Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What are YOU doing?

You ever have something come across your path that makes you stop and think about how many areas it could be applied to?  Yup.  That's what this Vlog by Michael Barata did for me.

I listened to it.  All 6 minutes.

I listened again.  

...and I wrote down questions.  

Questions I want to contemplate.  Questions I want to answer and journal about.  Questions I will no doubt blog about further.  Questions I really would love if you thought about.  You answered for yourself.  

No matter the situation you find yourself in today, consider these:

Are you empathetic? 
Are you compassionate?
Are you able to not judge?
Are you always choosing love?
Are you only living in opinions?
Are you willing to dig deep?
Are you willing to dig into the bigger issues?
Are you living off of circumstances?
Are you willing to love?
Are you willing to be compassionate?
Are you willing to not point fingers?
Are you willing to not judge?
What are you bringing to the table?
Are you willing to learn?
Are you willing to understand?
Do you want to make a difference?
Are you willing to choose love over hate?

‪#‎WhatAreYouFocusingOn‬ ‪#‎BeLoving‬ ‪#‎BeYOU‬ ‪#‎WhoseVoiceAreYouListeningTo‬ #ChooseLove #CreateTheLifeYouWant

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Is Prayer a Private Thing?

Pray is a huge part of my life.  It has become an even greater part over the last 2 years as I have learned more of the impact of prayer.  The deep power it has.  As I have seen prayer in action, not only in my own life, but in others on a level not previously witnessed, I have come to have an even stronger belief in prayer.

A few times a month, I will post on Facebook asking how I can pray for you, or encourage and support you if you don't wish to ask for prayer or make a request known.  Sometimes people comment but don't put out a reason, just asking for an unspoken prayer that God knows about.  Sometimes the post gets lots and lots of comments, sometimes it gets very few.  Sometimes people send messages privately, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes it just gets likes.

I have never felt my post is something anyone is obligated to respond to.  I believe if they need prayer, desire prayer, or want prayer, they will comment or send a private message.  They actually may even call and ask me to pray on the phone with them right then and there.  Sometimes they will even email or text me a request.  The post to pray, encourage and support is meant to be an available resource, nothing more, nothing less.  If it isn't, you have every right to pass right by it.  I don't believe my prayers are any more important than yours, but I know that when I take the time to engage in your world and think about your challenges, your pain, your problems, your issues, your makes mine seem smaller.  And more than that, it makes me feel so much more connected to you and a part of your journey.  And it brings me comfort to know that through a circle of prayer, that major impact can be made.  Knowing I have prayer warriors fighting on my behalf always encourages me!!!

I was told recently by someone that prayer is a private matter and should not be discussed on a public social platform, like Facebook.  This person told me that of course, that might just be their opinion but that I should consider it since I do it quite frequently.  I might want to reconsider my motives.

Over the next few weeks I was on the lookout for how many people in my news feed asked to pray for the people who were their friends or liked their pages, from authors, speakers, musicians, ministers, to everyday individuals like me.  I am connected with and follow a lot of people who do this.  It has blessed me even if I don't leave a comment or prayer request.  It has touched me to know that there are people out there who will take the time to pray for everyone who comments.  I find this powerful.  Very powerful.  Why wouldn't you want every source of power in your life to improve your circumstances?

I thought about Daniel who went to pray before the rulers and people in high power, before the inhabitants in the city who walked by seeing him down on his knees even when he was ordered not to, praying even at the risk of being thrown in the lions din and his life being taken.

I thought about the times Jesus left the disciples and walked to a garden to pray, in the quiet, alone.

I thought about the times I pray before I get out of bed to start my day, in my car, in the shower, in the middle of conflict with a client, right before I head into a meeting, before an employee shows up to work, with friends before they leave having spent time with me, sometimes over a meal (though I must admit this ritual that was done faithfully before food ever was taken has not been a ritual that I have kept up as much as I have wanted prayer to be in every aspect of my life, not just meal time), as we join hands in my bible study group or create a prayer list at the end of our session, at church during worship music, during the sermon, and after...

Prayer comes in all types of forms.  

I concluded prayer is both a public and a private matter.  There are times prayer is something that is internal dialogue that isn't uttered aloud.  There are times prayer is done as a group.  There are times prayer is done in silence.  

Whatever you believe prayer is, I would ask you why you would want to limit prayer as being only a private opportunity?  Why would you not want the power of prayer to an all knowing and loving God to be fully present?  Why would you want to limit Gods power to be made alive in a public moment?  Why would you want to keep that a secret?

In reflecting about what prayer is, how it is done, what the purpose is to be accomplished, based on not just my personal experiences but the many examples we have in the bible on prayer, I have come to the following beliefs about prayer:
  • Prayer connects individuals to God.  
  • Prayer creates a bond between like minded believers.  
  • Prayer has power, intense power, beyond any human effort to bring peace.
  • Prayer increases faith.
  • Prayer thwarts Satan's attempts to defeat us.
  • Prayer releases burdens.
  • Prayer increases gratitude.
We are instructed to pray without ceasing.  This means just as our lives will interact and touch people through out the day, as we pray without ceasing, our prayers will be silent and audible.  They will be in the presence of others and without.

What is prayer to you?  Do you believe it is a public or private matter?  How do you carry out prayer in your daily life?  What methods have you used to create more powerful prayers?

As I close this post today, I am sending a prayer up for you that as you read this, it will provoke you to think about the power of prayer and how you want that to be a part of your life!

Monday, April 20, 2015

what is the goal of online dating?

I did online dating for 6 months last year.  The response and amount of messages sent to me was really intense.  I might get a handful of messages on any given day or I just might be overwhelmed with as many as 65 messages in one day!  I had no idea this many people participated in such a platform.  Yet the longer I did it, the more I realized how vast the amount of people online are!

And just as vast as the number of people online, were the ways I got messages.  90 percent of guys simply said something simple like "Hi!"  Maybe with a smiley face.  Or "You are really cute!"  Or some generic question like "Hey, how are you?"  Very few guys actually took the time to write something of significance, to write a paragraph about themselves, something either about what they do for work and things they enjoy in life, to create more of an introduction, something to establish and create a connection, build a foundation of a relationship.  A few just said check out my profile and message me back if you are interested.  Some guys simply had no class and were all out in your face just hitting on you making it clear that building a relationship was not their focus.

I purposed to respond to each and every single guy that messaged me.  Intentionally.  With class.  With my personality.  Being open, authentic, genuine, loving and courageous.  Asking questions to create a dialogue.  Being firm in my boundaries.  Not allowing myself to be put down or belittled.  However, I simply wanted to leave a mark on them they would remember.  My goal was to achieve this in every way possible and grow me in the interim and face my fears of men and dating, to learn more deeply about relationships.  And maybe even create some guy friends in the process.

There are people who have met online and gotten married and had successful relationships and marriages.  There are people who met alone and haven't achieved successful relationships or marriages.  There are people who think that an online presence is fake, unrealistic, and living behind a mask.  There are others who approach this as just another form to meet people and have another type of method to create a connection and approach a dating relationship.  There are people who think this is scary and risky beyond words.

So I would ask:

  • Is meeting online going to decide whether your marriage is successful or not?
  • Is meeting offline going to decide whether your marriage is successful or not?
  • Is meeting online risky?
  • Is meeting offline risky?
  • Is an online presence fake, unrealistic, and living behind a mask?
  • Is an offline presence fake, unrealistic, and living behind a mask?

So which is it?

To answer that question, you must look at a two things.  

  1. What you have experienced.
  2. What you believe.

If all your experiences online, especially when it comes to any type of relationship, have been horrific, tragic, difficult, painful and unsuccessful, you are liable to believe that this method of dating will be exactly the same.

If all you have experienced is difficult dating relationships, you will believe online dating is exactly the same.

If you believe that any negative experience or challenge that you faced wasn't the results you wanted means it wasn't right or good, and therefore was wrong or bad, then you will believe this about online dating too.

In reality, it is your choice.  Whatever you want to experience, you will.  Whatever you want to believe, you will.  

You can choose to believe your previous experiences will always define your future experiences, or you can be open to something different, new and be receptive to different results.  You can choose to believe whatever you want.  But remember, not everyone has experienced the same things you have and won't have the same beliefs you do.

In the time that I did online dating, I didn't meet my prince.  But I met my goals with online dating and got what I was looking for.  

I faced my fears of men and dating.

I learned a lot about relationships.

made some great guy friends, all of which I am greatly thankful for!  Because a year ago I didn't have single guy friends that stayed in touch with me in my life.  

I consider my online dating experience to have been a huge success.  How about you?  Have you done online dating?  If so, what did you learn?  What feedback would you give someone else?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

POEM: The Hidden Life Vision

Where is this life vision? Why is it so hidden from me? How can I find it when he seems so buried deep inside of me? Is it a new vocation? A new designed path? Does it include a man or is this not my path? Is it a chance to pursue the gifts of my past? Why does it elude me? And feel like it's an illusion? How do I recover a dream that seems lost? How does one see what ones called to do? Do you just discover it? Or somehow find clues? Do you just embark on the path in faith believing answers come in the first step? 

As a child, we naturally dream and live big, but as life happens to us, our paths many times are chosen for us. It is likely, our parents will deter us one way or another, church will teach us we can't have this or that, our learning will happen and beliefs will be made, and though we desire to pursue this great dream, the choices we want oh so elude us. 

Then life becomes all out of focus, like a fog, unable to clearly define the view in front if us. This is how we live, day in day out.  Today, we no longer believe in the ability to dream, to cultivate the dreams of our youth and follow this personal pursuit. We no longer feed the life deep inside, we somehow believe it was never inside us. The path becomes harder, to find on our own because the voices we hear are no longer our own. Those days we just dreamed, with all fear aside, to be someone great, the one we feel called from inside. To live in the clouds, where everything is possible, and our dreams always come true, like the stories we read and the ever after viewpoints we so easily believed, the desire now burns deep but remains out of view. 

The older we get, different choices we make, some out of fear, some out of fate, some come from thoughts we never thought we would make. Some out of desperation and a need for a new breath, some from the decisions that seem like regret, some from mistakes, and it threatens to become all we can take. Some yielding situations beyond our control, some create the journey that isn't our choice, some make an impact that that has long lasting effects, but not every moment is just golden in fact. 

The farther we go down the journey of life, we tend to get focused on all of the strife, and discouragement threatens to tear at us like a knife. The red carpet gets pulled out beneath us, the waves of doubt threaten to sink us, it's in these moments of life, we question and wonder the meaning of our life. The dream we lived for no longer exists, in comes the questions did we even ever have any gifts? The stronger we doubt, no longer believe, that we can and we are, worthy of all of our dreams. We can choose, we can be, a life giving vessel with purpose and a plan that is once again renewed in that child like dreamy land. Life has provided experiences and challenged our views, but God has determined the path we will choose. 

How does one see the life driven plan that God has designed all by his hand? How does one create this passion inside to be fully discovered and not run and hide? How does one obtain clarity and a new focus? Can one change ones thoughts and refocus? And discover the right path to the meaning and purpose, to believe in the choice to live out my calling?  The life, the one set deep within my heart, yet completely within my grasp? 

Who cares about reasons, people's words and problems, for I want to live an abundant life clearly focused. A life filled with love, a purpose and plan. An unmundane life, driven to experience every moment completely, designed with my friends and the things that complete me. Unique to just me, one filled with firsts, determined to be, in all areas of life, just perfect for me. To be called with a passion in all areas of life, filled with a heart to live out my life, with courage and inspiration in all that I do, that my paths and journey will support and encourage you. To live fully in the moment and choose the positive thoughts that create a new focus, for I have a calling that's never been noticed. A life lived above what I ever dreamed possible, a life in the dreams of my God given motives. To be someone I want, no matter the voices, with no reason to doubt, no people in focus, aside from all fear and words I have been told that I am not wanted, not worthy, don't matter and can't be someone who should live quite so driven and bold. To open my heart and search for the purpose that fills my life journey in a way in line with this heart felt purpose. 

Oh, what is my vision? What is my calling? What is my dream? How does one find ones mission in life? Where is my God given purpose? I know I will find it. The answers will come. For I am a woman of God and I have the power to overcome. I will pursue this with all my mind, body and soul, for out of it will develop the dreams of my heart!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

{resuming} my book writing

In my coaching/mentoring, I am working on my vision for myself. One of the things I have neglected the last few months, matters a lot to me. Writing. Both in blogging and in writing my first book. So, I am making changes and will be intentionally allotting time again for the purposing to get back to it. Writing my first book. My Story.

Today, I made a list of Book Titles for my book that intrigued me. I may pick one of these. I may create something new. Either way, I have started the dream of the title for my book.

I read through all that I had written. I added and tweaked portions to explain things better to the reader. I wrote more. In the end, I took my Book writing from 18,960 words to a grand total of 22,594. This is 3,634 words. Pretty impressive day!

I will continue to pursue my dream to write my story and publish my first book!!!

#FollowYourDreams #BeAnAuthor #ShareYourStory

Thursday, April 2, 2015

the fork of life

You are on your discover Gods will and plan for your life.  To live life to the fullest.  To embrace each and every opportunity along the way.

I am on my discover Gods will and plan for my life.  To live life to the fullest.  To embrace each and every opportunity along the way.

Your journey is leading you down a path.  A path that I may be with you partway on.  A path that you may be all alone on.  

My journey is leading me down a path.  A path that you may be with me partway on.  A path that I may be on all alone.

You will have forks in your road.

I will have forks in my road.

You will make choices that I would make.

I will make choices you would make.

You will make decisions I would not make.

I will make decisions you would not make.

Yet still, you and I will be on the path.  And both of our paths will have many forks.  But where will the forks of life take us?  Where will we end up?

As I reflected on this recently, I realized that the handle of the fork is the end.  It is where all paths come together.  So, either way, each path will lead to the final destination.  The end goal.  Heaven.  Where we will get to spend the rest of our life with God.  

Your spoke of the fork isn't close to mine, and mine isn't close to yours, but it gets connected.

Go live your path and's all part of the fork of life!

#EnjoyTheJourney #LiveIntentionally #EmbraceYourPath #BeCourageous