Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I was having a conversation with one of the "On Fire" gals about the giveaways on the site. She was saying that she was hesitant to ask for items because one, she didn't want to appear greedy and two, she didn't want to be forgotten.
Both concerns are fair...
One, there are a lot of women who follow the blog and some are "repeat customers".
Two, all of the giveaways are out of my own pocket and so I have to budget wisely.
Three, that's why I rarely say *when* something will go out. I simply ask who wants what's being offered.
And you know what? It's actually all by design.
It's not often when I'll forget something or one (if I do, I'll usually post a message to ask if anyone is waiting on something---and if you are, feel free to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org). However, it's also rare when I'm in a rush to get giveaways out. And here's why: in it's own weird way, it's a metaphor for the purpose of this blog.
The beginning of James 4 starts off this way:
"Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, 'The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously'? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: 'God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"---James 4:1-6(NKJV)
Those verses are powerful for a few reasons and on a few levels.
1) It reminds us to *ask* for what it is that we want.
2) It reminds us that God checks our motives before granting what we ask for. (Proverbs 21:2&8-Message)
3) It reminds us that anything that puts our relationship into jeopardy with him---eh hem, even another relationship---is not something that is good for us.
4) It reminds us that pride gets us nowhere. Humility does. (Proverbs 22:4)
OK, so how does all of this tie into the giveaways?
For one thing, if I offered, please don't be afraid to ask. Again, there are a lot of women who follow the blog; however, I take that into account whenever I post a giveaway.
Secondly, the timing may not be what you were wanting/expecting, but that doesn't mean "it's" not coming. There are things going on behind the scenes to make everything turn out smoothly.
And in many ways, same thing applies with the Father...
The Word makes it clear that first, we don't have a lot of things because we don't ask for them and secondly, a lot of us, through our demanding attitude (I Samuel 8), our impatience (James 1:4) or even our fear (I John 4:18), we tend to think that God *owes* us something or *has to* show up when we want him to. That is nowhere near the case.
When it comes to timing, I have quoted two verses a lot over the years:
"You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit."---Acts 1:7(Message)
Having the Holy Spirit in your life as you're waiting on God's perfect timing means you're getting this: "the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby)" (John 14:26-AMP) One of the things that I personally like about that assurance is in the Garden of Eden, a woman's first purpose was defined: helper (Genesis 2:18). And as you can see in the Scripture in John, the Holy Spirit is our Divine Helper. Therefore, *if anyone can show a woman how to be the right help for her husband (or future husband)* it would be the Holy Spirit. (Amen!) Are you paying attention to what the Spirit is trying to teach you? Even now?
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."---Ecclesiastes 3:11(NKJV)
That does not say exactly *when* things will be made beautiful. What we do know is that, at the right time, which is always God's time, things will be made that way. And did you peep that it doesn't say *certain* things or *some* things will be made that way? It says *everything* will beautiful! However, because God's thoughts and ways are different from yours (Isaiah 55:8-11), you're not always going to know what is going on. *You're going to know what you need to know* (James 1:5). In the meantime, just hold onto the fact that in the end...it will be beautiful. It will be "possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind".
That's why I like Luke 1:45 so much...
A woman "passed it on to me" years ago. It, along with "Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!" (Jude 1:2-Message), are two verses that I've held dear. Back when I didn't love God or myself as well as I should have (Mark 12:3-31), I didn't realize the gems that they were.
Mary is a spiritual example of what it means to receive what God says and then rest in it. *Until he chooses to move*. And since he is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4), God's time is the best time. And Jude 1:2? It is simply awesome! *You can't be anxious (Philippians 4:6-7) and relaxed at the same time*. Oh, but when you *are* relaxed, when you *are* calm (Proverbs 17:27), when you *are* at peace (which is a characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit-Galatians 5:22-23), you can hear God better and you can see things much clearer.
There will be more giveaways in the months to come...
Again, look at them as a metaphor.
It's hard to get what you don't ask for.
Something not coming in your timing does not mean you are forgotten.
By me? Yes. I will do by best.
But far better than that...*not ever by God*.
And what he's got will top anything you could ask for or I could ever offer (I Corinthians 2:9-10)!
*Relax in that*.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
When there's time...
I'll probably pen a piece on abandonment and how it *infects* our relationship choices until we *choose to heal* from those issues. For now, I want to share an excerpt from an exclusive email that my girl at Baggage Reclaim sent today entitled "Re-Abandonment - We Don't Deserve It". Basically, she's talking about the pattern that we put ourselves in when we're abandoned as children and then *choose* people who abandon us as adults.
Sign up to get her posts here. In the meantime, here's the excerpt.
One of the things I've learned along my journey to liking and loving me, is that for those of us who have experienced abandonment - which incidentally, isn't just physical abandonment in the sense of absence or being left but also neglect and emotional abandonment - there will always be a part of us that's that little girl or boy that needs to be looked out for and taken care of.
We do this by being kinder to ourselves now. We stop abandoning us by looking to others for salvation or by being so reliant on them that we give up our boundaries and anything that matters to us.
Every time we make other people responsible for us and our happiness and every time we dodge having boundaries and standards, we abandon us. It's re-abandonment. We give up. We don't deserve that.
It's critical that we don't do things that amount to repeatedly punishing us for things that we didn't deserve in the first place. Our parents or caregivers inadequacies are not a reflection of our inadequacies.
That mix of taking care of us along with allowing us to be vulnerable with safe people stops us from inadvertently (or intentionally) recreating the pattern of pain.
It's not about blaming people from our past; it's about acknowledging the impact. It's about acknowledging that there's a part of us that can show up or take over when it's 'activated'.
People are fallible.
At the same time, don't forget that God said he will *never* leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
If this piece resonates, take it to prayer and perhaps also seek counseling.
You deserve to be embraced. Not abandoned.
You have the power to better discern the character of those who will do both.
I read an article about a single woman that caught my attention. You can click on the link to read it. For now, here's the gist:
The 37-year-old Salt Lake City, Utah, woman has been to more than 80 weddings, catching the bridal bouquet a record 46 times, edging out other single women in the room like a defensive back intercepting a touchdown pass.
The irony, of course, is that Jackson is still single.
"I've pretty much crushed that 'next-to-be-married' myth," she tells PEOPLE. "I've had boyfriends, sure. But I'm liking the single life. Besides, if I were married, I'd have to give up my favorite sport."
While she didn't set out to notch a world record – she says she's been to so many weddings due to her family's connections to musical theater and their church – she decided to apply for it after learning that the previous wedding-bouquet-toss record holder, Stephanie Monyak from Pennsylvania, had caught only 15 bouquets.
I'm not sure what surprises me more. How many bouquets she's caught *or* how many weddings she's been to (LOL). However, the reason why I'm sharing this is because I really appreciate her take on the experience---her overall take on life.
She's not somewhere sulking about not carrying a bridal bouquet.
She's at weddings having a ball catching them!
There are a lot of women I talk to who say they are tired of being single. Yet you know what? A part of me wonders if they even *are* truly single yet. Single does not only mean "not married". Synonyms for single include "distinct", being "whole", being "special", being "exclusive" and being "undivided". That's why I like James 1:4(NKJV) so much. It reminds me that sometimes the waiting process is about getting to a point and place of truly being a single person:
"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
As someone who does quite a bit of marriage counseling, I'll attest to the fact that a lot of people literally regret who they chose in a partner simply because they did not select them in a state of *wholeness*; they chose them in a state of real *internal lack* and *brokenness*. In other words, they weren't seeking someone to share their full and amazing life with. They were looking for someone to fill all kinds of voids. Hmph. When Exodus 20:3 tells us not to have any gods before us, that includes our spouses. God is who heals us (Psalm 147:3). It's way too much pressure (plus it's pretty unrealistic-Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) to expect anyone else to.
Besides, when you're whole and healthy, it tends to show.
Like Jamie Jackson, a truly single person, has a good perspective on things.
When I went to look up the definitions for the word "bouquet", one was "a bunch of flowers" while another was "a compliment". As a single woman, when's the last time you had fresh flowers in your home? When's the last time you could rattle off a list a things that make you simply divine?
To me, these are examples of what it means to "catch your own bouquet". It's taking out moments to *celebrate yourself* rather than waiting for someone else to do it. After all, a guy is not supposed to *show you who you are*. He's supposed to *affirm many of the things that you already know about yourself*. Before he ever arrived.
This brings me to the picture quote up top...
Nothing in the article that I read gave me any indication that Jamie doesn't think she'll be married someday. She's simply having a blast in the meantime and that quality is something that's going to be very appealing to her future beloved. Whether she already knows him or not.
And you know what? When you get to a point and place of believing that you are special and unique----when you are living in a space where you are really and truly single---there's no telling who you will attract into your life as well. Who will want to give you flowers and compliments because they find it so appealing that you were doing it for yourself. Before they ever came along.
I recently came across a sale on some earrings that I couldn't resist.
The flowers inside are dried chamomile. I'm big on symbols (Daniel 4:2-3) and chamomile represents patience and serenity---two things that all single women should have a lot of. The giveaway is over (as of 2/20); but if you caught this late and feel that this post really speaks to you, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I'll see what I can do. ;-)
In the meantime, a friend of mine released a song last week that complements this post quite well:
Bloom, "On Fire" ladies!