Monday, June 28, 2010

Embracing Time

There is a saying that goes, 'time can heal all wounds'. In so many ways, this statement is filled with so much truth. I find it difficult when going through something that is painful and hard to deal with, imagine being stuck in that moment for eternity? I would rather die. I was talking to a friend today, and what a beautiful and wonderful friend she is to my heart. So tender and amazing! Anyway, we were discussing pain and how I have learned that time in essence is a gift and a blessing to have. Without it, I don't think we would ever grow, learn and move. And with time, so much healing takes place and through that pain and healing process, we change and grow so MUCH! Here's something I said in our conversation... “I have to remind myself that I have to give myself time because this life is all about time... You see, if it wasn't for time, we would never grow, never move on, never change.... we would always be the same, feel the same, act the same...A heart that has been wounded doesn't just heal at once, sometimes it takes years, because of time!” I was thinking about how I used to think growing up, and comparing that to how I think now, to how different I may think in 10 to 15 years from now. Time is precious, and its always ticking, always moving forward. We can't erase what has been ironed in time, but only embrace it and move on, no matter if its something deeply painful or mistakes I have made. I have to keep reminding myself that everything has happened for a reason. It is something I find very valuable, the past and what has been pressed into my history. Not everything I have done or said or what is apart of my past I am proud of, but I have to accept it because its those times that have built my now, and who I am today. I wonder though, when we are going through tough times, instead of hurrying up to move out of those spaces in our life, what if there is something hugely valuable in the midst of our pain, heartache and trouble? What if there are treasures to find through all the muck and miry? Once we find them, we dust them off and clean them to see how precious those times are to us, even though how painful they may be to us. When we finally see the fog move, we are able to see how amazing those times are once we are moving forward and able to look back and go, wow, that just changed my life. I've been through some tough shit, and I can say that in and through it, its super hard to see any good in it, but, wow, once its over and done with, I look back and go, WOW, how transforming that was in my life, even though it may have been so painful, it was very valuable. Another thought I have frequently is if time stood still and nothing ever changed, how boring and unusable that would be?! With the time we are given, I am able to feel blessed I have time to use and in that time, I am able to move, grow, change, heal, and be forever transformed into who I am supposed to be. All things happen for a reason, its in those times I want to dig and find the purpose of what will change me from who I was, to who I am discovering myself to be, even through those growing pains. Its in the good and bad times where I have grown into the person I am today. And I wouldn't change it for the world!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nicole Has Great Value

As I stare at this blank screen, waiting, thinking about what will spill out of my heart and onto this key board. So many feelings and emotions flow over each other and swirling around in my soul, it drives me crazy almost not know what my heart is saying to me. Breathing intently waiting for something to spring up and surprise me with great delight. This happens often, as I gaze into deep space with nothing but a full heart of things I really can't point my finger at and name, though I know its something, something with great value. Wait, I see something, here goes...

I'm in search for my self worth. I know I matter to God, but do I really know this? Has it really made an impression on my heart that exceeds what I really believe about myself? In talking with some great pals today, this topic managed to pinch a nerve where I really haven't felt life for a while in this area. There are times I seem fine, and more than likely I am doing good, but deep down inside old feelings start to creep up and I start to see who I am and I feel ashamed, stupid, and unaccepted. But in my right mind I look at all those words and their meanings, in which I find this impossible that God thinks of me in those ways. There have been people in my life who have called me really harsh things that make me actually believe what they say about me is true. I guess if you are used to being called something your whole life, you actually start believing it. Though I know its all not true, but deep down inside I even have convinced myself that I am stupid, and therefore feel incompetent. All this came to a head when I shared with you about that guy coming into the coffee shop the other day and my perception of him was thinking he thought I was stupid. So many emotions crept to the surface of that event and spilled over to really coming down to actually believing it myself. When in my heart I hear Father saying, 'Whoa, I have never thought this of you my child, you are drench in my grace and love and I have this abounding and overflowing love for you that it would be completely impossible for you to be anything other than how I made you, having a sincere and child-like spirit and who is created in my image.' As he erases the images of my perceived reality of whose and who I am. My hearts cry is this, 'you mean, I am found with great value to you God? Oh part of me knew this!' I am letting all this sink in as it is replacing that which is poison to my soul and is foreseen as a lie as I say, 'I want to know the truth Father, of who I am and how you see me. I want truth to take over my heart that you will be the only one left inside me. I want to have so much of you in my heart that you Father will spill out and flow onto others. I desire this the most. I just can't get there if I don't believe you see me other than how I perceive myself to be. I want it to be a heart-knowing of how you see me, and I want to see me the way you do. Paint that picture on the tablet of my heart that replaces the one that doesn't see me in your light, and may I believe this to be true as I dive inside myself and find great value in whose and who I am in you!'

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How May I Love You Today?

I have been thinking about my job. I haven't worked in a coffee shop since about 5 years ago. I started working at a local coffee shop in town about two weeks ago now! I am loving it immensely. My favorite part is the face to face interaction I get with people on a daily basis. I couldn't remember how much I loved this part of being a Barista along with making coffee drinks. Though I am still in the training process, I think I am getting a handle of everything better. I am now ready to dive into the whole coffee training that I have not yet started. I hope maybe next week... We shall see.

Today I've been thinking about something a friend and I were talking about in relation to how Father can be seen through us, no matter what we say or do, but simply when we are who we are. I thought about that all day today when I was working. I guess I would call it being on the forefront of my mind when I had face to face interaction with people today. I had this one customer come up and order something, and I was working on the cash register (keep in mind that I am still in training mode) and I was ringing his order up and as I was totaling things up he gave me more money than what was required and it made me use my nogg'n more because I already totaled the amount in the register, and though it was petty change I was dealing with, he looked at me like I was stupid for taking so long to think about how much I should give him back! I am bad with numbers to begin with, but he just made me feel so stupid. So once I handed him the correct change, he went to go sit down. I felt him glaring at me for a while after that though. I felt very self-conscious about what I was doing. At one point, I felt like he was going to come up to me and tell me how stupid I was, though this was not apart of reality, thankfully. This event jolted my memory as well, and how there are some pretty nasty people out there who have issues and feel better about themselves by tearing others down. But I got to thinking if he would have said something about my stupidity, I would have told him this, “well, thank you, stupidity happens to be one of my strong suits.” Haha, not sure that response would have made him feel better though. Here's why. I think humility breaks down barriers and walls that we seem to build against people for whatever reason. I even do this too. And sometimes it just makes me feel like a jerk when I say or do things that makes another feel less important. When we isolate ourselves from others or put ourselves on a different level than others, we of course will feel better about who we are when we see that others are below us. Then I got to thinking about people once those walls fall down in attempt to protect their pride, and how it would be different if I too didn't have a protective response to things like this! I could look them in the eye, and have so much love for them that love would overcome all negativity responses I may have to give and instead just pour out humility and love, that way there is no tension that is building and the walls have no foundation to stay in one piece. Another thing I started think about today too was how important eye contact is when dealing with customers. They see that I am concerned for what they want to order when I am looking them directly in the eye, and in the same sense there is this human connection that happens. I hope I don't sound weird, but I hope to have a peaceful and warm quality about me that people sense Father in and through just interacting with me. I don't have to say or do anything to bring this out, but in a sense it would be like Father is bursting out of my personality and onto others. I am no longer in a position to under estimate Father's ability to be inside me and work through me with others. I sense his working in me and through me makes more of a difference than what meets the eye. There is an inner heart-met connection that is being made even with complete strangers and somehow God is in the midst of it all, loving and reaching out to people, no matter what they think of me. I even gather that Father wanted me to use that guy as an example of how far his love will go to reach people! Wrapping his love over their somewhat nastiness that will break down all the walls that are tempting to protect their heart!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stained Free and Whiter than Snow

I have always been somewhat curious as to why things happen the way they do. Today has been a day that I will never forget. Things happened when I was unaware of them happening and to which these happenings have great value and importance. A spirit willing is a spirit becoming aware of substantial awakening around him. Things start to make sense once we open our spiritual eyes to things that would normally not mean anything to us.

Two sequence of events occurred today and life flashed before my eyes. Not my life per say, but some old friends mother who past away recently. Out of the blue before I heard of this life that past, this old friend came to mind and I sent him a message via fb, due to realizing how close in geographically he lives to us. This message became a conversation that I started sharing with my mom, then I started asking her about his parents and family who was fairly close to us when I was growing up. Where they all may be these days and getting back in touch with this friend in recent years. Over this conversation, I ask about his mom and where she might be. My mom's response was that she was unaware of her location, but thought she still lived in the state. Meanwhile, that afternoon, I had laundry to do so I took our baskets full of clothes to the laundromat due to not having a washer and dryer at our studio apartment. Unaware of an ink-filled pen that was attached to a pure white shirt of my husbands, I threw all the whites in the wash. To my surprise, they came out white with ink stains covering all of our white clothes that I had washing together! I felt like an idiot and saddened because in there was a brand new shirt Jonathan bought just last week for work that was his favorite. He and I were both frustrated at this accident that could have been prevented if we would have looked in pockets before washing.... (my bad)... A kind lady at the laundromat was nice to use some formula that was supposed to work amazing on stains. So we stain proofed it with the formula and washed it again. Unfortunately the stains were still visible. To my husbands urgency, he asked me to soak it in bleach and see if we could save it, or at least try one more time before tossing it... So, we did, I scrubbed the stains with Shout Advanced Heavy-Duty Stain Remover then soaked it in bleach for a half hour or so... Lo and behold it came out stain free. We were both amazed and very thankful for trying one last time before giving up. A long story I know, but please bare with me. In relation to the first series of events, I found out once we got back from doing laundry that my friends mom who I was talking and thinking about earlier past away. Another old friend saw my post to my other friend and shared the news of his mom who past away last week. A great sorrow filled my heart as I sense these friends that I was just thinking about earlier that day and was filing through photos of them. I do think it quite strange that I was thinking about her today and that I didn't give up on that black dotted stained, white shirt. So to share with you why I am relating these two events is because when we first laid eyes on the stained-free shirt for the first time after the ink injected it's ugliness all over our white clothes, I felt a sudden wave of awareness go through me like Father was using the shirt as an example of what this thing we call life is all about. It's easy to lose touch with people. Once they move on with their lives, we also move on with ours, and we stop relating to them and lose touch. In part, I think this happens naturally with a lot of people, and I sensed this happened with my old friends mom. I can't remember the last time I thought about someone out of the blue and something significant happened to them. I am not sure what position she was in as she died or how she lived or what she believed, but, I could sense the Spirit transforming my mind to all things pure and left me with a thought of her being found whiter than snow just how we found the shirt once we didn't give up on it. A couple of scriptures come to mind in relation to all this.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalms 51:7

A spiritual sensation that I was getting opened my eyes to how profound the Father's love is for all His children. I know Father never ever gave up on her and He see's her white as snow before she was, and still does. This day will live on in my memory for I hope years and years to come of how great Father is and how purely white he not only see's me, but everyone for he has made us in his image, and He is whiter than snow, without stain.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kaskade - Be Still

It’s nice when the heart
The heart is beating faster
Feeling alive when there is wanting
Always the same
I jump too quickly
Be still my soul

It’s love so serious
The more we think
The less we know
It’s love mysterious
Holding tight
When we should let go

Now that this love
Has overcome me
Now that this fire
Is burning bright
All of these words
Seem just beyond my reasoning

Be still my soul

It’s love so serious
The more we think
The less we know
It’s love mysterious
Holding tight
When we should let go

Be still my soul
Just let it go

This song spoke volumes to me... I'm in the process of letting go of myself these days and holding on to Him who is FOREVER... A love has overcome me and is burning bright.... Be still my soul....Letting go so I can hold on to Him who will forever be inside me...This video reminds me of how transparent and real God is... It's something that cannot be described, but is simply a heart-knowing.... Knowledge has not the strength to comprehend His empowering love.... He is an all consuming fire and His love is serious!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Embracing my inner Child-likeness

To be like a child is not the same as being childish. Childlikeness is that which brings our spirits to a level of great vulnerability and innocence. I was talking to a friend the other day and I was excited to hear that he sensed a childlikeness in me. I've always thought that I had a more timid approach to things, but never did I really understand the depth of what that child-like nature really looked like or meant in my life. It is something that I think is a treasure to behold when I allow myself to let go of a stiffed narrow minded way of thinking and a cold approach to others just because I think I need to prove my maturity and self-respect or something, and embrace my vulnerability and innocence in a way that is profound.

Kid's sure have a way of being real and honest about everything, because they haven't learned how excruciating fear can have on a person's soul. It's downright destructive when we learn how to hide who we are because of what others might think of us, or even stretch the truth of what we really think about others just to make others feel better about themselves. This reminds me of a little boy I was a nanny for several years back. I just got a new pair of eye glasses, and I really liked them, and I asked Josh, who was about 7 at the time, what he thought about my new pair of glasses, and he was really honest with me and said they didn't look good on me, and that they were too big for my face... I was shocked, but the first thing that stood out to me wasn't the fact that he didn't like my glasses, but how honest he was with me. He spoke his mind with no reservations whats so ever. I will never forget that moment because it showed me how amazingly not scared kid's are for speaking their minds, if we just have the ears to hear what they have to say. This honesty and realness is a gift to be had for sure, but it seems like it disappears way to fast and once we allow that fear to creep in our lives, its easy to be deceiving in order to make us look better or seem more appealing to others.

I've been reading a book called The Jesus Style, by Gayle D. Erwin. There is a chapter in this book that is called, “A Child is...” While reading through this, there have been highlights in this chapter that I have posted here, because He really draws a beautiful picture of how parts of the Father's character is like a child. In Mark 10:13-16, it says, “People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' The irony here is that after my friend and I were talking about child-likeness, I ran into this chapter, and in that, it just confirms what my friend was saying and how excited I find that to be. It makes me want to drop all kinds of things I am holding onto that strips my child-like spirit away...

Here are some quotes I took from this book...

“The unthreatening childlikeness of Jesus intimidated no one. Both friend and foe approached him freely. The Pharisees and Saduccees attacked him with fervor they could never have mustered had Jesus walked the earth with a heavenly glow and spoken in a royal, electronically enhanced voice Children were comfortable around him, which even a surface observation would tell you could not be so without his childlikeness. The Sanhedrin plotted to capture him and were held off, not by their fear of Jesus, but by their fear of the crowds.”

“A child isn't good at deceiving. Part of being like a child is to be humble, to be real. You can tell when children are happy or when they are sad. If they are afraid, they act accordingly. It is well known that any two children playing together will go through alternate stages of laughing, squealing, running, being angry and crying. When we affirm their freedom to do so, they can be terminally angry at a friend and five minutes later be playing again as if nothing had ever happened.”

“A child is innocent. When Jesus told us we must be as a little child in receiving the kingdom, he was using as an example one who had not yet come under the requirements of the law. Only after a certain age was a child considered accountable and under the command of the law. Until then, he was innocent To receive the grace and forgiveness of God as a child would is to understand that we are now in a state of innocence. How difficult it is for me to accept the forgiveness of God that way. I continue to lay different types of laws and requirements on myself and others. I find it so difficult to accept my state as being “just as if I had never sinned.” I keep trying to earn the acceptance and forgiveness of God. Until I accept this forgiveness and innocence, I will minister to others out of guilt and my own needs rather than being free to be totally oriented toward them, sensitive to them, serving them.”

In my opinion, I think Father desires to bring out a childlikeness in all of us. As we no longer live to exist by only what is seen on the outside, but seeking that which is within, and as we express ourselves genuinely to God, ourselves and others, we are allowing ourselves to be who we are in Him. I want to rip off that mask that hides me from those who may see my weakness's or flaws, because through grace I can thrive at being me and continually be transformed by the renewing of my mind and hold on to that which moves me closer to Him.