Hello. October was all about the word Shine. So let me share what the mean it of the word emphasizes. To Shine means: To have significance: (the quality of being worthy of attention); the quality of being important. Synonyms of this special word are: to have heart, sense , understanding, force, or meaning.
I bet when you thought of Shining this wasn’t at the forefront of your mind, huh?
I chose a word that was a bit difficult to practice this month. Not because I couldn’t practice it, it was because I have to receive the word a bit differently. One of the things that caught me off guard was how much it takes to Shine… especially when you are not feeling the best.
Shining matters within, our personalities and out outer appearance, at times- and also on the outside of our lives: how we cherish moments with the special people in our lives. My momma always told me: “Actions speak louder than words.” The parts of our lives where no one notices – but you, your family and your children. It matters to them, it matters to God. That we let our “lights shine” no matter where we are, no matter what we are doing.
I’ve learned that wherever I am leaving a legacy of truth and discipline, hope, influence, purpose and good communication, those are places where I truly shine I also am shining where I am a positive and showing meaningful leadership. Where I care for others and remain positive, even when other around me, are not.
Where everyone in my life sped things up this weekend, I decided to slow it down. If I cannot hear myself for the sake of moving too fast, then I may need to turn the volume down. Am I taking time for that family member? Am I spending quality time with that loved one? Will this matter in five or ten years? Will it matter later this week? Just another positive way to think about whether “time” is mine, or it truly belongs to someone else.
Having had a birthday this past week, one of the things I am learning is to count the cost of everything… even the ones you miss. Sometimes the moments that matter most, are the ones you missed.
Why not slow it down, decided to do something different, make someone smile by choosing to do the one thing you normally would not have done, and bless them with the gift of time.
I am grateful for this month, because although I wasn’t feeling my best for most of the month, I took advantage of ‘ how I felt’, and instead of complaining , I made the most of it. And that involved shining, being grateful and giving thanks for what I have.
So when you slow it down this month, spend a little time reflecting on the Who, What, Where, Why and When… and even the “How” – ‘cause it all matters. Plan something very intentional, yet not work related. Take a Sabbath day. Change it up. Love on someone … Just because …and it will return unto you.
Share a few places where you’ve been shining lately very intentionally….
So… I remember a time in my life when I was really indecisive. I remember I was trying to please others so much, I forgot about myself. In that process, I made a lot of decisions that didn’t give much regard to my life, or emotional safety. What I wanted out of life, was on the back burner. I basically lived for the enjoyment and delight of someone else, because I thought that was how you show you love someone. I was so wrong. I had love all confused. And because of that, I had so much inner conflict, insecurity and so much doubt inside of myself. Discord was often in my relationships and I just had no peace with anyone, so I stayed away from people, mostly. As long as they were not talking about my life, then I was okay with them. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do and if they offered without my asking, then I was ready to run from them, even thoseclose to me, and who mean a lot to me. When you don’t have peace inside, everything you do or don’t do, feels like a mistake. You second guess yourself all the time, and you cannot trust your instincts. And when you ignore your instincts, man… you are in T-R-O-U-B-L-E! I operated in this way so often, I didn’t know who I was , or whether I was coming or going. That means I was lost. After a while, I became so hopeless, I just lost hope altogether. I was just existing. I apologized for everything, I had many qualms with people and the places where I was in life. I carried resentments and as a result, I was just plain miserable. I was annoyed to the point that accepting annoyance was how I lived. But I was so blind to this fact, I simply endured it. It became the norm. I was living with regret. When I looked up the word regret I found in the thesaurus these words: ” to prey on the mind…have a weight on the mind; leave an aching void.” That’s what regrets feels like. Sorrow, pain, hurt – all the time, and guilt. Growing up in an alcoholic family, I realized this was the norm for me, ( living with annoyances) which is why I didn’t recognize it when it occurred in a daily basis in my life and relationships. (I know, crazy… right?) But we do this, because we tend to go with what’s familiar and yet become so comfortable with it, we consider it to be normal? How does this happen? You recognize you were annoyed and miserable, yet every single day you find comfort with it? I think deep down inside I knew I was miserable, but I didn’t want to admit it. I was living with a denial and a numbness that honestly, felt very good, because if I didn’t have to acknowledge it, then I thought it was not bothering me. But then, after 11 years of depression, it finally caught up with me. I was at my wits end.My mental health took a toll on me and I knew I had to change something. One day my spirit cried out to God, and revealed I was living with sorrow. I had much so much REGRET about the situations I found myself in life, the decisions I had made and I was suffering from so much sorrow. I was sad about my life and I felt trapped. I felt responsible for things I wasn’t even responsible for. The adults in my life blamed me and I took on their issues and their grief to the point, I had no resolve, no contentment and no harmony in my life. It took a lot to admit I was sad. I was really depressed and I had chosen to live like that for several years. Living in regret. I remember one morning I spent the entire morning with God in prayer on my back porch. I was angry, bitter and I was hurting. I was also very stubborn and God used a lot of my grief to help me to recognize some of the things I held on to were because of pride. I remember crying out to God with so much pain and telling God I was ‘fed up’ and I wanted a new life, and new hope, and a new way of being and doing. As I sat there, I had a vision in my head of the image of the woman in the Bible with whom they cast stones . (John 8) These people brought her to Jesus to be condemned. Jesus response to her accusers was to write on the ground. No one knows what Jesus wrote. But her accusers all left after Jesus wrote on the ground. He then said : “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” I envisioned Jesus as I sat on my porch (with my eyes closed); write in the ground for me. As He wrote, He basically wrote some things that only I saw, of course. But what he wrote reminded me of what He desired for me to have.His promises. I saw that He had much greater intention for me to have good, in my life. I believe it was like that with her accusers, as well. What was important was not what He wrote, but what He said and how what he said, made me feel. I didn’t feel sorrowful any longer, I was no longer troubled, I was no longer hurting and burdened deeply with regret, and I became decisive. I knew instantly that I deserved more, I wanted more and that I could have more; and I made the decision to do it. John 8:7, 10,11 “But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” NASB Jesus dealt with this woman with such tenderness and grace, that she was in awe. All the accusers surrounding her also were also surprised, but they must have understood, because they left too. If we condemn ourselves, with LIVE WITH REGRET. My relationship with God has taught me I am not worthy of punishment for the decisions I have made.That’s why he died for us. Once I repent, ask God for help, receive it, then move on. then comes release. Just like it did for the woman in John 8. This is very important. It’s necessary for living with a clear conscious. That day on my back porch, I contended with Jesus, in my soul . But I learned three things after my wrangling with God: 1. I had to let go of my past. 2., I couldn’t live in the condemnation, because if I did, I would accept the guilt and regret from my past. 3. I learned I had to move on, because HE didn’t condemn me, and so I had to stop condemning myself. 4. I had to forgive myself. When you cannot forgive yourself, you don’t remember to be kind, nurturing and self-loving. You forget to forgive yourself. It took years for me to forgive myself for things in my past, even after I made a decision to live a better life and leave those things behind I knew I was worth more, I knew I deserved more, but it didn’t make me leave the situation or change anything. Here’s what made the difference: accepting God’s forgiveness and allowing His love for me to redeem me. For me, this was what unraveled the love confusion. I learned that if I accepted God’s love first and allowed this to be my foundation for loving others and BEING LOVED… then I would be alright. Once I was certain God has forgiven me and wanted more for me, I began to move towards freedom, and I never looked back. I fond resolve. But I have to give God my regrets. People are often amazed by how much peace I seem to have. Let me tell you, I am not perfect. I still struggle, even. And although I have peace , now… It took a very long time to get here. After I got through the muck and the mess of my own regrets, I was able to stand again on my own two feet. Of course, some of the way, God carried me to be honest. But I made it to the other side. Now that I am here, it ‘s pertinent I tell the story of how I made it here, so others could be set free as well. Amen & Selah.
Where does your insight come from? I’d venture to say mine comes from asking questions I’m naturally curious . I tend to ask questions to understand better.
My mom says I would in the past, come in the house from playing, ask her a question, then run right back outside.
That was me.
It’s because I’m always thinking.
Being insightful requires that we be intuitive human beings. I believe innately we all have a desire to understand the hard things in life.
We use questions to help us think clearly. We consider…and then we make decisions. For a very long time, I did not make decisions. I chose not to. Because I was too afraid. I decided that if I made a decision someone would suffer, and most likely that would be someone I loved. And of course, it would be me, so I just didn’t. Yet not deciding , was deciding.
History: I was in a relationship where I wasn’t treated very well, and I chose to stay. I did think of leaving …more than once. Yet I suffered. I decided the day I made the decision to move on, that I would not be in a relationship again until I knew “who I was”, in that relationship. Because I had gone so long in this relationship without an identity. So long… and didn’t change anything about myself. How crucial it was, to own my soul. Every time I gave my soul away, I would give away a piece of myself. I decided that I would work on changing myself, and start dreaming. I wrote down on a piece of paper all the things that were wrong. It turns out , those things were the things that hurt me the most, and had begun to leave scars. So I needed to leave, in order to no longer be treated that way.
And so I did. The day I chose to leave, I believe my destiny began to be released. I began to “feel andbe ” happier in my everyday life. I felt a weight lift off of my chest. I began to smile more, and care less about the person who hurt me, and more about myself first; because for the first time I saw surprise in their eyes. They couldn’t predict my actions. And that was good stuff. And that surprise to me was a sign I was doing something right. So, I began to move along and do more out of the box – selfish, yet self-loving acts.
Before I left the relationship, I was really meditating on hearing my spirit more, and one of the phrases I heard often was: “Take care of the God in you.” The God in me, was loving, caring full of strength, love and full consideration of how to love others back in a righteous way, and that, I wanted to model for others, and for my children, one day as well. I began to keep my ears keen for people who demonstrated the same kind of love for me, and on the weekend of October 14th, 2005, I heard it. It as very keen, and it was exactly what I was looking for. Although l really didn’t expect it so soon. A man I didn’t know very well, (yet considered a friend from a leadership event a year before) , began to speak to my heart. We talked for hours that weekend. And it was as if every moment was absorbed through my ears, into my skin, my intuition, and straight into my heart. He spoke to my worth. That honorable and distinguished man became my husband. All of the junk and the misconceptions and lies were washed out of my brain and my head was clear enough to hear it.
I decided that day, I would begin a new journey to loving me, because I knew once I began to truly love myself, I would feel completely deserving o my own good. And even when opportunities presented, I would find them to grace my life with complete favor.
Insight involves three beautiful life-changing factors:
Intuition. Intuition is described as :“the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”There are some issues we experience in life, we just know. We don’t know ‘how we know, but like my former pastor in Texas used to say:“We just know it in our knower.” I have collected and meditated even, upon this thought over and over when I needed to make a the right decision, and depending upon my “knower” was always what held me upright and allowed me to keep my head up – without shame, in the end.
Knowledge.Knowledge because it takes the sifting of what we learn via our intuition, to help us move forwards without disgrace. and move forward with our heads held high in confidence we are moving in the right direction.
Understanding. Understanding is like to icing on the cake. Once you have a good taste of it, it helps sort of stays with you and gives you that” forever-flavor’ in life. If you have forever” flavor”, you have wisdom. The Bible says ” The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” ESV. It also tells us to even not rely on our own understanding. I have seen far too many rely on it, and fall back on shame. And often disgrace, for a lifetime.
When you don’t have these three awesome factors, you fall upon inexperience, naivete’ you become neglectful, it effects your reputations and you become really insensitive towards others. I used to always pray for God to keep me humble, Sometimes I believe the results of those prayers today are embedded in my character, with insight, because I listened within, and I heard myself speak in my heart, as well as my soul.
I prompt you today:
To LISTEN to yourself. Remind yourself constantly of what you believe in, and then… walk it out.
As long as it protects your thought life, your reputation, your spirit, and your life hold on to what you believe!
When was the last time you listened to someone else before yourself, and how much did it cost you?