“Oh The Places You Will Go… “

There is no journey, quite like the one we go on, when we decide to explore ourselves. ~M. Clonch

Deep thoughts!

There have been moments in my own life that would completely boggle the mind of most people. You see, I know that for a fact as I’m the one that has made these decisions and sometimes I’m even perplexed as to how I could have made such decisions. I have led my life with my feelings mostly in charge of the reigns. If it seemed that it could meet expected, desired results, then I would agree to do certain things. This led to some impulsive and downright selfish behaviors. Now, I’m sure most people would say they have done things in their own life that they aren’t proud of. If SHAME were a bed & breakfast I booked myself a room there and stayed inside the executive suite, brewing shame & self loathing for several days, & at the very worst of it, I’ve stayed months & months. I think the cleaning lady finally came along & kicked me out. 😂

I’m also the cleaning lady!

I am guilty of staying at this place several times, and still, I am guilty of revisiting the entrance to this place from time to time. When I maintain self-awareness, I can simply observe quickly of the mental place I have arrived and decide it’s not where I want to be. Understand that something should be learned in this moment and then simply move along further on the journey. One could also succumb to the alternative & just book an extended stay at the “I Hate Me Hotel” and wallow in self-hate. The option is always there, but you must realize the final decision is always YOURS.

We have all been here! (Side note: I’m lactose intolerant, so in my experience, ice cream just creates more problems. It doesn’t fix them.)

I choose to be in a state of constant motion, not so much a physical state of motion, but I keep my brain active. It’s best not to book a long stay at the “I Hate Me Hotel!” So if I find myself at the entrance & if you accidentally find yourself here, this is my advice; Step 1) realize you are about to check in to the worst place ever & then request an early checkout. Know that there will never be refunds, and it will cost you dearly if you choose to stay. Step 2) Take note of the path you took to get here, and avoid that path. It was only meant to be traveled once. There is no need to return.

“Oh! I’m the one driving this thing!”

Hopefully, by this point we are both envisioning the “I Hate Me Hotel” as this run down hotel, that kind of resembles a haunted house. It needs a lot of TLC, and everything about it is dark and uninviting. I’ve learned that this place physically exists in our minds. Personally, I know that my mind at times can be very dark, a self-deprecating place. This place can speak awful things about ya the entire duration of your stay, and one should never expect to have any fun while staying there.

Who booked this trip?

I’ve also discovered a lovely place, we will call this place “Peaceful Retreat” this can be a place of deep self- love, self-forgiveness, intense joy and appreciation, oh yeah and sarcasm. Yes, sarcasm- this is one of my most refined personality traits. It has to be included at the “Peaceful Retreat”!!!! 😂

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Throughout my personal journey and experience with these “places” we can stop in & stay, this I have learned. YOU must agree to stay there. No one is forcing you and no one can rescue you from it, except YOU! If you learn how to identify these internal points of interest, you can discover new routes that may help you avoid the traffic jam (depressive state) all together.

No GPS for personal journeys, sorry!

I have learned to recognize the places I travel regularly, my husband calls this my patterned behavior. In all my years, it seems the only routine I was sticking with was killing me on the inside. Now when I arrive at these “points of interest” I ask myself, “do I really want to stay here? And at such a high price?” Fully aware that if I choose to stay in that place it will tear me down internally first, then it will promote havoc externally. Knowing that this mental state only aims to tear me down or mentally wreck me, makes it much easier to now say… “umm no! Not today Satan! I don’t want to feel bad about who I am.”

There is much power in knowing who you are!

Ok, so what does this all mean? Discovering yourself and going on an internal journey. First off, the journey can take years, so pack a bag that will help you stay prepared for anything. You won’t realize all the difficult terrain you will come across. I suggest throwing in a few people that you know you can trust & that can help you along the way with some external insights & brutal honesty.

Enjoy the journey, you are the guide, you are the amusement, you are everything. { “I” am not in your journey, but “YOU R”! }~M.Clonch

You R!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope I have helped you recognize something about where you might currently be in your journey and that your next destination completely relies on you!

My journey has currently taken me in a direction that allows the stronger and more beautiful parts of who I am to shine, and this light helps me see more clearly of who I hope to become. pray that my journey is a long one! Check out Www.TheEmeraldGypsy.com to see my current point of interest. I’m loving it, I’m not the greatest at it yet, but I’m giving myself the opportunity to try to be. Love and peace to all! Stay Safe!

TheEmeraldGypsy.com

Falling in Love With My Authentic Self…

Every year, I find myself evaluating my life’s journey as my birthday approaches. This year will be the last year in my thirties. I don’t think 40 is that old, now that I’m sitting so terribly close to it. I look at all the things I have experienced over the last 300+ days of my 38th year and try to evaluate all the ways I could have been a better person, while quietly celebrating the times I am sure I did my very best.

Looking back I see the mountains I have had to overcome.

Dissolving the lens I once used to look at myself, helped to initiate a sudden series of revelations. Removing this lens allowed an opportunity to meet my true self. At first, I began to see who I had always been. The innocence that I thought I had lost, resurfaced, reminding me that it had never left. The curiosity, I used when exploring my world as a child, gained intensity. The biggest inner transformation occurred when I decided to accept all of my mistakes.

Mistakes are allowed!

I mean all of my mistakes, the big ones, the small ones, the consistent mistakes, and my future mistakes. I forgave myself with the most simple of intentions. I recognized that I was already forgiven, the only living soul without sin, the man with a flawless record, had not only forgiven me, he painfully & selflessly sacrificed his body without deserving any of it. He took my lashings, he bled for me. He wept for me. He died for me.

Worthy of this kind of love & sacrifice.

If he could forgive me, then it would be a “perfect” thing for me to also forgive my past transgressions as well as any future transgressions. I thought deeply about his physical sacrifice, the pain he endured on my behalf. All so that I could be saved, and instead of choosing to live within this gift of eternal blessings, I was choosing to live in the physical pain of sin. He knew long before you & I were ever born that ALL humans would need this absolute forgiveness. I started chipping away the deception I had lived in most of my life. The idea that I wasn’t enough. A lie! The idea that I was not created with a purpose. A lie! The idea that I was set to live out the path my mother had cleared for me. A lie! The idea that I couldn’t be a messenger for God because of my sins. A lie! The idea that my soul was lost or confused. A lie! I began to rebuke the lies. I began to tell myself the truth. I began to love myself, not in a selfish way, but in the way I could finally see my soul as not being perfect, but as a soul that was formed and yet still worthy of His only son’s sacrifice. You are worthy of forgiveness and that was why such a huge sacrifice was necessary, a perfect sacrifice for a multitude of sins.

Covering a multitude of sin…

With a large dose of truth & pure light I began to forgive myself… I noticed that I was no longer just a blossom, but a beautiful bouquet of self-love.

I will write my own story.

This past year has awakened me in more ways than I ever thought possible. Each day bringing new & welcomed challenges, as well as a new level of self-awareness. Becoming self-aware unlocked some deeply buried potential. This higher-level of awareness began to absolve the negative lens I had used to view my life. Looking back now, I can clearly see that this had been the singular lens in which I had been looking through while trying to find purpose in my life. It is difficult to find your truth and your purpose when the view is covered in lies (the negative lens).

Vision blurred by deception.

I became acutely aware of boundaries I had permitted to be crossed and broken, I became aware of my detachment from the meaningful parts of life, and learned of the places in which to apply necessary boundaries. I searched myself for all the pain and injury from my past that I had allowed to reside in my spirit, and began to write eviction notices. I had carried them all for far too long. Childhood trauma, you can leave! You are evicted. I don’t need you. I can take care of myself now, as well as I take care of my own children. (This required a lot of forgiveness and a huge release of carried resentment that I felt as it physically detached from my spirit.) I grieved each time I evicted past injuries. I had to intentionally set aside time to forgive the people that I felt had taken advantage of my kindness, my innocence, my goodness! I had found that I had subconsciously held onto this pain for most of my adult life as justification for my own errors. I had been living life like some sort of weary traveler, loaded down with negative feelings, thoughts and emotions.

In moments of despair, remember you are already saved!

I now have a greater understanding of myself & that there will always be things that I encounter that I will try to hold onto, and I can at times be better served by just relenting my control. If you are like me, you may try to control most things in your life, so to release this control can be very challenging. Learning to let things go can be a painful exercise, understanding that we are unable to direct specific or certain outcomes can be comparable to cutting off one’s own leg. I had to figure out where my ability to change things began/ended. The moment I became aware of myself and the parameters of my influence. I began to better understand and give proper respect to the outermost boundaries of my influence. This helped me relinquish the control I once held onto so tightly. A firm grip is not long lasting. My firm grip would soon lead to the loss of any type of grip allowing moments for everything to spiral out of control. I’d find myself completely exhausted, waking among the aftermath of the storm, I had created.

Aftermath…

I didn’t know how to find me, and instead of broadening my search, I kept looking in the same old places. I kept looking for me in other people. No one knew what I was looking for or that I had felt I had been a missing person. It was easier not to explain my search… not to ask who they thought I was? Secretly, I would search my surroundings and people I had been around to find what I alone had been hiding. Who am I? What did I want? What was my purpose?

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For the longest time I couldn’t distinguish between the things I’d done to please others versus what I actually wanted. I know I’ve made decisions in the past prescribing to a life that is better for everyone. These decisions however wise, left me feeling proud and yet confused. Some passing moments or events would cause me to question my motives. It was only when I would seek the stillness and the quiet that I could realize my purpose. I’d realize my heart. Some memories swirl tirelessly there. Kept guarded internally, so I can keep them safe. The heart/soul, is a vast container of all that is good, it holds everything that is dear, it also contains and provides love.

My mind can often be confused by the sacrificing of self, (My flesh). It is only when we have removed the flesh can we discover our spirit. My soul will seek to understand His will, my self will seek to understand my own will. When I relinquish control now I do so confidently knowing that my purpose is to fulfill His will and not my own. Remarkably, with this understanding you realize nothing brings greater spiritual fruit. My own happiness grows through acknowledging my spiritual purpose. Love Abides in me and I am in Love with who “I Am”!

🥳 39 years young!

Praying for peace during these uncertain times! Remember, you belong, you have a purpose and know that you are loved! Thanks for reading!

Recipe:People Pleaser, Yields 1

www.youtube.com/watch

After watching the above YouTube video the following thoughts emerged. As I continue on my journey of self acceptance and self love… I dig much deeper into my childhood and realize now that there are very specific details that helped make me into a “super people pleaser!”

Want to know how one becomes a “super people pleaser?” Here is a short list of things that I have personally identified as common things people may have experienced or endured, which increases the likelihood of becoming a super people pleaser.

Ingredient #1] stress on the mother during pregnancy. This is said to release more cortisol levels for the unborn child. (Some have also said that this can create emotional disregulation because the unborn child is receiving too much of that stress hormone in utero that it literally messes with the design of the brain.)

Ingredient #2] place him/her in an environment that is strict and also stingy with positivity.

My mom and dad… What a long story. First of all, bless their hearts. I know that they were doing their best! I can honestly say that now after being a parent now for over a decade, & looking back at my mistakes in parenting. It’s not an easy job. Anyone that says otherwise is in denial. Trust me!

Ingredient #3] praise the child only when they do exactly what you want them to do.

Growing up I was constantly told to listen. I grew up with a very authoritative dad & my mom was just enough of an authoritarian that whatever she demanded, we delivered. She made sure that we listen to her and that we weren’t allowed to have our own opinions on things like food or clothing, anything really. We were always told “you’ll take what you can get & like it.” A seriously dangerous mantra from my childhood, and I just realized this is the reason I have a hard time making decisions for myself now in my 38th year of life. Doing what I want to do seems like an action for royalty, not me. If you treat your children like peasants they will expect bread crumbs, but will settle for any piece of the crust when it is presented. It will not matter if it is their piece of the pie or not they just want more than crumbs. They want to believe that they are worth more than crumbs. This idea that they aren’t able to make decisions for themselves leaves them listening to others needs and wants while suppressing their own. Ignoring the voice that makes them unique and authentic. This idea that they are unable to access this voice and be heard has been ingrained into their brain as if to know that the voice/desire to have what they want is there, but it is out of order. The child continues through life looking to everyone else for the answers and listening to “these so called answers” even to their own demise. Because their core value or belief of who they are rests on the belief that “you are only a good kid if you do what you are told.”

Well that was enlightening. Illuminating for myself even.

2020 has been quite the ride. We have been diligently working on remodeling our home. We are nearing completion and have redone every room of the house. I will be posting photos soon of all the changes. I will be very happy to complete this huge project, it has been a difficult one.

Happy Holidays everyone! I’m praying for a peaceful 2021!

Saving The Floor & Foundation…

On Friday, I was forced to work from home, reasons beyond COVID. The building where we have classes had to shut off the water… plumbing issues. Hopefully they will have it all figured out by Monday.

What the east hallway looked like.

So we did what we always do… we press on! Understanding the difficulties and adapting to overcome those difficulties.

I don’t think masks are necessary over Zoom. Better safe than sorry! Gotta love those Aloe Vera plants! The cure to almost any ailment!

Teaching on Fridays, normally plays out with me in my classroom, students joining me on Zoom at 9:00 to attend class. We have our Distance Learning instruction, they can ask for assistance, and then I distribute assignments. The rest of the afternoon is for planning and entering data. I love Fridays at work. But this past Friday that didn’t happen. We managed to have class, but the enjoyable afternoon I normally have didn’t happen. Instead, I came home to a construction zone with tons to do.

Taken during construction… 🙁

I’m dead tired. Friday night we were up until 6am. Saturday up until 1am. We have tons left to do. I hope I can handle it.

Here I am… a little overwhelmed.

I’ll post the after photos as soon as new floor is in. I’m looking forward to the redesign aspect of this job though. I love looking at how amazing something can potentially be. Pray for us! This stuff is hard work.

How I Define LOVE…

I heard this week on a YouTube Channel that “Love is not an emotion or a feeling, but just the lack of hate.”  It was something I couldn’t let go of.  I kept the thought rotating on the spit in my mind like a huge chicken roasting on a rotisserie… A chicken I had just named LOVE.  Thinking, oh when I am done roasting this thought, it will taste so good for all who choose to eat with me.

The thing is the longer I think of it, ponder on it, the more love I feel.  The longer I get lost in my memories, the more I am directed to moments that I received care, received compassion and forgiveness.  These are all actions that have made me feel loved.  How do I show love?  Do I show love to myself, and do those I do love know that I love them?  Is love sacrifice?  Is love pain?  Is love just good feelings and happy thoughts?  Is love tears of joy or sadness? What if it were more simply described for all of us?  I can sum it up in three words.

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I believe I can be a caring person, a forgiving and compassionate person.  Can I be those things to someone who irritates, frustrates, or ignites anger in me?  Why do some people cause us to react negatively?  If I am a loving person, can I react like that to anyone?  I have to be accepting of everyone, no matter their background, political affiliation, educational level, financial situation, no matter what.  I have to accept everyone to show love.  So if I am to love everyone, I must hold judgement of everyone?  I must accept each and every person on this planet in order to LOVE.  I have to love murderers, and rapists, and pedophiles, and hookers, and white supremicist, and terrorists and even the boogie man, I have to accept ALL?  Oh my! No wonder there is so much hate in the world.  It is so much easier to judge and only accept the things we like in others.  What if we could heal all of those things with LOVE.  Thinking of this creates a nice picture and maybe my internal drive of perfection is taking over, but doesn’t it take you to a utopia?

Want to know love?  If God is love, here is the description of LOVE. Sounds like an unachievable perfection, doesn’t it?

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Anyone that has lived longer than 5 years has experienced an unloving moment, has learned not to trust, not to hope, to be rude, to be impatient, to tell a lie.  We were all born with a root of evil and a spirit of love.  How do we release ourselves with this entangled root of evil.  Where do we find the ability to release it from ourselves.  We have to know GOD.  I know most of us that chose to go to Vacation Bible School when we were younger or maybe even forced to go; had to learn a scripture.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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If I dissect this one scripture, I can discover so much.  I have repeated it so many times in my life, and yet I have never actually looked at the scripture as a key to living forever.  “The WORLD” = each of us!  All of our sins, our misconducts, our flaws, all of us.  Every single one of us make up THE WORLD. He LOVES us (the world) so much that he sacrificed perfection, for us.  His SON = perfection.  The only perfect being ever made was sacrificed for our messed up, imperfect lives.  Once we believe in LOVE, we have EVERLASTING LIFE?  Wait, what?  What does it all mean?  He should have chosen quality over quantity, right?  We do! What am I missing, what have I been missing?

If God can give up his most beloved and perfect masterpiece, what is holding me back?  I want to love and yet I can’t even get over myself.  My insecurities keep me fearful.  I can’t speak the truth, afraid of others reactions.  I have built a prison and I should be living free in the spirit.  His Spirit.  Even now while I am mulling all of this over while I am writing I am considering the responses I might get from people who might label me a bible thumper, religious freak.  Honestly, I consider that an insult.  I believe in God, but don’t categorize me as one of THOSE people.  Look there it is, that ROOT.  Rearing it’s ugly head again.   I know everyone has an opinion.  Maybe we shouldn’t!  Once we require an opinion we should pray for the Spirit to lead us to the correct one.  I know that this sounds a bit like the rantings of a lunatic, but what if they aren’t?  What if they are from Him, and he is using some misfit teacher who has failed multiple times in marriage and who has had to fight to keep everyone that is close to her as a messenger of LOVE.  WTH?  I can’t even believe I just wrote that.

My brother and I throw ideas, revelations, scriptures back and forth to each other; through text messages.  He sent me one that said, “Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.  Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.  For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.”  I bring this up because I began writing a blog to vent my thoughts and to help others that might be experiencing life the same way.  I kept looking for something to make me feel better, something to make me look better, something to make me appear perfect.  All of those things were selfish and my actions were coming from the root of sinful self-interest.  I watered that root until it had nearly taken hold of every fiber of my being.  I saw nothing wrong with my endeavors, nothing wrong with what I was seeking.  It was for a better me!  Society tells us that is what we should all be doing.  “Don’t stop yourself, indulge!”  “BUY MORE! LIVE MORE! BE MORE!”

My message is this, That root of sinful self-interest can never get enough and it has been planted inside each of us.  Have you ever actually dug a root out of the ground.  It is quite the job.  It is not like we can just find it and pluck it out.  We must work it out, and realize why it had been planted there in the first place.  Without it, we wouldn’t have the need to look for LOVE.  I still don’t know how to rid myself of the thoughts or the shameful places this “root” takes me, but I know I can no longer feed it.  I must acknowledge that it is there and find the spirit that is of LOVE and water & feed it, to show this “root” there is no longer any room for it to dwell inside of me.

Do you know why I must accept this “root?”  If I can’t find it in myself to accept who I am and understand what I am capable of, and love myself in spite of all of that, my love for others is only coming from a place that only serves my self-interest.  I am only loving so that I may be loved.  I have to forfeit that idea of romantic love. My ideas of fairy tales can not be my description of love.  I must accept all the parts of who I am, the dark and gloomy parts, the weak and scared parts, the indulgent and insecure parts or I will never be able to have love for others.  It will all be artificial.  Be real with yourself!

I have heard from several people in my life that I am not judgmental.  Immediately, when I hear this I think… “Yeah, I know I don’t want others to judge me so I don’t judge others.”  People living in sinful self-interest, can’t handle shame.  I didn’t want to impart my honest remarks on how others chose to live their life, what if they decided to be honest about my choices.  That would bring shame and that would hurt my feelings.  My precious ego wouldn’t be able to survive.  Can we grow without honesty?  I think I cleared that up last week.  I believe no growth can occur without honesty.  Love rejoices in the truth. Start LOVING this week by being HONEST with yourself and be led by the SPIRIT, not grounded by the ROOT of sinful self-interest.  Teach others that it is ok to love the messy and messed up.  BE the change this world needs to see by spreading truth,   without judgment.239b2aeb45415859920af6834f9b22e6

My definition of love is this…  It is releasing your needs, and helping others.  It is accepting the mistakes and misfortunes of others.  Love is not about YOU, it is about His Spirit.  His Spirit is in each of us, so when we accept that we are all imperfect yet truly loveable, we are truly loving ourselves.

Do not SEEK love my friends, seek to TEACH everyone where it can be found.  We all have it, someone might need to water and nurture it a bit more than others.  I will leave you with this to think of as well.  A bit of wisdom spoken by my dad a few days ago.  When asked “What is the cause of human suffering?”  My dad said, “It’s real simple, we must love our neighbor!”  I think the world needs a refresher course on what love is, then we need to show love to each other.  Love does meet the requirements of a four letter word.  But this word isn’t dirty or shameful, it isn’t evil or self-seeking.  It is a word we all need to become better acquainted with, and it is a word that should most definitely be felt by each of us.  It should be felt growing inside each of us.

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Have a great day! Love, Michelle

How Comfortable Are We With Honesty?

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Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

How many times have you been in a conversation that ended up in an argument because one of you was just honest? I have had many conversations recently where I had to hear truth, I mean hard to swallow, HONESTY! I felt like saying, “keep those things to yourself and lie to me.” My ego may be just a bit too fragile. I can add here that anything that is negative sounding honesty I say the person is just being mean, because I have an internal struggle with portraying perfection. I really had to take a good long look at myself and understand that while the truth is hard to hear, this is where growth happens. I know the difference of being mean and being honest. The person that told me these things was not trying to be mean. They wanted me to look at things from their perspective. Empathy is not a strength for a person that has BPD. Their is a liberating feeling that comes from accepting the truth about who you are, then realizing people do exist in the world that will love you for ALL that you are!

I have had to hear that I am “selfish, deceptive, cold, cruel, heartless, not able to love, irresponsible, unreliable, impulsive, brash, blunt, a procrastinator, unaware of myself and unable to see how my actions affect others, and last but not least, crazy.”   I have also heard all of these things from one person, my husband.  He has been with me for 11 years, he knows me.  He would surely give me an accurate description of who I am, right?  An honest description of how he views me.  I can accept these things now, before accepting my disorder, I would try to defend these things about myself. Who wants to be seen like this?  I will tell you… No one, we all try to show the pretty side of ourselves to the world.  Our “Parade-ready, big smiles and incessant waving” self for the world and save the “Messy bed-head, no make-up, sweat-pants wearing” self for those closest to us.

I can not change these things unless I first accept that these are things that are also in my toolbox.  I can be selfish, deceptive, cruel, heartless, not able to love, irresponsible, unreliable, impulsive, brash, blunt, a procrastinator, unaware of myself and unable to see how my actions affect others, and last but not least, crazy.”  Just because I can be like this, doesn’t mean that I have to be.  The other side of this truth is that I have heard that I can be the most fun-loving person, too friendly at times, too trusting, non-judgmental, hilarious, imaginative, creative, and full of potential, I have been told that I am a great teacher, a great writer, a wonderful wife and mother, a good person.  I want to think these are the only things that people experience of me.  The truth is, it’s not.  If you have known me for some time you have seen the bright shiny parade, and you have also seen the dark and gloomy, couch potato.  img_0395

Of course we love having people tell us what we want to hear about ourselves.  To only reflect our “parade-ready” selves to help add layers of protection to our egos.  If you don’t have someone in your life to put aside the bull-shit and give you the full list of how they see you, I don’t imagine you will ever grow or evolve from the person you are now.  If you have someone in your life that can speak honestly about all that they see in you, tell them Thank You!  They are helping you become who you were meant to be.  I am writing this and thinking at the very same time that I have not been very thankful for honesty in my life.  I have been so good at deceiving others and had relied on the power of creating my own truth for so long that I have been depriving the world of who I truly am, plain and simply put… I can be ME and you can be YOU!  Enjoy looking into your tool box and picking out the best tools for the job you have ahead of you today.  You are the creator of your daily masterpiece, what will you create? Please remember that honesty works both ways, share your honesty with others not to impede their growth.

The old saying goes “Only a true friend would be that honest!”  I have been the topic of much gossip in the town where I live now, and my little hometown. Obviously the choices I have made in life, my journey including my mistakes have made my life quite juicy with erotic undertones and misunderstood obstacles.  The better the gossip king/queen, I assume the more my name has passed through their lips.  I know that my life may be interesting, but let me be a true friend today and tell you this.  If you aren’t accepting your own truths about your life and all the flaws that make you who you are, don’t attempt to share anyone else’s.  That is all!  Life is too short to only focus on the negative parts of our journey, learn your lessons and move on.  The struggles that lie ahead await your new found strength.  Let this be a lesson to others, that I have had to learn the hard way.  Be a true friend, everyday… and be the truest of friends to yourself!

This post was motivated by the last two weeks of my life and a couple of conversations I have had with some friends. I haven’t stopped writing, I just stopped writing in my blog to work on a life-long dream of writing a book. The words just started flowing the other day and I didn’t want it to stop. I have made it to the start of Chapter 3 with only 50 more chapters to write. I can’t wait to complete this project, one that I have always wanted to accomplish. I am a person that has always loved to get lost in books, and could travel to other parts of the world through pages in a book. I hope to provide this sort of travel to my future readers. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have received something from my words today.

I honestly hope you all have a wonderful day!

Baseball & It’s Lessons – “Little League Version”

My boy had a baseball game the other day.  They lost to a really good team.  The boys as young boys do, made mistakes.  It isn’t uncommon for them to do this.  They are learning and mistakes are great teachers.  The pitcher, one of the boys that has been with the team since it started, was on the mound.  He was doing so well.  Then after one player gets on base, his head starts to lower.  His normally healthy confidence starts to diminish a bit. My thoughts… “So what, he walked a player.” The game continues. Yells from the crowd, “You got this!  Keep your head up!” can be heard.  He throws a strike.  The crowd rewards his immediate resiliency.  He continues to pitch.  The team played hard and still came up short.  My son cried, other team mates cried.  Not from losing the game, but because of mistakes and shortcomings.  This is not a time for tears boys.  Learning is happening.

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I always ask my son to rate his performance after a game.  I ask him, “did you feel you gave it a 100%.”  He is always so honest.  He will say “maybe 85% or 90%.”  I then ask, “What is stopping you from giving 100%.  He sometimes tells me the mistakes he made that he could have reacted quicker to avoid the mistake.  Umm, yeah… Maybe!  Or just realize that these type of things happen and that we aren’t perfect.  We aren’t always going to hit a homer or get amazing plays.  Sometimes the ball just bounces out of our gloves or we trip in an attempt to snatch the ball and make an out.

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If you showed a highlight reel of my life it might appear that I have everything going great.  Add in the real elements… The blooper reel, and now you see that I am just a person trying to figure out the game.  I may be going at it giving anywhere from 85-100%, but there are some things out of our control.  I have to remind myself of this when watching my little guy play ball.  He isn’t always going to perform the way that I know he can.  The important thing is that he realizes that even after a mistake, life goes on.  It is what we take from the mistake that forces change in our lives.

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Even though not everyday will be a grand slam, I know that I can do my part to contribute to my team (my family)  If all I can do that day is cheer.  I will do my best to cheer them on.  If I can make a play that helps us win, I make the play.  If I mess up and start thinking that the team would be better off without me… I will listen to the words from the crowd that day… “You got this! Keep your head up!”

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I love watching my son play baseball and I am excited and encouraged by his growth in this sport.  If he doesn’t play professional baseball someday, it will not hurt my feelings.  I know that this sport has already taught us both so much.

THUNDER UP BABY!  I love our team!

PHOTO CREDIT – All photos besides the selfie were taken by the coach’s wife! She did an amazing job and I love all the images she captured. Thank you Esther!

What causes your SOUL to catch FIRE?

Cold is uncomfortable it causes people to tremble and shake when it is felt at extreme low temperatures. There is a need for the body to find a source of heat, our bodies create heat to sustain a normal temperature of 98.6 degrees. It does this by shivering, this occurs when your body falls as little as one degree below its usual core temperature, which is normally around 98 degrees. When this happens, a part of your brain called the hypothalamus lets your muscles know that they need to start moving in order to generate heat. Have you taken your spiritual temperature. Are you freezing, are you warm or comfortable, or are you on fire and creating warmth for others to feel?

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FEED THE FIRE

Psalm 39:3

Inward Fire

My heart was hot within me, While I was musing the fire burned; Then I spoke with my tongue:

musing- in one definition it is called meditation, and in another it is described as complaint.

So I think this scripture could use a bit of interpretation and can mean one of two things. We begin to burn either through meditation and quiet time with ourselves and God, seeking a place of transcendence beyond the earthly realm in our spiritual environment. Then we should speak of the outcomes. Or it could be interpreted as burning inside by reason of injustice and feeling the need to complain. I feel that this is something most people are better at, and the other interpretation takes more time to learn and practice.

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I find myself complaining about a lot of things throughout the day. “Ugh, I have to do dishes, I have to do laundry, I have to get dressed to leave the house, I have to pick up my child’s toys. I know, I know… I shouldn’t complain so much. I should seek more time in meditation instead of complaint. It is easy to become complacent in our lives to get comfortable in the warmth of just surviving. How is it that most still feel as though they are lacking something more. What do we need to fuel the flame inside each of us? I think of that song from Sunday School, “This Little Light of Mine” How many times have you let Satan put it out? Does it still burn as a small flame? If you had to provide someone else warmth from your flame, could you?

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I feel that God is an enormous amount of energy. He created us, he made us for a purpose. We are all offspring of that energy.  Could our fire get as big as GOD?  That coal is placed inside of each of us. It is our portion of His Holy Spirit. I believe every person begins life with the same ration of Holy Spirit. He gives us the opportunity to listen to the world/ satan and have it snuffed out by negativity and evil actions/responses to the world or we can choose to let it grow.

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How does a fire grow? You feed it. The science behind fire is simple. What does a fire need? Typically, fire comes from a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and some sort of fuel (wood or gasoline, or coal for our analogy). Of course, wood and gasoline don’t spontaneously catch on fire just because they’re surrounded by oxygen. For the combustion reaction to happen, you have to heat the fuel to its ignition temperature. This simple understanding of fire and how it works can be used to help us understand ourselves better and also our role in walking in the spirit.

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Giving off warmth and light to those around us. My ignition temperature may be different than even that of my brother. He is genetically similar to me because we are the offspring of the same two individuals, but he has sought after God for the majority of his life. A faithful servant. I have been wayward and in my attempts to find God, I complained that my life was too difficult to bear. My ignition temperature must be a higher temperature. The problem wasn’t the coal we were created with, it was the temperature variance we were also created with, in order for our fuel to ignite. If you are a person with a similar ignition temperature these words may be hitting you with complete clarity and understanding at this point.

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So I just looked it up and all types of wood have varying ignition temperatures. We are even similar to the trees aren’t we? How can we all expect to be designed the same way, we are all here fulfilling a different purpose and walking a different path. Obviously there are people in our lives that seem to burn daily with maybe just a tiny spark happening some place close by and it sets their coal to burn an amazing flame. Then there are people like myself, that almost need the whole area around them to be scorched to ashes before recognizing that ignition temperatures have been reached and it is time to burn.

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This came from praying this morning and looking at our fire pit this morning. Let your coal find oxygen and let it set a blaze to not only keep  you warm but others warm as well.  Your spirit can burn just find your ignition temperature and surround yourself with things that cause a spark.

May God bless you today!

**Disclaimer**  I am not a religious expert or claim to be.  This is just some insight I am sharing today.  I have received some feedback on this particular entry -“that we aren’t born with the Holy Spirit.  That it is a gift.”  Whenever it does actually reside inside of us whether at birth or later, after accepting Christ is not poignant to the fact that we need to find the things that cause it to set ablaze.  It is there if you believe it to be there.  God’s love is there.  Show it to others!***