SHUT YOUR BOOK

Fearless Friday! 

New book not just new chapter. Listen maybe it’s time to shut the book you are living from and start a new one. Why rehash chapter after chapter while getting the same ending every time? You have the wherewithal and power to listen to The Voice of The Greatest Teacher Who will ever live and walk into your LOVE given destiny. Don’t wait another second. Pause. Recalibrate. Let go of the past, the future and what you thought and grab hold of the thought from heaven for you and those in your influence. Don’t think for one moment that you walk alone. Don’t think for one moment that you have no impact on society. You ARE IMPACT. #bebraver Take action. Get strategy and get going. Don’t worry about where you will end up – just think about moving in sync with LOVE Who thinks about you day and night – night and day – and Whose plan is Mission Possible. See you on the other side of the past and see you in the new book signed by LOVE. I love you @donnareiners #bravetobraver  
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End of Life

20121231-NDIP10014As I watch her lie in her big boy bed, I am cognizant she is mostly unaware of my presence while I pray, cry, or pace. How do you fight for the very life it is time to release?  

End of Life. It continues to roll across my mind…over and over and over it speaks to me. First it comes as a whisper and then it is louder than the voices of those around me. Most certainly, these three little words have a stronger significance when it has to do with you or a loved one.

End of life.

It is intense.

It is intimate.

It is final.

It is no respecter of persons as it comes to every single one of us. 

Sometimes it is sudden. Sometimes it is a process. Sometimes you are ready and sometimes you are not ready and truthfully even when “ready” are you ever really prepared? Sometimes you want it now as in today and then, sometimes you wish tomorrow would never arrive. Even so, whether you are old or whether you are young – we will each meet these three final words. 

It is indeed personal.

Every once in a while she attempts to lift her head and tries to talk but not much comes out. Her continual complaint is, “I’m tired.” She is mostly unaware of my presence while pray, cry out and pace. How do you fight for the very life you need to also release?

End of life. Three little words that change you, your perspective and the lives of those around you.

How do we live out the end of life? One day at a time seems to be the only answer.

So, this is what we are doing….one day at a time…we are surrounding the one we love…caressing her forehead and speaking into her ear our love…holding her hand…not just giving hope but being hope for a brighter heavenly tomorrow.

As I ponder what has passed us and what lies in front of us, I realize our responsibility and privilege is the same whether we are “living” in the end of life stage or whether we are not living in the “end of life stage” because truly we do not know what tomorrow holds.

So, what do we do? What do you do? What do I do?

Take an inventory of your heart.  

  1. Is your heart and mind right with those around you? In other words – are you IN offense….or maybe ON the fence in relationships? You know the enemy is a liar and his job is to kill – to steal – to destroy what God gives you to treasure and to hold near. Don’t assume you are “in the right” because your right can be very wrong in the eyes of the One Who desires unity with His friends.
  2. How is your mouth with those you hold dear? If tomorrow does not come with you and that person – how will you handle it? Will you be guilt ridden? Will you be filled with regret? Pain? Condemnation? If that is the case then you are a candidate for a new heart toward not just them but yourself and with God. Don’t go to sleep tonight without righting what has been wronged EVEN if none of it is your fault.
  3. Lastly, we do not take any of this earthly stuff with us…..not even the body we live in here on planet earth. What is precious to you? Where do you spend your time? Maybe – just maybe – you might need to re-prioritize your time, your efforts, your finances, your life so that you can live with you when it is all said and done.

Pray with me – Father, we come in Jesus name and ask You to reveal by Your Spirit any wrong done that has affected how we relate to others including ourselves. We change our mind God. We sever this from us and command it to be under our feet once and for all. Show us how to approach others for restoration – even if we are not in the wrong. We ask You to forgive us Father for You paid the price for us to stay in right standing with You and one another. We receive Your forgiveness. We forgive ourselves. We forgive them God – we know who they are and we choose to forgive. Show us how to talk to them before its just too late and the enemy has his way. We release Your peace, Your forgiveness, Your mercy and Your restoration into us and those around us in Jesus name and with His resurrection power which no foe can withstand. Let it be. Let it be.

Let’s continually surround those we love with our time and effort. Let’s speak to one another our sincere love and appreciation and encourage one another when it is still today to not just give hope but be hope….for a brighter, heavenly…tomorrow whether we are still here on this planet earth breathing breath or we step into heaven after taking our final one.


Much love – until next time,

Donna Reiners

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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!