #despair.

Yes, it required me contending for life I could not yet see.

But God.

I said, “But God.”

So, my #friend if you have read until the end, I want you to know that overcoming that which wants to overcome you is worth it.

Knowing That One Who overcame the world and lives inside of you and lives inside of me is worth it.

And I’d do it again.

You – don’t you give up and don’t you turn back and don’t you give in to those #death filled thoughts and ideas. Choose life because Life chose you and you were and are worth choosing. But #God. I GET IT!! Share so that someone struggling about ‘there was a time’ will choose life. #REPOST Love-d

#coach #life #lifecoach #lifeisbeautiful #live #anxiety #mentalhealth #mental #health #christian #jesus #writer #author #church You are loved – Donna Reiners

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Invitation into Silence 1

Invitation into Silence

When I woke up this morning I had a most definite feeling of alone-ness. Almost empty really. It was almost overwhelming as I pondered my day…alone was in front of me and to be honest I normally do not mind…the alone part. However, for some reason I sidestepped the invitation into silence.

I stopped to listen and got no inspiration or understanding. Instead, I slipped into memories of my younger years when my responsibilities were deciding what movie I wanted to go see or what outfit I would wear or who I was going to meet or what I would do with the leftover in my check after I paid my car note which at the time was about a hundred dollars. Those were the days!

We have a LACK of Silence

Silence is an interesting word and an interesting condition of the heart. Some would even venture to say that silence is boring and to be honest, I believe that is the worn out norm for many generations. Think of the lack of silence that penetrates our days. Elevators have music to captivate your short attention on the way to your floor. Every doctor and dental office has music to drown out the confidential dialogues happening with patients. Frequently, you’ll find music flooding the department stores and grocery stores that keep you happy and energetic. More often than not it is very difficult to locate a restaurant that will allow you to have thoughtful conversation without some sort of musical ambiance to set the stage. None of this yet mentions our ability to keep our ears on overload with music or teaching through our very smart phones which are loaded up with every variety of sound available to man except perhaps – silence.

What’s my challenge today? GET QUIET! Be unafraid of silence. Turn off the radio, CD player and IPOD in your car for a week. Spend a day without tv. Try something new….enjoy YOU….the unfiltered you….the you without props and find out you are AWESOME without all that jazz……..adding noise to your mind and heart.

OKAY. That’s it.

HAVE A FANTABULOUSLY AMAZING DAY!!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE…until next time,

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Ugly is the New Fabulous

Ugly is the New Fabulous

Ugly is the New Fabulous
©Donna Reiners

I’m FABULOUS now…but my ugly lasted way into my thirties. How about you? Did you know that ugly IS the new fabulous?

A true story

Let me tell you a story about early in my life. 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 roads were pretty hilly and this one had a steep dip and curve at the end of it but of course I did not know about it. The boys were bragging about how it was a really hard ride and how there was no way that a girl could ever do it. Since my pride never allowed me to back down from a challenge, I looked at those boys and looked down the hill (that I could not see the end of) 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. Then, I took off 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 never ending hill, the bicycle picked up speed so fast that I had to lift up my feet to keep them from getting sliced from the pedals. You see, 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 bike and before I knew it, I was reaching the end of the never ending deep rolling hill.

MY BODY SOARED!

ALL OF A SUDDEN, I saw it and I felt the front of the wheel of my bike lift up in the air and me with it. Then, I flew out of the bike. Later the neighbors watching told me that my body soared as tall as the nearest pine tree.  They watched me fly and then saw me fall face forward into the gravel like substance that lay in the middle of the never ending 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 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. Sadly, I had to keep those ugly caps on my front three teeth until I was a freshman in high school. There was not a day that went by that someone did not make fun of me in some way regarding my looks. In other words, my school years were filled with mockery, sarcasm and I had the lowest self esteem imaginable. Needless to say  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 and encourage you in your journey – 1 John 4:7 – Psalm 143:8 – Romans 8:28 – Philippians 1:6 – Romans 8:38-39

FAST FORWARD

I turned 52 this year and I gotta say I feel like the ugly duckling was beautiful throughout my entire journey……..I just did not know it. WOW! Could this be the secret of confidence and acceptance per chance? I’m convinced that knowing WHO you are determines HOW you see yourself. HOW you see yourself determines what others see too. It is like this – PEOPLE see us through THE POWER OF OUR OWN PERSPECTIVE.

Let me ask you a question.

IS your identity in your looks (or your lack of 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 this several times. You need to say it so much that you begin to believe it. When you believe it then those around you will too. It is NEVER too late to see how fabulous GOD ALREADY MADE YOU! IT truly is all about perspective. Ugly IS the New Fabulous!

Pray with me:

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 because ugly is the new fabulous.

Until next time!

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Donna Reiners

http://www.bravetobraver.com

Bold and Beautiful ©Donna Reiners

Bold & Beautiful 2 of 3

Bold and Beautiful ©Donna ReinersThou shalt not steal- thus sayeth our daddy

When one of my sisters was a little girl in 1st grade, our parents gave her a piggy bank for her birthday. Unfortunately, they did not put any money in it. So, one night, this sister got into Mama’s purse and got some change to put in her bank. Then, she went into Mom and Dad’s room and woke them up to show them that she had money in her bank. She shook the bank for them and was so happy to hear the cling cling clang of change in her brand new penny bank! Mom and Dad got out of bed, and Dad got the Bible off of the shelf and beat her bottom saying, “Thou shalt not steal.” Poor sister remembers to this day the pain and disappointment of that moment. All she wanted was to hear the cling cling clang of change in her piggy bank! But instead, all she got was a memory that she was a thief. As a matter of fact, that event, as well as many others, traumatized her heart. Dad frequently lost his temper and disciplined her with an iron fist instead of a soft glove. Until a few years ago, this sister hated children, and thought anyone who ever had children was just plain stupid, until she saw a parent correctly discipline his child with love. At her friend’s house, she watched a dad spank his daughter because she had chosen not to obey him. This is what happened: he took her into another room and spanked her bottom. She yelled and screamed and hurt from the discipline. Then, he brought her into the front room, placed her into his lap and hugged her and told her he loved her, and that it was important she learn to obey her parents. This act of proper discipline, tempered with love, changed my sister’s heart forever regarding children. God healed her heart, because she saw that a child could be disciplined yet also loved. Oh, the pain our dad caused us because he never received discipline with love. All he knew was how to discipline out of anger and legalism, because that is all he ever received as a child. Though sister experienced years of a broken heart, she now faces life with an acknowledgment that when you belong to God, you can be healed if you let Him have your heart. Her wounded heart has been, and will continue to be, healed all the days she lives simply because she bravely loves God and HE IS making her BOLD and BEAUTIFUL!

Do you know how much God loves you? Sometimes others do not treat us kindly. More than likely they were not treated kindly. I believe there is a reason kindness is listed AFTER the fruit of patience in the line of of the fruit of the spirit. It takes continual patience to learn how to be kind. I encourage you today to look at you – are you kind? Or are you a victim of being disciplined with an iron fist? Let it go. Let God be kind to you and you learn how to be kind to others and yourself too.

To Be Continued:

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Until next time,

d

Lived LONGER than I have left

Have you ever noticed how the sanctity of life is being demised little by little year after year after year? Children are discarded alive and elderly people are cast away into nursing homes.

It is an ever so subtle happening…

I’m over 50 now and this means I have lived longer than I have left on the planet. When I was 17/18 years old my mom died at the age of 57. YOUNG. Her premature death haunted me for many years…for years I would stay up all night just because I had a fear of going to sleep and not waking up at all….talk about a sick point of view….I had it.  At the same time however her death also impacted me positively. I see life precious. I see life short. I see relationships precious. I know when someone treats me poorly it is because they have been treated poorly. I know if you don’t acknowledge me when I come into a room means you probably aren’t acknowledged in a way where you understand the value of your own life or others. I’ve learned (over time) to understand that most of us truly mean to do good….but we many times fall short because of our own personal issues. In other words – if you don’t like me – it may not be about me.

In my 20’s I was pretty arrogant. I searched for the meaning of life by delving deep inside my own heart…all 20 years of it. At that time I figured I had it all figured out. HA! I consulted my own mind and my own emotions and decided what was right or wrong based on my own experience…all 20 years of it. Bless my heart…I lived under a rock of denial and abandonment. This was how I handled death and tragedy and all of the trauma that came through it.  My mom’s death was not something I just “got over”. She was my best friend and influenced me more than anyone I knew. Then, she was gone so early in my life – well – it was more difficult than I can express. Yes, my dad was still living but he was hurting and had known her much longer than I had known her and the hole in his heart was a thousand times larger. Dad lived a long time and moved to heaven at the ripe age of 81….many years later.

Why am I sharing all of these seemingly disconnected thoughts and what does this have to do with the sanctity of life from babies to the elderly? I share because they are not disconnected in my brain and heart. You see I’m the 51 year old baby of my family and at the present time of this blog, I have a sister approaching 60 – another sister in her mid 60’s and still another sister who literally just moved to heaven this week – she was 68. When I was 18, 20, 25 and even 30 –  I could not ever fathom living this “old” and now being this “old” I can tell you – I’m not that old!!! LOL!!! Yet still I’ve less left than I’ve lived and in that mindset and that place inside of me where I’m watching all of us grow older.…I am able to truly see how as a culture, we could easily ignore what once was considered precious and honorable….and what God says is now precious and honorable – one another.

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My Main Distraction

So in this busy world we live in with our lives inundated 24/7 with business, busyness, social media distractions….face it…most of us spend more time on a computer or our phone than we do actually interacting with live human beings face to face where we actually look one another in the eye. In this place of computer land, have you noticed how our hearts can grow insensitive to the needs of others – even those closest to us? Wait…let me finish this post and then I’ll talk to a live person. Seriously. I’m sure this may not be for everyone but I’m sure there are some reading this whose kids want your attention but you are at your computer. There are some whose spouses would love to have actual time with you one on one without you looking at your phone – all of these “needs” to be on the computer to make us satisfied….our hearts are growing just a little bit colder and colder…and I gotta admit…I’m married to an IT guru and its with honesty I say that  I LOVE MY MAC.

Our precious sister who just passed lived in a nursing facility.  Her needs far outweighed anything any of us could provide and truly it would have been a disservice for her to live where her needs could not be met or where she would be in danger alone.Yet the guilt that shadows our hearts because of her living alone in a place like that was like a rake across a dry root covered ground. I would go to see her as often as possible and yet it never seemed enough on the inside of me. As I write this blog, this same sister just this week has moved to heaven. Her health was very poor – congestive heart failure, failing lungs, failing kidneys,  low heart beat and the list goes on.  Her husband traveled with her to the hospital and remained as much as he could and each one of us did as well. It would have been so easy to dismiss her and – she was not my responsibility – after all – she was not my mother and she had a husband. Yet, her own daughter lives in another city and was unable to care for her and her husband worked and could not be there every waking moment.

What do we do?

What do we do when the needs of another outweigh our energy, resources and ideas? WE HAVE TO GUARD OUR HEARTS to keep from becoming insensitive. HOW? BE BRAVE! Be BOLD and lean into the Father for wisdom, rest, ideas, energy and resources. HE will strengthen you to do what you can when you can and live as best as you can this life HE has given you.

What do we do?

Be BRAVE! We must pay attention to the cry of our Father Who wants us to RESPECT His guidelines for our hearts to stay right – stay pliable and soft and easily convicted and lead by Him.  We keep our heart undistorted by the cares and weights of this world and the busyness of our minds and stay focused on what and who is important to Him. We must take ACTION to LISTEN and to be as organized as possible taking care of His priorities so we have time for that suddenly that comes up in life that requires our attention like a loved one in the hospital….which is one of His priorities. We take on becoming VICTORIOUS by living guilt free when we are available to hear Him and respond to Him instead of our emotional regrets, guilt and distractions. We live bravely doing the very best we can daily and when we mess up – when we are selfish or when we are just losing our minds and must have a break from all the “duties” – we stop – we RECALIBRATE our lives and we ENCOURAGE ourselves! We get still and make a new list and start all over again 🙂

If we put ourselves in His shoes and walk out life through His life, we will have peace for our journey and be able to help another along the way without it eating us alive in the process….HE is the journey….HIM knowing us and us knowing HIM.

Look into your life. Is there someone who needs your love? Your touch? Your call? Do you need to recalibrate for this year and free yourself with a few minutes per day to reach outside of you into someone else who cannot give back to you? Don’t do it for kudos. Just do it for the precious shortness of life you and they have on this planet. Do it so you have fewer regrets. Do it for God – do it for them – AND do it for you. Stop. Breathe in and breathe out and consider your day before you waste it away. Love and see how love comes back to you.

Its a new day. Look at it as precious. Love while you can. Say a kind word when you can and answer that email, that phone call – that letter – that prayer request. Reconcile with those who you feel have wronged you and restore relationships with those whom you have wronged. Truth is when you have lived longer than you have left (if you have not already) – God gives you opportunity to love while it is still called today….and when someone does not love you back – well – all I can say is don’t take it personally – it may have nothing to do with you. Do your part to have humility. It is pride that refuses restoration or reconcilation even if it is disguised with hurt or pain or offense. RUN to the altar of humility and let the price He paid for your life be lived through you. Fight to sit in the back seat NOT the front seat!

LIVE your life while it is still called today. Live…longer……today…by giving yourself away…

Be BRAVE –  Bold-Respctful-Active-Victorious-Encouraging for yourself and for those around you.

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.

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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

Face It Head On

Do you face it head on or ignore it and hope it goes away?20131006-NDIP10502

I remember the first time I had to do it – I grimaced. With disgust on my face, I wanted to wash my hands as quickly as possible though they had been covered with gloves. Yet at the same time I heard a gentle whisper, “You are revolted  – yet she is humiliated more deeply than your little disgust.” I knew this was true. I’m confident when she was 20, she never dreamed of not being able to wipe her own behind after a bowel movement. However, life sometimes just HAPPENS!

As I walk into the nursing home, I smell baby powder. It is an overwhelming scent. Honestly, I picture someone pouring it into a large pile in the corners so the odor of the powder takes over the lobby instead of urine or sickness. As I continue down the halls I see the same faces every week. They look up with a blank stare. Sometimes, you almost want to wave your hand over their eyes to see if their eyelids have movement. Are the lights on? Is anybody home? I’ve learned not to be dissuaded by that gaze….but it was not an easy task.  The truth is that those looks are an almost audible voice saying, “Will you take a moment and say hello?” Will you shake my hand and pretend just for one minute that I still have dignity and that I am a person who commands respect and honor?” These once giants wait intentionally at the thresholds of their rooms with absolutely no interest on their face – yet it is a test for me. What they really want is a smile or a kind hello.  They want you to say their name with joy and recognition as if they are your closest friend. Most don’t give you the satisfaction of showing any facial change when you do stop because they don’t want pity – they want genuine interest. So, don’t stop and care for show – they know a fake when they see one.

Admittedly, when I first began to visit, I kept my eyes forward and my ears shut because I had no idea what to say.  Also, I had no idea what NOT to say… to these older ones who had not banked on being shut away in their latter years. Slowly it dawned on me that I was a coward. Every color and every culture and every malady seems to exist down those lonely well lit halls. As I faced my own fears….you know like the truth that I was afraid I would fail at loving them or saying the wrong thing…WOW! WHAT A SICK LIE! Purposefully, I started to make eye contact with every man and woman sitting in the hallways. I’m learning who I can gently touch on the shoulder and who to just smile at and who needs a hug. Also, I began to say hello and smile at the staff that cared for these shut ins.

Gradually, as my eyes opened to the hopeless and defeated cries of the hearts of the men and women sitting and crying and sometimes yelling aloud for help…I realized…they were just like you and me. They just want dignity and they just want love. Is that too much to ask for? Have you ever heard that song –  “R.E.S.P.E.C.T  – find out what it means to me?” Just some love. Just some respect. Just some good old fashioned dignity. Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that what I want? Love? Respect? Dignity?

NOPE – I can’t fix their situations. I don’t know why each person is there. I don’t know why some have no visitors except on a major holiday and how some never have visitors- ever. BUT if I will be faithful to love and to respect and to honor  – one smile at a time – one person at a time – perhaps one man will feel human again….AND maybe one woman will feel alive instead of useless and MAYBE ….just maybe that smile and that kindness will be what they remember on days when they are ignored by those who pass them by.

Cowardice is not attractive. Fear is ugly. You and I have to face head on those things that keep us from loving others as well as ourselves.

LOVE is always the answer and it always PUSHES FEAR OUT THE DOOR! THEREFORE, do yourself a favor and instead of feeling guilty or condemned for not taking action or for not knowing what to do or how to do it – Be BRAVE in living because the truth is that LIFE HAPPENS! It happens to you. It happens to me. It happens to those around us. It happens when we least expect it. So, join me in an effort of love and kindness in every day life and when life happens to you or me – perhaps the love and kindness we gave will come back as our friends.

FOLLOW Brave to Braver

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