Public Confession of a Private Extrovert

Have you ever heard the public confession of a private extrovert?

Public Confession of a Private Extrovert
Public Confession of a Private Extrovert

Crazy huh? Well, let me tell you my story. So, one year I went back to the gym – as in I got a trainer and everything and this is after being out of the game for YEARS. My first day was of course amazing and it was not until two days later I discovered I could barely walk for the pain in my thighs from the new pressure I had exerted. Needless to say that the pain did not deter me as I was determined to move forward and I was consistent and diligent for 4 months. I was faithful to endure 2 workouts with a trainer per week and I worked out almost daily with just a few exceptions for appointments, exhaustion, family, etc. THEN, I had a moment of WAH!LAH! I made my confession that I could do this and thought I could be private at home and do this gym gig by myself. After all I’m doing GREAT! Surely, I do not have to be public in the gym to get my health back! Right? I was brave and took action. I purchased weights for 50 cents a pound, got one of those big honkin’ inflated work out balls from an expert, found some elastic bands for my arms, purchased a floor mat and even got an inexpensive treadmill. My confession made me go all out! I had been writing down all the exercises and just knew I would be able to be the same person at home that I was at the gym. I was OFF to the races or so I thought… After two months with only one workout to my credit I had a revelation with a new confession. My new confession was that I HATE being alone. Seriously? How can this be? FOR YEARS and I mean years my public confession of me not being an extrovert.  I have exclaimed from the roof tops that I am an introvert! I have told myself and the world just how much I love my solitude and how I can handle just so much of people.  What was wrong with me? Now, let’s fast forward into reality and hear the public confession of a private extrovert

Why was I unsuccessful as an introvert?

So, I was UNSUCCESSFUL at working out alone as an introvert. WHY? Because I need people! Oh my goodness when the lightbulb went on I thought I was losing my mind. I looked back and carefully considered my steps. How can I be an extrovert? I love solitude. I like just being with me-I mean I really do-in all my quirky funky dressing talking humor I genuinely enjoy myself. Also, I’m pretty brave in how I approach life. However, as I bravely reviewed my true reality, I rehearsed in my mind all the times I spend alone. Then, I truly stared into how unfruitful my time was when completely alone at home or in a room locked away or even on a retreat by myself. On the other hand, I looked a how my productivity was when I picked up my computer and found public WiFi at St. Arbucks and remained there for HOURS just writing and talking and using my cell phone and calendaring my day and making appointments and making new friends. Again, now I’m making a public confession and I’m ready to add fuel to the fire for a bit of transparency.

What is the point?

Would you like to know when I get the most done in my own home? It is when someone is on the way over and I scramble to make sure the house is picked up or move quickly to create a fun meal for us. All of a sudden I am completely inspired to clean my office or garage and I find myself getting much done when they are here with me because I love to work with others. I know folks who get a thousand things done all alone so that they can go out and play. However, for me, I get a thousand things done when others come over to play! The point is that all these years I thought I was an introvert because I saw a program talking about textbook introverts and how they process all their information inside themselves and I realized how ME THAT WAS! I truly do take my thoughts on the inside. I consider life and God and I prayerfully and thoughtfully peer into situations and processes. Anyway, for my social well being and for my family’s well being I have come to the radical understanding that if I am not around people I am not a happy camper and if I’m not a happy camper….then no one in my home is happy either and that basically makes me a social extrovert………..with introvert tendencies. Crazy as it might sound…this little inspiration or revelation has helped me tremendously to get organized and to make sure I have more people contact and to recognize that if I’m feeling a bit blue or borderline depressed then more than likely its not because I’m sad or depressed or blue or anything else. Therefore, part of my public confession is that when I’m feeling a little lonely, all I need is a public shot of social interaction and then I’m back to being my same old funky quirky talk your ear off friend whom you can’t live without. LOL

How to be brave in your own story

Be Brave. Be bold regarding who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow. Read here another story about how I had to be brave in my identity. Show respect to yourself and get to know yourself. Take action my friend! You can move into the real you! You are victorious so do not let the voices in your head get you going down a wrong way street! Lastly be encouraged and you can right any mistake you have made regarding how you live life. Be Brave and thought it might take time – you are worth it!You are who you are so why not learn from my error of attempting to become someone I’m not. Just be you. Be you. Be the best you that you can be and learn how to rejoice in how God made you. God’s not mad at you and HE is not mad at me. HE rejoices over how HE made us and we should rejoice over how HE made us too….

Be sure and reply and let me hear from you! Be brave because I want to know if you have a public confession of a private extrovert!

Until next time!

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Donna Reiners

www.bravetobraver.com

 

Pity or Pleasant?

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©Donna Reiners

Ps 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. (New International Version)

It is God’s desire for us to stand in a firm place, to Behold Him and sing praises to Him, so that others will taste and see and know that HE is the Lord God Almighty, and put their trust in Him. So, if you have been in a pit by choice and you know it, today is the day for you to choose freedom. Hard to imagine anyone desiring to remain in darkness but it happens to the best of us. Cry out to the Lord! Change your mind about desiring to stay in pity, pain, or entrapment and choose this day to desire freedom. If you are willing to agree with God and trust Him in freedom, then He will answer you and pull you OUT of the pity of depression, pain, and grief and give you a firm place to stand. What about you? Have you ever realized how your “horrible circumstance” could have been avoided by taking some very simple steps? What can you do today to cooperate with God regarding what you need to do to walk out of the pity or pain and into a pleasant place? Sometimes it IS our choice to make: pity or pleasant?

Pray with me – Father, show me how to respond to You and to life and to problems. I have to move forward but feel paralyzed by my past. It is ridiculous. Help me in Jesus name. Let it be.

Send this to friends who would be encouraged by Pity or pleasant.

No Freedom without Confrontation
Freedom! ©Donna Reiners

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Until next time,
d

Frozen In Time?

Donna Reiners www.bravetobraver.comStart Again. Really? Again? You would think by now we had explored this side of the mountain enough without going about it yet ONE MORE TIME. Not thrilled about my inability to break through this season – this problem – this challenge – this life. I feel like I’m in driving around in a parking lot while going nowhere. Yet is that in itself a mirage, a time of testing or am I frozen in time?

Seasons in Life

Seasons are interesting. There are parts of the world where the residents experience all four seasons. Spring is a bit cooler and vibrantly brings forth fresh bloom to brighten and encourage you to get up, and get going. Summer is as hot as blazes and sometimes makes you wish you lived someplace else. Fall brings the amazing golden and copper colors of leaves bristling through the trees. Winter brings the stillness of whiter than white snow that makes your heart stop from the mere beauty.

Now, in the nation of Texas – yes – we talk like that here in the lone star state – we sometimes experience just one season – hotter than hot. Our winter day freezing temperature may reach a bitter fifty degrees. That’s okay as we would prefer to have a hot day here over a cool day in Maine any day of the year. We live here on purpose and take it with no complaints. That being said, you can have hot on the outside while your insides are frozen and immovable.

Frozen in time. Sounds like a romantic movie or a science fiction flick. However, I am referring to a season in life….which can last a day, a month, a year or a decade. What do you do when you start over a thousand times and still just cannot make progress? Being stuck in a parking lot in your mind becomes so real that it becomes reality in your body. Frozen in time.

Mirage or Time of Testing?

Or is it a mirage? You see what you want and its right there in front of you and you do what you think is your part to obtain it or move toward it and when you arrive – you find you are out of season and it was never there in the first place. Mirage. Or is it a time of testing? You know what I mean….God does not tempt us to walk with darkness or entice us to sin – really – we do that without His help or the help of evil. However, there is a season of time when our lives are examined by God in such a way that we undergo a testing prior to approval…so that we will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Let’s explore a time of testing shall we?

In a time of testing I have discovered that my boat rocks to and fro in the wind of doubt until I clear my thoughts and locate a fresh spot to anchor my understanding. I find it difficult to receive in a double minded season because my ways are not stable. Does this mean I lack joy? Believe it or not my joy is settled. However, my purpose is being sifted in a time of testing. Normally, I’m not vacillating between two opinions – my opinions are deeply grounded in His opinion. That being said, as we stabilize our hearts in purpose, position and calling, we will find an opportunity to persevere under trial AND we will discover fresh Love from Him. We will be tempted by the enemy to throw in the towel because of mistakes, misunderstanding and fear. Even so, we must steer away from being offended and if we discover we have offended another, we must do our part to rectify that relationship or situation. We must sever from us all unforgiveness, miscommunication or self inflicted feelings of guilt that linger to rule every fiber of our being. Let’s take on the challenge of humility and determine to keep our heart free from debris as we find our footing and as we stabilize our emotions in His priorities. Interestingly, you may not find His priorities are the same as the priorities of those around you and you may find you have disappointed or angered those who believe in you, stand for you or have paid a price to walk with you. Regardless….there is a deep truth that will be found – if someone is truly for you – they will be for you even if you are unavailable for them. This is where an even deeper sifting takes place. You see, friendship or relationship which is centered on Him is not seasonal  –  is not selfish and is not manipulative.

I just want to encourage you today that if you are frozen in time and or experiencing an aloneness because of your own disappointment with your progress, you will be okay. Your aloneness might be a mirage or it might be a time of testing. Whatever it is and wherever you are you will find one staple – one stability that will never change: God will not leave you or forsake you even if you are left alone on the ice.

Out of Season

One last idea that comes to mind – there are times in living when you are simply out of season with everyone else and you feel either left out or like you are a disappointment to those around you whom you respect or love because you are not there for them. What do you do? You must obey The Lord. You know why we go around the mountain again and yet again? This is simply one perspective – but I feel it could very well be because we never quite finish a season of obedience….we never quite pass that finish line in that area of testing in our life because we go to the next season too quickly. It might appear that the ones around you passed and they are ready to rock and roll and then again it could be they are running from their side of the mountain. You, on the other hand, are on the peripheral and are keenly aware of your own private reality and are at a decision making place.

I’m at a strange spot in life where the Lord may very well allow me to miss out on a very significant “season” in history so that I will move into the better portion of Him. Yet am I afraid to miss this “corporate season” or should I focus on not missing The Lord in the season He is calling me into privately? It could be a year or it could be a week – but I’ll never know if I don’t go. A place to ponder I’d say – wouldn’t you?

BE BRAVE

So, my friend, whatever season in life you are right now I want to encourage you to be #BRAVETOBRAVER –  B.R.A.V.E. BE BOLD enough to be kind to those around you even if you aren’t sure how to go about it. Trust me – a letter of encouragement or a prayer or a hug – these simple actions of kindness are powerful. Show RESPECT for yourself and that one around you – because you just never know what season he or she has passed into or just come through. Take ACTION no matter what season you are in to fulfill the heart of God. Scripture encourages us to weep with those who weep (even if you are not weepy) and to rejoice with those who rejoice (even if you are just not in the mood). Why? Because God is the Vindicator of our trust and HE wants us to live out life with those around us in such a way that they see Him and we see Him and we all are one in Him in the family of God. While attempting to find your footing – grab hold of His VICTORY over your past (even if this is one more trip around the mountain). Finally, try to get into your noggin that God is not in a bad mood….love while it is still called today. In other words – ENCOURAGE yourself and those around you with the acknowledgment of HIS love inside you that lives even when you can’t feel it or touch it. So, love and be loved – because this season will not last forever even if for the moment – you feel – frozen in time.

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If this speaks to you – would you please reply and let me know? Let’s encourage one another. Let’s be a pathway of strength for each other through spring, summer, fall or winter – until next time –
d

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The Door of Doubt

Have you ever been doubted by a friend? No matter what you do – they doubt your every moved? One minute they tell you they are for you and the next they have so much unbelief towards you – you have to ask yourself why you became friends in the first place? Tough stuff when we have friends who just can’t seem to get it together for us huh? You feel loved one moment and unloved the next? You are not alone. You are in good company. Jesus lived in the midst of betrayal, was rejected and doubted by a friend.

Have you ever allowed yourself to be so close to another human being that you thought they knew you inside and out and then you find out later that they never knew you at all? As a matter of fact you are doubted by a friend who lived out life with you.

Doubted.

Rejected.

You are not alone.

So was Jesus.

I want to talk to you about the reality of living life and loving others until the very end – even when doubted by a friend. Picture Jesus – sitting with his friends at a feast, washing their feet, drinking with them, eating with them, conversing with them and loving them…until the end. Thomas is one that doubted Jesus – have you ever been doubted? Check out this short 3 minute video:

OR click this:

THE DOOR OF DOUBT

You can read about it yourself in John 12-13 – how Jesus chose not to be offended and how Jesus loved Thomas even though HE KNEW he doubted Him. UNOFFENDABLE!

Maybe you are in a relationship with someone you know doubts you and you know deep inside your gut that at this season of your life – you just want to walk away from them. BUT GOD. To your face – they love you and act as if they will be your friend forever and they believe in you and are for you but then they come out with a statement that throws you for a loop. What do you do with a friend like that? How on earth can you remain unoffended by their actions? What do you do when confronted with the door of doubt?

Can you love them anyway? Can you love them as if they will never hurt you? Can you serve them and honor them in the midst of them not being able to love you with the same love you give them? Can you in fact be unoffendable by their doubt?

This is what Jesus did and it is a hard thing you know – to love – to really love – not with lips but with actions that speak louder than words. It is possible as long as you love with HIS love and forgive with HIS heart and look through that person into the potential of who they will or can become. Otherwise you will have expectations that never are met. Am I saying trust them with your innermost thoughts? Probably not wise to trust one who doubts you that much – however you can love them with HIS love anyway. After all – why do we doubt others – it is because we lack within ourselves something…… confidence…..that rooting and grounding…..IN HIM that keeps us stable – and gives us the fortitude to believe in others. The enemy wants you to hate them. God says love instead. Even when doubted by a friend.

Jesus loved Thomas though Thomas even doubts HE was resurrected. Jesus meets Thomas right where he is and lets Thomas feel the nail print to PROVE it is HIM. Wow. This is how much Jesus loved Thomas.

Sometimes we must be BRAVE and see one another as we are and accept one another right where we are – with imperfections – with doubt – with unbelief. Be BOLD and look doubt in the eye and say though you do not trust me – I LOVE YOU ANYWAY. Have RESPECT for yourself and follow up on whatever it is they doubt you in – maybe they doubt you because you continue to fall through for them and maybe they have reason to doubt. WHOA. Imagine that. So, this time – take ACTION AND follow through and follow up and finish what you started and do the best you can do – not for them but for God.  Be VICTORIOUS over your weakness to feel rejected OR to not finish. ENCOURAGE yourself in the LORD because the bottom line is that they won’t be next to you when you stand in front of the Lord in that great day. So, let them be them and you be you and LOVE until the very end – even if they stand in the door of doubt.

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Until soon,

d

 

Who’s going to take care of me when I’m old?

Who's Going to Take care of me when I'm old?

Who's Going to Take care of me when I'm old?Who’s going to take care of me when I’m old? This has been ringing in my mind for years but today is loud in my heart as I carefully handle each worn earring and pendant. Readily I can see her flare for color, design and just down right fun. Our sister was quite something and the nearness of God in her life was awe inspiring. I miss her this day as I look into my garage at the few personal articles that remain after her move to heaven. Medical supplies from the hospital, health products from the nursing home, funky soft stuffed animals, blankets and some new and some old clothing, pictures and memories are what I have left. My household has been kind as I took up both sides of the garage blocking cars from using it as I look through containers. Today is a new day and I DID promise I would have one side of the garage clean and so it is….and my car still sits outside.

The Memorial

Recently, we held a memorial for my sister’s life. Our home church, The Encourager in Houston, TX,  very graciously opened their doors and we had about 75 in attendance to show us their support, hug our necks, listen to our stories and freely mingle with each of us and love us one at a time. We even had friends who drove from out of town and we were very very thankful and encouraged by their presence. Frankly, I was shocked by the folks that ventured out in the cold (here in Texas anything in the 40’s is cold) to bring a meal to share, a card to read and last but not least – a hug. The hugs were the best part of the day.

And Now There are Three

Old. It has a strange ring to it. I’m not sure what to think about it yet. My sister moving to heaven has stirred my heart and made the reality of our bodies inability to live forever very very real to me. Also, just last week, I heard of a woman in her mid forties who suddenly transitioned into the heavens. What do we do with this? Hard to wrap your mind around something so surreal. Then another long time friend contracted a bacteria that ate some of her body so much that gangrene set in and to the husband’s despair, the doctors gave her a zero percent survival rate. Shocking to them both as they had discussed his move to heaven one day due to his own maladies but never talked about hers. Miraculously, she is alive today and her move to her own house again is around the corner. However, her move comes with great adjustments because they had to remove parts of her body in order to allow her life to be preserved. She is learning how to walk, use her opposite hand and unsure of the future in her vocation.Who's Going to Take care of me when I'm old?

What do we do?

What on earth do we do when life takes a turn down an unexpected path? Spouse moves to heaven. Job ends. Sibling dies. Divorce comes to you. Best friend betrays you. Another friend turns away from God. What next? Who is going to take care of me? of her? of you? Interestingly, my friend whose life has been preserved gave me this scripture when we visited recently:

Psalm 73:28 – But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works. NAS

The nearness of God…the nearness of God…the words echoed in my spirit as she told me how that one phrase – the nearness of God has been her Alma Mater for many many years. The nearness of God when we are young and the nearness of God when we are old.
HE will care for us my friend – HE is nearer than we understand – our Parent – our Friend – ultimately, HE will be our Caregiver whether we are young or old – HE cares for us. Through another warm individual – friend or family member – God will provide someone to be near to you. For some amazing reason which I do not understand, God allowed me to have the privilege to love my sister even to her last breath. Though it was a strange and fiery moment in time, I’m in awe how he did not allow her to be alone. HE knows our needs better than we know our needs. I would have never chosen me….but God did and so I encourage you to let God choose you for His assignments and let His nearness be your good. Then, you will find His refuge. Tell of His works. Let others know your availability and let His nearness in and through you be refuge for another. No – you cannot be at everyone’s beck and call but HE has a call for you and HE has a call for me and if we will listen and love and let Him have His way, we will invariably find ourselves in His nearness doing His good for those around us.

So we must all make a new decision to trust Him. Be BRAVE! HE has instilled courage into us. Be BOLD and step into relationship with God and with the community around you. Embrace a fresh RESPECT for yourself as you step into His nearness and refuge. Take ACTION this day to be VICTORIOUS over your past! Be ENCOURAGED for God is near – He will never leave you or forsake you from very young to very old. #BEBRAVE

Who is going to take care of me when I’m oldGod will take care of you and me because HE is faithful and so draw near to Him and let His nearness be your good and I will do the same.