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,
follow me on www.periscope.com under @bravetobraver
So, I was talking to a mom the other day who never sees her grow up adult kid. Now, I know this mom and they spent lots of time being there for their kid when they were young – all the sports games – took them lunch when they forgot it – took them their books when they so forgot them in the car – made sure the uniforms were clean – got them back and forth to school, to games, to friends, to…well…you name it. Fast forward – kid is now in the 20 something age. Guess what? Kid is soooo busy becoming a mature adult that there is no time to visit parents who are still alive and cognizant of their name and presence. This is not maturity – this is selfishness and lack of consideration. I’m calling it immature boundaries.
Side rant – maybe your parents were selfish and were not there for you AT ALL……..I’m sorry………but you still get to mature and be the better person………
Back to point – If your parent or those that represent your parents have to ask you to visit them…then maybe you do need a reminder. If you have a parent nonchalantly asking to see you – maybe you need to employ a little thing called HONOR and get your butt over there more often and spend time with the one who spent time with you doing all the things you wanted to do when you were a selfish little kid whose life was ALL ABOUT YOU.
Ok – so perhaps you have left your safe nest and live on your own and think you have the right to live however you want. Really? You think they took the right to live however THEY WANTED when they went to every one of your games, got your hair cut, clothes purchased, etc..?? Listen…I know a dad who told me…that’s just part of it. Really? Letting a kid who now is on their own and paying their own bills run all over you and not willing to do a simple task for you is not supposed to be part of it.
Seriously…the parents may have had better things to do but they felt the better thing was to do for the kid.
Now I want to tell you my mom died when I was 17…..it would be an honor to have a time to be with her now..in her 90’s. I’m gonna want someone to love me when I’m oldER. How about you?
So, word to the young one – whether you are 20 going on 10 or 30 or 40 or 50 or ……you get the picture – How about you be mature and plan time to give back your own time, energy, finances and resources. Why don’t you choose this time to grow up….instead of thinking you are all grown up and you should not have to do anything you don’t want to……….like an immature child…why not try giving back…..you never know…you might even find your parents are your best friends….maybe not all the time…but hey…be who you wanted them to be even if they can’t be that yet…or ever. Be the bigger person. Always. Refuse to have immature boundaries.
And if your heart is just not into it and you just cannot fathom going to see your parents or those who consider themselves as your parents then I got to say…………….you NOT seeing them……..is worse than their behavior because what they did in ignorance – you now do on purpose.
Nothing but love for you – but its time to #BEBRAVER and LOVE on purpose.
Are you familiar with John 8:32: “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free?” Our truth is what we believe, even those things that are lies. But when we see and accept REAL TRUTH, His Truth, and if we are His disciples and hold fast to His teachings and live according to His Truth, THEN, we will know what? THE TRUTH! And then, the TRUTH shall make us free! The process of knowing Him, the process of being convicted of our own sins and turning to Him, the process of coming out of agreement with the lies we believe and coming into agreement with Truth – this is the process of freedom! It is a desire to be like Him and follow Him no matter what the cost. What happens when it is not truth but that your perception is reality?
There is never a better time in life to make a new decision. If we want to mature, we must decide what we are going to do with our own personal perception. We get to choose to not be swayed by the lies we believe (about ourselves as well as about someone else) and we get the opportunity to have a new perception. For instance, you may have witnesses something and you got an impression regarding that incident that has clouded your own perception 0r even changed your perception. You could have felt this way about a friend and then all of a sudden you think this about that same friend. It changed how you treat them, your closeness, your friendship. You think you discerned this yet…what if you are wrong? What if your response is error? You decided A and yet it was the furthest thing from B’s mind. Have you had enough respect for yourself or them to discuss it? I encourage you to consider God’s Word and then consider His Words – can you honestly say HIS perception IS your reality?
John 5:30 I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord–but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
May your today be filled with HIS life, HIS love and HIS Truth. May your decisions be free from jealous or blurred vision. May you truly hear His voice that loves and is loved and is true and like Him. May your love for yourself AND your love from others be untainted by a false perception and may unity return to your relationships so that His perception is reality.
Send this to a friend whose perception is reality…
Last week, I shared with you a poem I wrote that goes along with this article. You can read it here – Come Out Come Out!. I lived through a season of deep pain and hurting. I sensed the Holy Spirit’s leading and knew He wanted me to give up my hiding place and spend more time with Him and with others. However, I thought for sure that no one could love me if they saw what I looked like on the inside of my heart, and if they ever saw what I really looked like, they weren’t going to like me. I was so afraid of being rejected – it hurt like a knife into my heart. I struggled with the Lord over His desire for me to come outside of my cave to spend time with Him. I was in turmoil with the Lord over His desire for me to come outside of my cave in order to spend time with others. We struggled. We had numerous conversations. Me talking. Him listening. HE wanted me to move outside of my cave. How we fought over this issue of relating to Him and relating to others. We fought and fought and fought, until I knew that I knew that I knew that I really had no choice. I HAD to move onward into Him, or I would be miserable the rest of my life. I knew it deep within I had to come out of my kaleidoscope of fear.
Genesis 32:24-25 And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak. And when the Man saw that He did not prevail against Jacob, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him. Then, He said, Let me go, for day is breaking. But Jacob said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me.
I Didn’t Know How
Inside my heart, I knew God was well able to give me life and to conquer all my fears. I knew that God Himself was the only One Who could help me and change me and teach me how to live this very precious life. I wanted so desperately to feel alive and to live out this gift of living, but I didn’t know how to do it. So, I cried out to God continuously for Him to change me, to not let me go, to do something radical in me, so that I would be different. And He did.
Even after God met with me and began to pour His love over me, I still had to face my belief system. At this point, I simply believed no one would ever love me or even like me. I was asking God if He loved me. I was asking Him if I chose to be naked like Adam and Even in the Garden, would He love me the way He loved them? Would He turn from me because of my sin? Would I run to cover up if He glanced my way? Would I feel ashamed? It is a cry to my Lord to never leave me and to never forsake me, because I was in deep deep need of Him.
What is Your Name?
Genesis 32:27 The Man asked him, what is your name? And in shock of realization, whispering, he said, Jacob – supplanter, schemer, trickster, and swindler.
I was responding to His question and I was crying out for Help from Him, because my name was Lonely! Fearful! Death-filled! Love-starved! Selfish! and Mourning! I’m afraid to come out from this pain-filled cave, because it is all I know. Change me! Help me! Take me from the Kaleidoscope of fear!
Sometimes I would walk close to the entrance of my cave, but I’d make certain no one noticed. If someone did by chance get a glimpse of me, I would not say anything to them for fear they would ask me to speak with them. Then, I would have to come out of the cave. I wanted and deeply desired to feel the sun on my arms and the wind in my hair and the closeness of friendship. I desired for someone, anyone, to call me out from my cave. I would silently yell inside of my heart, “Can’t you see I’m lonely?! Won’t you come and rescue me? I’m afraid to come out! HELP! Won’t someone PLEASE come set me free from this prison I’m in?!” I was so confused. I wanted out, but refused to leave. Can you understand the frustration I lived in? In time, I actually shifted the blame of my captivity onto another and it became someone else’s choice for me to remain captive and not my own. This way, it was not my fault, and I was free to remain a prisoner. This was very twisted and confused thinking, because it is God’s will to set us free from our prison cells. He came to make the captives free – it is His purpose! I ran for many years, because I was unwilling to pay the price for freedom. Others did come to release me from my cave but I refused their help and steadfastly remained inside my kaleidoscope of fear.
Genesis 32:28 And HE said, “Your name shall be no more Jacob (supplanter), but Israel (Contender with God); for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed.
Shake Off Death Filled
You know what? God is always calling our names. He is pursuing us ALWAYS, and the day finally came when I was broken enough to hear His voice calling me. Oh, the voice carried promise as He gently said my name. He personalized Genesis 32:28, and He said, “Donna, you can no longer live as Lonely and Afraid and Fearful! You must shake off your name Death-filled and Love-starved! You must turn away from Selfish and Mournful! It is time to start living. You must come with Me now, because I have a life for you to live!”
Can you hear the voice of the Lord calling your name? Can you relate to the need to retreat into a hole to protect yourself from the possibility of being rejected or abandoned or hurt? At the same time, can you relate to the consequence of shutting out love as well?
Pray With Me
Jesus, I bring my feelings to You and ask You to heal my hurting and broken heart. Even if I knew where to start healing myself, I would not know where to begin. You are the Master Healer, and I ask You to send me Your Truth, so I can become a whole woman. I want to be confident and assured of Your love for me and my love for me in Jesus’ name. I have been isolated and alone and much of it has been self-imposed. I no longer want to live according to what I think is right. I want to be in right standing with You, so I can love and be loved. Help Me God, for You are my only Hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you read this far you might be interested in a fiction story…kind of like a soap opera really – I released the 3rd part in the Other Side of the Road and am preparing to release FROM the Other Side of the Road – you can follow me there too if you like – its just for fun!! http://donnareinersblogs.wordpress.com/
Send this to friends who need to #BEBRAVER and come out of their own Kaleidoscope of Fear.
I’m writing this in retrospect because at the time of this writing I have already left the parking lot instead of just now leaving the parking lot. Forgive me as I get you caught up on the entrapment of a parking lot. Interesting truly it is when you discover that not only are you stuck but actually you feel semi trapped in it and you feel as if there is no leaving it. It has been an interesting stretch of the journey. Admittedly, many times I feel like what others think could happen in a split second, I feel could take years. So, does that make me a negative woman or just gifted to see that sometimes the glass really is not as full as you think? I’m not sure but I really felt like it would be centuries or years before I would even understand enough of what was happening in life to gain the courage to begin leaving this seemingly dark place or as I fondly began to say – leaving the parking lot. Melodramatic to say the least. The other thing I discovered on this stretch is that I have not been alone in the parking lot. Many of us have been feeling as if we are in a dark place or in an enemy entrapment. After I realized it was not just me but that the burden was for the body then I had a moment of enlightenment….AHAH!!! This is why its been such a heavy place ignited by the work of the enemy as many places as he could find me along the way via fear, dread, terror, paralyzing feelings, etc. I ask you to join me as it is time to look at the future of today and say goodbye to the past. This is my conclusion and many of you have been conversing with me privately as well in open comments but mostly privately and so let me tell you what I’ve concluded. It is time for us ALL to be leaving the parking lot.
Start Your Engine
Just start your engine. START YOUR ENGINES – HENCE THE CHECKERED OUTFIT. I’m your flag for the go go go. Yes, I realize you may not feel like it but the truth is that though God may have lead us into the parking lot – when we know we are there – then we are in a parking lot by choice. Does God take advantage of this time of stopping, resting, sleeping, relaxing, recalibrating? OF course He does – HE is the Smartest One alive. I’m not saying you need to take leave right now but you need to at least start the car. Quit waiting for ideal situations that may never come or passionate people to pull you out of the mire. I’m here – I’m passionate and I’m ready to pull you out of the mire. When I was considering the exit strategy from the darkness or heaviness, I was exhausted and felt there was no way I could even think about leaving the parking lot.
A Heavy Comfort Zone
By this time, I had become comfortable. This is the trouble with the comfort that had visited with me – it was a heavy comfort disguised as darkness and it had been sent to take me INTO darkness. Question. Do you WANT to lean into darkness and then still be sitting in the same lot a year from now? Think about it. No. I mean really THINK. Do you WANT to be in the exact same place one year from now as you are today? If not, then you need to listen carefully to instructions to help you in the process of leaving the parking lot.
THINK and START YOUR ENGINE.
T – Tell a friend you need to change your private world, public world, situation, circumstance or heart’s condition. If you have no friends you can trust then email me and I’ll be your friend. I care and want you free.
H – Hope for the best and stop dwelling on the emptiness of your glass. Do not be duped by the enemy not even for one more day. I bet once you get hope filled, you will see a plan right before your eyes. So, you might as well start your engine.
I – I I I I I I I – staying in the parking lot is going to cause you to continue to think about yourself and really do you think you will have much hope if you continue to just be into your SELF????? God has gifted you (even if you don’t see it), HE has instructed you (even if you have forgotten what He said) and He has entrusted you to live out your life as to HIM – not you and certainly not to darkness. One thing I know is that though I want to understand every step I take before I take it….truth is that Jesus is my Road Map. HE IS THE MAP. I hold the Map inside me. HE is the key. Quit waiting to understand how you are going to do it….just start moving. Start your engine.
N – NO – you need to tell your old patterns of fear, dread, unbelief, sleepiness, habits that stop you from moving forward and just past behaviors NO – tell them to all shut up and tell them you are starting a new day and the last time you checked God was still into giving new mercies every single day and you are moving into a new merciful day. Today is the day to change your mind and say no to you and yes to HIM and HIS ways and HIS goodness and HIS life. Sever the darkness from you even right now…separate yourself from what you know you must say NO to!! When you say YES to God – you say NO to the enemy’s ways. Say it with me, “I change my mind and come out of this dark heaviness. I sever it from me. I command it to go to a dry place. I ask You God to forgive me for partnering with darkness and I receive Your forgiveness. I forgive myself. I release myself from yesterday and start your engine to prepare to move into tomorrow on purpose in Jesus name.
K – Be KIND to YOU. For goodness sake – ditch the condemnation, criticism, crazy ugly self talk and let God live through you to be KIND to youuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!! Get some who are like minded and have some good old fashion prayer time with some folks who believe in you and want the same as you. It is time. THINK. THINK. THINK. Start your engine my friend….let’s get a move on.
Awaken Your Spirit
Okay. So this is how I left the parking lot…..I’m encouraging you to do the same. Start your engine. Keep in mind…in the unseen realm….its okay…you won’t run out of gas with your engine running in the spirit. This is what I mean by start your engine – awaken your spirit my friend. You have incredible value….even if you don’t feel it for yourself. I had no idea where I was going or when I would leave – I just knew I could not longer remain in the parking lot anymore. Then, once it was decided, then God did what God does – HE talks to you to help you have the unction to leave the parking lot.
So, I will get a tad spiritual for a moment and pray for you okay?
In Jesus name, I declare freedom in you and over you and through you to leave the parking lot. #bravetobraver -You are BRAVE! You are BOLD and you are well able to leave entrapment. You have RESPECT for yourself and you are well able to take ACTION and to leave where you are and move forward into more of Him and more He has for you. You ARE VICTORIOUS over your past and so I sever from you what is not from HIM. I declare you are well able to change your mind and go into a new day. I free you to be convicted and not condemned. I release you into ENCOURAGEMENT, blessings and peace and power and provision and promise in Jesus name. I free you to be LOVED by others and loved by yourself too. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Blessed be the name of the LORD!! YAY JESUS!!!!!So, get ready for a new day and a new plan….see you outside the parking lot 🙂
If you read this far you might be interested in a fiction story…kind of like a soap opera really – I released the 3rd part in the Other Side of the Road and am preparing to release FROM the Other Side of the Road – you can follow me there too if you like – its just for fun!! http://donnareinersblogs.wordpress.com/
Send this to friends who need some help out of the parking lot. Who knows? Maybe the same enemy breathing down my neck and your neck is breathing down their neck?
Have you ever felt the enemy breathing down your neck?
I must admit that I have not in quite some time. Course that does not mean he is not right there distracting but I think I must have gotten on his very last nerve because today was a whole new ball game – today was an exception. I wish I could say that I had been #bravetobraver or that I had felt the breath of God breathing down my neck or the wind of God but it was none other than the enemy. Again, I ask you – have you felt the enemy breathing down your neck?
My Escape Route
You see, I have been contemplating my escape route as I have been still stuck in a parking lot for quite some time and then just when I felt like I was receiving a breakthrough – BAM – there is the enemy doing his job again to stop me. Do you know what transpired to begin such a dilemma? I had decided that I needed to climb the mountain to see the view. Before I got to the mountain, I had been frozen in time and prior to that experience I had been shouting don’t jump ship. And if you want a walk down my memory lane in the near past, I was singing Let It Go Again right when the movie Frozen came out – pretty good timing don’t you think? But, I digress as I’m asking about the enemy and him breathing down your neck.
If you have been following me at all, you know that the season I’ve been in has had me weeping pretty much most the time – the enemy wanted me to think I was losing my mind. Along with loss and death came friendship changes, church changes, and health changes. It has literally seemed like one thing after another and honestly, it has been a challenge. I’m cognizant that I’ve not been alone so none of this is a poor pitiful me story. I’m just keeping it real. So, anyhow, just as I’m making decisions to leave the parking lot, there I felt the hot presence of the enemy as he was breathing down my neck. So, what do you do when you are stuck in a parking lot while the enemy is breathing down your neck?
I tell you what you do – you just get mad. That’s right….mad. Granted, I’m not the mad type. Even when I’m upset….I’m not mad. Sometimes I think that there is something wrong with me. I remember the woman I was 22 years ago when I would cuss you out and shoot the finger at you for just cutting me off on the highway….and then I would run you down to tell you what a crazy person you were for cutting me off!!! Goodness, now all I do is ask God to bless them…..or maybe it was you? So, now, instead of getting mad – I have decided to get MAD – MOVIN’ AFTER DAD!
So, God is smart and He lives through us to bring us His good pleasure so as the enemy has been making himself known to me, it crossed my mind to consider my ways, the enemy’s ways and God’s ways. I decided that perhaps it would be wisdom for me to have an actual plan as I leave the parking lot – hence why this particular writing is NOT the one about leaving. Wouldn’t you agree that you might need an exit strategy even if the enemy is breathing down your neck?
Get Ready to Leave the Parking Lot
This is what I figured out today. I need a plan. Granted, I have an event coming up and so me leaving right this very moment is not happening. However, my mind is leaving and my emotions pretty much left over the weekend. What do I mean by that? I will tell you. God was gracious to reveal to me the source of my spiritual mudslide and help me work through some of the issues. I think I explained last time that I discovered a tie with an ungodly source. This is why I’m in a parking lot. God is the Smartest Person I know and this needed resolve. Smart I tell you. HE knew I needed to sever that tie and He also explained some things that helped the entire situation make sense. So, what do you do when the enemy is breathing down your neck?
You get mad – moving after Dad! I want to encourage you today that it is time to be BRAVE. Instead of allowing yourself to be held by timidity – trust God with His timing and GRAB YOUR BOLDNESS. Instead of allowing yourself to be entrapped by an enemy – GRAB YOUR RESPECT and get MAD. Instead of remaining passive regarding ungodly ties – GRAB YOUR ACTION. Instead of looking at your situation from your position – GRAB YOUR VICTORY! Instead of allowing yourself to be anxious, stressed out, filled with tension or upset – GRAB YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT. Yes, I know I’m shouting. Can you hear me now?
Be BRAVE when the enemy is breathing down your neck!
Be Bold. Respectful. Active. Victorious over your past and encouraging for yourself. Then, be good to someone else and help them be brave too. #Bravetobraver
If you read this far you might be interested in a fiction story…kind of like a soap opera really – I just released the 3rd part in the Other Side of the Road – you can follow me there too if you like – its just for fun!! http://donnareinersblogs.wordpress.com/
Send this to friends who need some help out of the parking lot. Who knows? Maybe the same enemy breathing down my neck and your neck is breathing down their neck?
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.
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.
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.
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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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!
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.
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:
Lately, I have been pondering on the life of Judas – you know – the one who threw Jesus under a bus? I’ve been thinking about how Judas ate with Him, spent time with Him, had his feet washed by Him, took communion with Him – lived out life with Him and STILL betrayed Him. How did this happen? And how did Jesus do what seems impossible – in the midst of betrayal – He loved Judas & forgave Judas. Did Jesus know what was inside of his disciple turned rogue?? I think He did – I really do. However, in the midst of betrayal, Jesus moved into His destiny. What about you?
What season in life are you? Have you been wondering what you are supposed to be doing with your life? You have been finishing projects that have been weighing you down, re-prioritizing your private world, moving forward one step at a time knowing even where you are headed could change any moment? Read here to be encouraged on taking back your life – Things are shifting – people are receiving their assignments and moving away. New houses. New lands. New territories to be taken for the King. These changes are happening all around me – what about you?
What are you doing with your life? Today I feel lead to ask the question – what about you?
Do you have a vision for you? Do you know what God wants from you? Or are you simply living day by day by day in survival mode? IF you are in survival mode, do you have a plan to implement so that you can move from survival to thriving? Are you replacing the thoughts of the Lord for the thoughts of the enemy by accident? I have had to stop periodically and look objectively into my own private world and make a new decision. Click and read here about something specific I took action on in my private world – What about you?
Judas. He erred so deeply he could not find repentance. He found no relief. He found no peace. He found no remorse. He found no sorrow. He only found his own heart taken captive by the enemy. When it was all said and done – Judas’ thoughts had been so clouded by darkness that he found the only solution to his problem was to hang himself. I do NOT think this was the right move. What about you? Where are your thoughts today? Are they consumed with you? With friends? With problems? With crisis? With survival? Somewhere along the way we must get with the man in the mirror and get with God and hear His heart for us. Jesus gave us life on the cross. Judas gave himself over to death and hung himself. What about you?
With Vision Comes Success
Listen, life is precious – its not what we do or where we go or the activities we find ourselves in that determine our worth – our worth is found only in Him. His Words to us. His thoughts for us. His ideas inside us. His vision for our lives. God talks about how we can be destroyed without vision. Why? Because with vision comes success! Even Jesus had vision for Jesus! Through that vision, Jesus had vision for the disciples who became His friends. Interestingly, one of them was lured and enticed by temptation and turned from his relationship with Jesus and gave himself to darkness. Look, Jesus had vision while on the planet and called those living out life with Him to fulfill it – to walk out His vision with Him, for Him and ON HIS BEHALF. VISION. HE had it. They caught it. What about you? Click and watch this video to be encouraged – Famous Last Words.
From Disciple to Apostle
Then, there was Peter who denied Jesus and could have been caught up with the voices in his head as much as Judas but somewhere along the way, Peter was BRAVE and was BOLD as he said NO to the enemy of his soul. #bravetobraver Somewhere along the way, Peter HAD to be RESPECTFUL to himself and take ACTION and receive forgiveness from his community AND from himself. What about you? How is it that Peter moved into his calling? Peter did not start out as an apostle. HE had to make choices and one of them was to be VICTORIOUS over his past. At first he was a fisherman – who followed a Man Who turned him into a fisher of men. There were some bumps in the road along the way but Peter decided to receive the mantle of Apostle. It was God’s plan for him – an imperfect man – who was given the task to help build the church. Jesus even told Peter that after he was converted and truly became His that he was to strengthen his brothers and sisters – in other words – take a position of ENCOURAGING others to trust Him! Peter bravely moved step by step into his calling, his mantle, his new nature, his new self. What about you?
Get A Vision For You
I want to encourage you today to get with you and get with God- our Father and get a vision for YOU! Let God convict you! Let God change you! Let God support you and lead you! Let God LOVE you. I believe when Peter was at rock bottom, he may not have even been able to stand had he not had honor for God. When you cannot believe in you – believe in the God Who made you and remember HE believes in you! HE loves you! Honor God! Honor is what love looks like!
Honor is what love looks like. – Jill O'Brien #bravetobraver.com (Please Re- Tweet)
HE has an assignment for us! HE has an assignment – VISION! HE has a plan! Jesus carried out the vision of the Father up through His very last moment on earth – from forgiving others to assigning a place for His mom to live with a friend – to assuring eternity in paradise to a fellow on a cross – to calling out to the Father and connecting with Him before He took His final breath. Famous last words that live forever and point the way to living with vision and community. What does God have for you? I promise He DOES have something for you. Reconnect with God. Reconnect with you. Reconnect with community. Do not let another day pass you by! Get a vision for your life beyond the four walls of you! I commit to you that even if you have betrayed or denied God – HE has a plan – God is smart and HE always has a plan. What about you?
So, recently, we discussed this season to TAKE IT BACK which you CLICK HERE. I encouraged you to take back your house, your body and your life! How on earth do you take on such a task? It sounds almost daunting to me.
BUT you can do and so can I – today – let’s look at TIME!
How can you take back your time?
Are you in control of your time or is time in control of you?
What is TIME?
Time is such a gift and once your day has passed – you cannot get that day back. Once that hour has passed – guess what? That hour is passed. Once that opportunity is behind you – you cannot always go back to it and it does not always come again. Today is a day marked for you with TIME. What is time and how can you address it. Well, I’ve created an acronym for TIME.
TALK – Talk it out with yourself.
Identify – Identify what is next on the agenda.
Mimic – Mimic someone you know who is successful in this area.
Encourage – Encourage yourself because if you do not believe in you – why would someone else?
Be BOLD and talk it out with yourself. What is the problem? I mean REALLY…what is it? Honesty is best in order to get to the root of the issue.
Be RESPECTFUL and identify where you need to begin in order to get moving. Don’t just say eeeeeeny meeeeny miny mo! NO…look at what you put down and go back to it first. Finish it and you will be one step ahead from where you are right this moment!
Be ACTIVE and mimic someone you know who seems to get a whole lot done.
Be VICTORIOUS and encourage yourself by saying something positive about YOU!
Be ENCOURAGING for yourself and take back your past false starts and just get started again!
Now, today I was BRAVE. I went back to a ministry project that has been unfinished due to discouragement as well as a lack of creativity on what to do next. Funny how God moves WHEN you move…the other day I decided I needed to get back in gear and let no more time waste and what did I see but a picture of how I felt I could create it and sure enough…it worked. I’m encouraged and today I finished a prototype for an outreach program I’ve been developing for churches and businesses to use in their communities.
I TOOK BACK MY PROJECT!
Therefore, I am one step further down the road than I was a few days ago. This is good. I can breathe again. Guilt cannot grab me because I’m using my TIME wisely! Because I finished this particular item on my to do list, I am now engaged and planning my next move to finish another attached item on my list. Why do you procrastinate? Some times I wait because I’m truly waiting on direction, impression, renovation, etc. Other times I have a sneaky suspicion I’m a bit afraid of success. Funny huh? Have you ever been afraid of failure AND success. What do you do to conquer this foe and be VICTORIOUS in this area? In order to be victorious I had to decide today that the prototype I’m releasing does NOT have to be completely perfect. The pressure of perfection and performance had to go under my feet today because I’m moving………PERFECT OR NOT………..I’m putting one foot in front of the other and today I have on my running shoes but I’m getting ready to run in my heels too. What shoes do you need for the journey in front of you? How determined will you have to be in order to take back your TIME?
There is something called stinking thinking and oddly enough I feel I’m a major contributor to my own demise. My talk on the inside of me is not always stellar and I remembered the renovation God has been doing in my mind and am grateful He loves me and as HE renovates me, I will change and become more like Him. I wrote a piece on stability that might challenge you – I encourage you to check it out here and give me your feedback in he reply area – RENOVATE YOURSELF BY CLICKING HERE!
Where are you going to start? Tell me about it will you? WHAT IS NEXT ON YOUR AGENDA FRIEND!!
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NOW – decide today to #BEBRAVER! Tell me what your brave moves will be! TAKE BACK your time – tell me about it!