Know thyself…..

11 02 2015

” The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates

No question here, for those that follow Heavenly Father, He is a distinct individual. His distinctiveness is shown throughout the whole bible in the form of what he abhors (sin) and what he finds good (love). He sets himself apart from us through his distinctiveness. As we become closer to him, though prayer and time with His Holy Spirit, we develop our own distinctiveness but with His worldview.

The defining of himself, is how he sets boundaries.  He is the example. As we walk this journey with him, we learn through Him the importance of defining our own distinctiveness.

Distinctiveness. Boundaries. Knowing thyself.

So what do I really know about me?  What have I taken the time to ponder and reflect on about me?

Have I engaged myself and examined my behavior? Do we as individuals take the time to do this any more?

Ponder. Contemplate. Think……

At this point in my life, I learned a few things.

I place a high value on communication in my relationships.

For years, my thoughts and ideas were synonymous with my parents.  In order to survive my house, they had to be. I had no idea of  “self” but through them. Research shows that children of abusive parents barely have any idea what boundaries are because those parents never knew them or taught them.  Those same children have a hard time also expressing an independent thought. Experiencing a double edge sword; they have no idea how to positively, effectively communicate in the midst of being unable to set up their own boundaries.

Through recent experiences, I learned people who have a difficult time communicating and placing the art of  it on a low list of  priorities are not people I wish to engage.  Harsh. Yes. But, relationships are built and strengthened with shared experiences. Just like our relationship with Him is through prayer and shared Holy moments. The Holy Spirit does not live in church alone. He is everywhere.  Taking the time to dwell with our friends bonds us together whether it is positive or negative. We need people to walk the trenches with us. We need others to teach us. How else do we see Heavenly Father? Communication goes a long way in creating boundaries and setting limits. Communication teaches us. Molds us. Defines us. Gives us Distinction.

Conflict avoidance is not a part of my genetic makeup.

This goes hand in hand with communication. People have come and gone in my life who avoid their responsibility in conflict resolution.  It is a part of my genetic markup to resolve conflict. Ask Heavenly Father. It is in His book!

Conflict is a part of every day life. We are all different and will inevitably have conflict that needs resolving. Avoiding it, hurts all parties involved and goes against the very nature of Heavenly Father.  It is His wish and desire that we embrace our differences, get in the trenches and work out our conflicts. We do have them  even with Him!!!

Have you ever prayed in earnest for something and heard, “No.” ?

 

Heavenly Father gave us a plan  for conflict resolution (MATT 18:15-20).  As we been a knee and pray each day, we are expected to take the time to discuss (with Love and Truth) any concerns we have with our brother or sister in Christ. Typically those that avoid conflict in one area of their lives, avoid it in all areas.

Sit back and observe those that do……

You can see conflict avoidance in the parent /child relationship, with their spouse and in their work environment. Not in my house. Not with my spouse. Not with my children. Not with my family.

This is another boundary for our family and my friendships. If we befriend someone who has a hard time telling their children no, we will not continue that friendship. “No”, sets limits. Heavenly Father sets limits. MATT 5:37 states,”Let your Yes be Yes and let your No be No; Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Set limits. Say No.  

Honest Vulnerability entangled in Loving truth.

Honesty. Vulnerability. Loving Truth. Each one has its own distinctive quality. Honesty is synonymous with morality, integrity and righteousness. Heavenly Father loves us and allows us the opportunity to repent of our sins and seek forgiveness. He allows others the same. He is honest with us as we embrace His Holy Spirit. He honestly deals with our transgressions whether we are ready to hear it or not. Is this not what friendships should do too?

Vulnerability refers to a child like faith. It says, ” I will allow you to hurt me, to show you His light.” Take a leap of faith with someone.

Loving Truth gives us the tool to say. ” I love you but this behavior is not acceptable for our family/ for our friendship/ for my work environment.”  Be loving in your truth,  no matter what it entails.  Be receptive to the words from Him whether from him or through others. Be willing to teach and  to be will to be taught. This is the foundation for boundaries.

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Define yourself though His Spirit and Word.  Take a leap of faith.  Learn about you, through Him. Allow others to help you learn. Be receptive. 

Know thyself…...

These are things I have learned about me. The execution is not always glamorous, but growth inevitably occurs.

What have you learned about you?

Blessings,

~m

 

 

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Beautiful relationships….

5 01 2014

It has been a long battle. I fought it with my mother; fought her unwillingness to reach out and touch me when it mattered the most. Then  I fought it within my own heart. The willingness to serve my daughter in a manner in which I was not served by my very own mother.  Today was the day, the day I  broke free from my anxiety. Today was the day my heart soared for the beautiful possibilities that lay  ahead  for both my daughter and I.  We have the potential to soar and be closer than I ever was with my own mother.  We have the opportunity through homeschooling to accomplish a level of closeness and intimacy that I could only pine for with my own mother for many many years. For the past year, I have agonized and prayed over when to home school my daughter. Why? Because I learned slowly that homeschooling a child, let alone three is not for the faint hearted. When you home school, you never have a moment alone and your life is not your own anymore. When you home school you change every aspect of how you run your family. This can be so overwhelming for anyone, but add another layer of not understanding how to be a loving, caring mother and good intentions will not be enough to get anyone through the challenges of homeschooling.  I never had an example of what that should look like; how to be loving, caring and unselfish.  We learn by our examples. I never experienced it. I had a deficit going into motherhood. I knew what I experienced as a child was pretty messed up.  I desired to be better. I knew I never really understood or enjoyed my moms company. I  never really spent any quality time with her either. Quality time for her was in front of the TV or playing by myself. The real meaning of motherhood was lost on me.

Grace, forgiveness and hope are the new parameters of  my mother and I’s relationship. Forgiveness for all “those transgressions” I encountered while under the care of her and my step father. Grace to see her for child of Heavenly Father  and accept her for where she is at spiritually as well as emotionally; a hurt being from a long list of painful ugly relationships. Hope that even if she does not think she is worthy of His love, she is and will know it someday. Hope that she  too will feel the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father through the relationships of her loved ones and friends.

Beautiful possibilities...

Beautiful possibilities…

This past holiday season I observed two sweet and long time friends loose their mothers. Ironically, they were both stricken with breast cancer. Their tenacity and drive to outlive their diagnosis did not go unnoticed.  They lived life large and in a manner that glorified Heavenly Father. Their love also knew no bounds.

Rene moved mountains to care for her mother. Lisa drove miles to ensure care was received. Healing occurred for both women. Time seemed to move slowly and death was at bay. But time only alludes us of deaths presence.  When Reetha and Sarah did move on, each of their daughters took an immense amount of comfort in knowing that their mothers walked with Heavenly Father once their bodies gave out. Each of my friends knew that they would see their mothers when their time was oncoming.  My friend Heather, in all her graciousness, provided  a wonderful example of how the hope of daughter could actually save a mother. Heather came into my life with a bang and a blessing months before these beautiful women passed. She shared her story with me and it moved me………

Forgiveness heals. Forgiveness gets rid of the spiritual cancer in the victims heart.

I have not talked to my mother for two and half years.  I had to walk away because of the toxicity her and I created in our relationship. It is unhealthy to say the least. Until I could forgive her and move on, it was truly hopeless. But with Him, all things are possibly. With him the mountains crumbled and I learned to forgive.

What struck my heart so boldly the other day was how much I ached for my mothers salvation. After hearing both Lisa and Rene talk about their mothers salvations I hurt for my mother. How much I felt a desire to share my fears with her of her salvation, or lack thereof. If I were a betting woman, I would bet that she still does not know our Heavenly Father at all. My step father ruined her. He trampled on her heart, the little bit that was left after a life of pain from growing up in  foster home after foster home was gone. Being the child of a madam in a whore house did nothing to help her self esteem either. Having a drunk for a father was another important relationship that shaped all successive relationships from then on in her life.

I never really looked at my mother. I never saw her for the hurt being she had become.

Then I forgave her.

I see her now. I see her in my daughter; my beautiful baby girl within whom I have been given beautiful possibilities to forge a strong relationship based on a  foundation of love.

I am not my mother.  I am a child of the one true King. I am daughter of Lord God Jehovah,  who has been given me an opportunity to love a little girl in a manner worthy of a child of Jesus. I am given the opportunity to reach out and love a child in a manner that I was never loved. How my heart soars! How my Heart celebrates in this joy!

I never thought I was capable of loving her so much. I never knew loving her would redefine my character. I never knew loving her and my sons would save me!  I never knew that loving her would finally show  my heart that there is hope for my mother and I.

Oh how my heart fills with joy in the possibilities of both of these relationships! How freeing it is to know that I am not like her! How awesome it is that I may not know how to be a loving parent, but my Heavenly Father has imbued within my heart the tools necessary to do so. I just need to walk with Him on this journey. I just need to take a chance and reach for her hand.

When I see my daughter,  I do not see a little me anymore. I see a smaller version of my mother waiting for me to love her wholly and without reservation.

Lisa and Rene, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart grieves on a level I can’t adequately describe in words for the two of you. I am so grateful you were able to experience the true love between a mother and daughter. You honored your mothers and modeled how to love your mother in a manner I have never witnessed. I shed my fear, because of your leadership. I shed my fear because of all four women.

Thank you!

Sarah and Reatha your presence is sorely missed. Thank you for loving your daughters completely and without reservation. You gave me the example I sorely needed.

I will see you when it is my time.

~m