Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
1. What are the desires of your heart?
Now, if you are still having a hard time identifying your UF, I'd like to give you a possible reason why. A great number of people are born to play more of a supportive role in life. They don't have a strong passion or talent because they were born to help someone else's dreams come true. If this is you, in no way should you feel inferior or less than. Your role is just as crucial as the one who has the dream or the strong UF. For example, who would Oprah be without all those people serving her vision? Who would Steve Jobs be without the people serving his vision? Those who were born to support and serve are crucial to the process. Visionaries would never see their dreams materialized if it weren't for this amazing group of people.
As I begin to wrap things up, I want to talk about people who have spent time pursuing the wrong dreams, or the wrong UF. It can happen to anyone, and the reasons are numerous. It can be as simple as "I studied elementary education but now I feel called to high school students." Or, it can be as devastating as some of the catastrophes we see on the American Idol auditions. Some of those people are not only on the wrong track, they are terrible at what they are attempting to do better than anyone else. However people get off track, I feel the best way to protect yourself and stay true to your real purpose in life, is to surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth, to maintain a teachable heart, and to know thyself. Because you will not be great if you are pursuing the wrong dream or the wrong UF, but you will always be great if you can line up with your God-given destiny, the thing that you were created to do on this earth.
- the ability to live extremely frugally and stretch a penny for all it's worth
- the ability to preserve memories thru scrapbooking, video and photos and/or journaling
- the ability to see patterns in mathematics that no one else sees
- the ability to read people and have the answers they need for life's problems
- the ability to know things that no one else can sense (sometimes people call this a 6th sense)
- the ability to cheer people up no matter what they are facing
- the ability to reach youth and communicate with them in a way that transforms them
- the ability to write and inspire people with your written words
- the ability to wait things out longer than anyone else, (endurance) therefore enabling you to get what everyone else gave up on
- the ability to make people feel welcome in your home (hospitality)
Monday, April 4, 2011
I just finished watching “America The Beautiful”, a documentary about America’s obsession with outer beauty. There wasn’t much that surprised me. I already knew things were bad. But it did inspire me to write.
I’ve written before about the myth of beauty, and the dysfunction of unrealistic beauty (photoshop-ing, airbrushing etc.). I think this time I really just want to talk about how we can change it within our own lives. I always considered myself to have a healthy self-esteem. But when I read a book recently called “God Loves Ugly, & love makes beautiful”* written by my friend Christa Black, I realized that I still have a lot of negative self-talk and negative energy surrounding the topic of my body. And now after having four children, it’s on my mind even more when I see my stretch marks and the scars of going through those pregnancies. So if I, who considered myself to pretty much like my body just fine, realized how much I still struggle….it got me thinking about those out there who have extremely low self-esteem, or worse, self-hatred.
Don’t get me wrong ladies. I know we all want to be beautiful. We like our fake nails, our colored hair, our MAC makeup, or a nice tan every now and then. Some of us have a few pounds we want to lose or 100 pounds we want to lose. Some of us have some cosmetic surgery we hope to get or some work with the orthodontist or the dermatologist. I understand that we all enjoy enhancing ourselves. And I’m not against any of those desires if they stem from a healthy place of “I love myself.”
What frustrates me so much about our culture is that the definition of beauty is so narrow and so unrealistic that it causes many women to have self-destructive behaviors. Listen to this short excerpt summarized by me from the documentary mentioned earlier: Prior to 1995 the country of Figi had not been exposed to television. Their body image was opposite of ours here in America. To have a larger body, and to have some significant size was a symbol of prosperity. It meant that your tribe was able to feed you well. Before exposing them to television, the young women of Figi were interviewed to find out how many of them had used vomiting as a form of controlling their weight, and none of them had admitted to such behavior. In 1998 after 3 years of exposure to television, that number rose from 0 to 11%. 11% is comparable to any high school here in America….shocking.
Also in the documentary, 3 minutes of looking at a fashion magazine makes 70% of women of all ages feel depressed, guilty and shameful. I can attest to that! Thankfully I have never purchased subscriptions to these magazines and therefore paid them money to make me feel depressed!
I think we’ve been fed lies for such a long time that we don’t know the truth anymore. One answer I propose for this problem is to promise something every week. The challenge is to choose something that bothers you, and vow to change your mind until your negative emotions change to positive emotions. So, here is my promise this week; “I promise from here on out, whenever I look at my stretch marks, to think fondly of each one of my children and a special memory I have of their birth.” (and nothing else, no negative thoughts!!!!) I’m going to practice thinking those thoughts until it becomes as natural as breathing. I hope you join me!! I would love to hear your promise in the comment section of this blog!
*I highly recommend this heartfelt book by my friend. Check out the reviews on amazon.com and order it, you won’t be disappointed!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I grew up in a broken home and experienced many hardships as a young woman. During my sophomore year of college I became pregnant with my oldest son, Nick. The guy I was casually dating at the time tried his best to convince me to have an abortion. Although I was wounded and disconnected in my relationship with God at the time, I knew killing my baby was not the answer. God met me in my decision to choose life. He sent me an amazing husband and blessed me with three more sons. Our boys are now 13, 9, 7, and 1 years old.
One thing Jon (my husband) and I have worked very hard at in raising our boys is making sure they understand it is their job to protect women and children. God created man as the stronger one, but not so he could dominate, prey upon, or “take” from his environment. God gave man strength so he could cover, protect, and give to those around him.
In our society today, many men have believed the lie that they need to look around them and receive identity and strength from things like girlfriends, "trophy wives", positions in sports, careers, and possessions. As a result, they become takers, sometimes even predators, looking to “get” what they need from their environment. What we are teaching our boys is they need to receive their identity and strength from Father God. When they spend time in the Father’s presence, they walk away full of love and strength. Then, they turn around and pour out protection and security to those around them who are vulnerable and in need. They are anchored into an unending love source, and they know who they are. They are learning to be givers and protectors, not takers or predators.
This cycle creates a culture of men who honor and protect the women in their lives, and a culture of men who understand what it means to father their children.
Young men, I challenge you to let Heaven invade your life and receive the revelation of going to God empty, in order to pour out love and protection into this world. Bringing strength to those around you will change an entire generation! The world is waiting for your strength.