Friday, July 29, 2011

Happiness is a Choice

I am preparing for a Mary Kay booth in Columbus tomorrow. It is near where my granddaughter lives so I want to increase my business in that direction so that I can see her and her daughter more often. Also, she has a son on the way. 
It is imperative that I make Director. 
Some checks that we had earned did not come. Other anticipated earnings did not come either.  All in all it was about a $1500 drop for the month.
Ray is concerned about the stability of his job, because the new state regulations caused them to increase the student fees by $1200 which will not be covered by their student grants and loans. Since most of the people who take truck driving training are unemployed, enrollment may drop so significantly that he will be no longer needed. 
Ray has always been faithful to find another job, but I am his help-meet.
So I am pushing past this self-hatred, fear of failure and self-sabotage and going for it. I praise God that I have this Mary Kay opportunity. Mary Kay pays you well to help other women. Really the only limit you have is the one that you put on yourself. 
Each of us are challenged. Some by health. Some by relationships and others in the financial arena. But they do not have to overwhelm you and take you out. God has provided an escape route. 
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].1 Cor. 10:13

Zephaniah tells us that he inhabits the praises of His people so I am singing and Zephaniah tells us that He sings songs of deliverance over me at night. Wow! Singing is good! 
It sure breaks up a pity party, too! 
Happiness is a choice!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Deserving the Best

Several weeks ago we were decorating an area of the cafeteria to look like a coffee shop for Pleasant Valley Days. I dug out some pictures, arug and mirror that were left behind. I called the person that they belonged to and asked if we could use them and she said yes. Then boldly I asked her when PVD were over could I use them in my office as she had hers.
She readily agreed. I was delighted at the prospect of redecorating my cube. I love decorating anyhow. Well, it has been three weeks and not one picture has been hung. I had to recognize I was having problems with my "deserve level" again.
We all have a self-imposed ceiling. We rise and fall to the level we feel we deserve. It is a mirror image of how we view ourselves.
If we go too high, oftentimes we will self-sabotage our effort to bring us back to our comfort zone.
“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” Maureen Dowd
Sometimes you have to crash through the ceiling to reset the bar. Yet we may get bumped and bruise, but the point is, we will never be the same.
I never will forget when as a single mom of three, I got my AA degree. A wealthy friend of mine gave me her condo at Amelia Island Plantation for myself for a week. I had never lived like that before and even then I did not explore all there was to offer because I felt like I didn't deserve it. Nevertheless, when I left a neighborhood of millionaires to return to the inner city, I was not the same person. Like a rubber band that had been stretched, I could not return to my original shape.
So today I am re-examining those thoughts that tell me what I deserve. Some of those thoughts have to be incinerated so they cannot return. I need to replace them with better, higher thoughts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


4Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
 6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Phil. 4:4-8
Can we pray praising Him for everything and ask for nothing? Can we rejoice in ALL things? 
Each circumstance requires a decision. Fear or faith. If we choose faith, then we can rejoice because we have relinquished it to someone bigger than the circumstance.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Fear and faith do not mix. They are like oil and water. So which will you choose today?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Are You Crabby?

When you go crabbing, you need a bucket with a perforated lid. When you catch your first crab, put it in bucket and quickly put the lid on lest it escape. However, once you have put two or three in the bucket, the lid is no longer necessary. You see if one crab attempts to escape from the bucket, the other crabs will pull it back down. If they can't have freedom, neither can their fellow crab. Sometimes, the crabs seem almost sinister,  waiting until the crab has almost escaped before yanking it back into the bucket.
 Talk about misery loves company.
Apparently the crabs are unaware of the boiling pot awaiting them. If they were would they pull each other back into the bucket, instead of helping escape artist? Or do they have that moronic mentality of if I can't have it, neither can you?
Those with that “crab mentality” are dream killers. I have seen it when people are doing their walkout and trying to take their life back after a devastating illness. Sadly, I have seen it in Mary Kay when someone is all excited about making some extra money and paying off their debts or maybe they have captured the big dream. Friends and relatives tell them they are foolish for even trying. They sound like Job's friends with the constant accusations. 
When we can step beyond the accusations, the pronouncements of doom, we can walk in plan that God had for our life before the foundations of the world. It is "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..." 
The following video shows a young man who "regardless of his hard life, passionately runs towards what he really wants.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Complete, Not Compete

I stayed up to the wee hours in the morning dealing with some yucky stuff churning inside of me. It is frustrating when you think something is dealt with and resolved and up it comes again.
In my Mary Kay business I have purposed in my heart to live its motto "enriching women's lives." I am to do that by helping to complete themselves, find those missing pieces or repairing the broken ones. Working your Mary Kay business is an excellent way to confront fears, deal with that unloving spirit that causes low self-esteem and establish healthy relationships.
By and large women's business relationships are very competitive. Where there is competition, there is separation. So I asked the Lord to show me how I could complete and not compete. 
Let me quick to say, I am not the completer, the Lord is, but He has used me to teach women how to see their value and to learn to love themselves right where they are. They don't have to stay there, but their journey does need to be one of love and not drivenness. 
Now once again I am at a crossroads where I can go into Director in Qualification. To be a director just enables me to reach even more women and share the Father's love, and it allows me to take some financial stress off of Ray. Lord knows he has carried more than his fair share these past 32 years.  I was in DIQ this time last year and failed. I have reviewed and repented for my goofiness. Once again I had shifted into drivenness, performance and competition. It did not honor the Father.
I was all set at the beginning of the month to "make it happen." Big pitfall- thinking it was all about me. Now the finish line looms ahead and I have to make some course corrections. 
Made a huge one this morning in our worship service. What a powerful service. There was a time of re-dedication (course correction). 
Then it became crystal clear. 
If I just worship Him, my heart, my motives will be pure. 
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south, but God is the judge; he putteth down one and setteth up another. Ps.75:6-7 
Then Pastor Anita asked, "Could you just pray praising Him without asking for a thing?" 
If I truly live this song, everything will be taken care of. My heart will be pure. His timing will be perfect. It is really comes down to am I willing to live a surrendered life?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Arise, Shine

As a teenager I was in Girls' Auxiliary and our verse was Arise, Shine for thy light has come (and the the glory of the Lord is upon you.)Isaiah 60:1 We said the first part, not the second.
The life happened.
 Over time I quit both arising and I quit shining even though Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world.
About five years ago, I looked up the word Arise and found it meant:

1) to rise, arise, stand, rise up, stand up
a) (Qal)
1) to arise
2) to arise (hostile sense)
3) to arise, become powerful
4) to arise, come on the scene
5) to stand
a) to maintain oneself
b) to be established, be confirmed
c) to stand, endure
d) to be fixed
e) to be valid
f) to be proven
g) to be fulfilled
h) to persist
i) to be set, be fixed
b) (Piel)
1) to fulfil
2) to confirm, ratify, establish, impose
c) (Polel) to raise up
d) (Hithpael) to raise oneself, rise up
e) (Hiphil)
1) to cause to arise, raise
2) to raise, set up, erect, build
3) to raise up, bring on the scene
4) to raise up, rouse, stir up, investigate
5) to raise up, constitute
6) to cause to stand, set, station, establish
7) to make binding
8) to carry out, give effect to
f) (Hophal) to be raised up
Wow! Why wasn't that taught? It doesn't mean get up and twinkle like a star. It means to get up and GIVE light.
For God so loved the world, He GAVE.
At a Mary Kay meeting recently, the Director played Firework by Katy Perry. Although truly a secular song, I thing it belt out the Great Commission. Even in my work as I go into qualification as a director, I want to ignite women to be all they were created to be.
If you have been sleepwalking through your life or worse yet, given up, I hope this song will ignite to be His Firework.

He Makes All Things Beautiful In His Time

I had spoken at a retreat sharing my story of how I was able to break loose from abuse. Many women who had also experienced abuse were set free that day. My heart sang.
After the conference we take a bus back home and gather with others who have experience the Cursillo weekend and we celebrate together. There my best friend, Mary, and my husband, Ray, met me. What a powerful time of celebration.
As we walked to the car, then and only then did they tell me that my father had fallen, was in the hospital and the prognosis was not good. Immediately we made the hour long drive.
I was tormented with the whys. Dad and I had made our peace. He had been my first abuser. Abuse opened by a spirit of victimization had been a way of life for 25 years. The man who was supposed to cover me and nurture me could not because he himself had never been covered nor nurtured.
Because I was able to forgive him and be free from my past, I was often asked to speak into other women's lives.
Now Daddy was dying. I wanted more time, more restoration.
He was in a coma when I arrived. I really didn't know what to do. So I began to talk to him. I told him about the women I had ministered to the day before and how God had taken the ugly and made something beautiful how of it. I told him that I loved him.
Then I just began to sing softly to him.
Tears trickled down his cheeks as I sang the following song.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bring Me Flowers While I Am Alive

It is disappointing when you have six children and several adult grandchildren and receive not even a birthday card except faithful Michael who saw to it that Sarah had one to give me. (Got FB posts instead. lol) Yet this year I WAS OKAY. I WAS NOT DERAILED. I am a good mother and Nana and if they choose not to acknowledge that on my birthday, well, frankly it means things more important on their plate.
One of the things the Lord had shown me this year is how I imprison people with my expectations. I expect people to do certain things and when they don't it is an open door for me to be bitter or my heart to be broken.
When I gave that up and recognized that Jer 29:11 says God knows the plans He has for them, NOT ME, a prison door opened.
It is like I have been protected in a bubble since Sunday.
The service Sunday closed with the Chuck Girard song, I Will and Ron told how he often sings songs to Jenny, his wife, who has Pick's disease. He has to do everything for her. I mean everything. He always has a good attitude about it. He told how he used to sing this song to her and she would smile. Then he asked them to play it again and imagine Jesus singing it to you. It says I will love you forever, and I will need you forever and I will want you forever til the end of time.
Well, I just melted. It carried me all day.
When I heard I need you forever, I heard I have plans for you forever.
Went to the dental lab Monday without an appointment and he completely rebuilt my partial for only $80. A replacement would have been $1500.
Monday I went to Amazon and ordered an Amazon MP3 download and listened to it over and over.
I have always been tormented because I moved up here and left my family even though I knew it was necessary for me to get well. I always thought about moving closer. Well, Monday I thought, WHY?"
My whole church family sang Happy Birthday to me. My family that I birthed did not. I live where I am celebrated. That nine years of torment is gone.
Tuesday I listened to it over and over until we went to Social Security and when the lady said we would get no check for three month,($3,000 loss of income) I heard the Lord singing in my heart, "I will love you forever, I will need you forever and I will want you forever til the end of time." I had complete peace.
Curstie brought Caitlin home and a cake she had baked for me. I thought that was so sweet.
I was singing that song as I got dressed for work this morning. As I walked across the deck to the car this morning, I thought of the Lawrence Welk show. (weird) I heard the cork pop and heard the Lord tell me (not audibly) to bring bubbles of joy today everywhere I go. I have never been happier.
Today someone asked Ray to look at some work but they had no money. He has probably done a thousand dollars worth for her already. Long story, short. he traded the work for a gas stove (our last light bill which is due Friday is $490) and a lap top. She was going to sell the stove for $200 and the laptop for $75. Home Depot had quoted her $800 so they were both happy.
"I will love you forever, I will need you forever and I will want you forever til the end of time."
These are presents that Ray could not have bought me for my birthday. But God could.
These are things that we had been praying about.
He has two moving jobs and a major window job coming in the next few months. They will net him no less than $1500 of the missing $3,000.
I think this whole mess is going to push me past my fears in Mary Kay and this is going to be my best month ever. The fear has been replaced with the Father's love. Plus I get to spill bubbles of joy all over them. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Once again this week I taught Unloving and it was with a new level of freedom. Something new has been birthed.
I saw that Isaiah 61:1 says the Spirit of the Lord IS upon me. Not it is going to be on me when I get everything right. It is on me NOW. I need to appropriate it.
Friday a friend called and said she would like to have a Birthday Tea for me at a new Tea Shop that had opened.
Fresh pink long stemmed roses were waiting for me. We wore hats and had the most delightful feast of tea treats from raspberry scones with lemon curd to chicken salad on a mini-croissant.
As I was leaving to go to the tea, my neighbor, Mary, asked me where I was going. I told her about the tea and invited her to come. She declined. Yet in the middle of our celebration, she walked in with a vase of fresh cut flowers.
This extemporaneous show of love was a precious ending to my birthday week. Friends gathered to celebrate my life. I left with gifts, cards and lots of flowers. Flowers I can enjoy now while I live the day set before me.
Take time to day to tell someone you love them even if you think they already know it.